Some might say this was a poor senior class for the Colerain Cardinals since only Eugene Clifford and Gary Pride are expected to sign national letters of intent on Wednesday with Division IA programs. Clifford will sign with Ohio State while Pride will sign with the Akron Zips. Two other Cardinals will sign with non-Division IA programs. But as you'll see after reading this article, Kerry Coombs didn't leave Colerain for the University of Cincinnati because there was no talent in the Cardinal cupboard.
One of the areas of strength for the 2007 Colerain Cardinal football squad is the offensive line. Colerain had five new starters in 2006, but that won't be the case next year. Ten year Colerain assistant coach, John Cook, will continue to refine the techniques of his four returning senior-to-be starters.
Evan Davis may be the best of the bunch at 6' 5" and 245 pounds. Evan's brother, Nick (6' 3"/281), was a starting defensive end at Bowling Green as a redshirt sophomore last year, and Evan's father stands 6' 7". Evan also plays basketball for the Cardinals. Davis does not have a Cincinnati offer yet, but his combination of height and athleticism would make him a prime candidate for the type offensive lineman Coach Kelly and Coach Quinn are looking to add to the Bearcat program. Brandon Kluener at 6' 5" and 265 pounds is another excellent college prospect for the O-line. Other returning offensive line starters and possible Division IA signees next year are Evan Borchess (6' 3"/260 pounds) and Thomas Good (6' 3"/280 pounds).
One of the players looking forward to playing behind that talented front is Cardinal quarterback Doug Reynolds (6' 2"/190) although Quentin Sims (6' 4"/190) could also challenge at that position. Sims is an intriguing prospect and could play a number of positions. Last year Sims was the back-up quarterback and rushed 31 times for 295 yards for a 9.5 yard per carry average. Quentin's father, Fred, started at Oklahoma as a running back, but lost his job to a teammate with the same last name-Billy Sims. As most football fans know, Billy ended up winning the Heisman Trophy in 1978 as a junior, only the 6th junior to do so. Billy was the runner-up for the Heisman in 1979.
Another player looking forward to lining up behind that formidable front line next season is Dominique Sherrer (5' 10"/190). Dominique is the younger brother of Terrence Sherrer, who played in three games rushing 21 times for 99 yards at the University of Minnesota last season. Incidentally, with the Golden Gopher coaching change this year coupled with the addition of Kerry Coombs to Cincinnati's staff, there are some recent rumors that Terrence may be interested in returning home to play for the Bearcats.
Newly named Cardinal head football coach, Tom Bolden, should also have some playmakers on defense next season. Leading the way will be a couple of expected three year starters. Defensive lineman Brandon Mills (6' 0"/245) along with defensive back Ravelle Sadler (5' 10"/175) might be a tad small for their positions, but both could end up signing Division IA letters of intent at this time next year. Sadler is a legit 4.5 forty guy. Joining Mills on the D-line is speedy Gary Goines (6' 1"/235) who boasts a 4.6 forty. Two Cardinal linebackers could also see some Division IA or IAA attention- Zach Imhoff (6' 2"/215) and Matt Stoinoff (6' 1"/230).
Finally, the Cardinals return their kicker from last year-Mark Tabar (6' 0"/170). Tabar averaged 40 yards a punt in 2006 along with 39 PAT's. Mark also hit 6 field goals with a long from 43 yards out. Many Cardinal fans believe Tabar is as good or better than his predecessor, Matt Schulte, who is on scholarship at Ohio University.
On another note, Connor Smith's younger brother, Spencer, was recruited by Cincinnati as a preferred walk-on this year. Of course, Connor was a Parade All-American at Colerain as an offensive tackle and presently attends Ohio State. Spencer (6' 3"/245) is not as big as his older brother and has been described as a "tweener" on the college level. Spencer had an early scholarship offer from Ohio University but waited too long to make a decision, and the Bobcats withdrew the offer after filling the spot. Spencer is now expected to walk-on at Ohio State.
Colerain sees plenty of college scouts in its hallways, but one of the newest schools to begin frequenting the west side school is Virginia. John Garrett, who played and coached for the Bengals, is Al Groh's assistant head coach, and apparently the Cavaliers want to start taking advantage of Garrett's ties to the area. Garrett played for the Bengals in 1989 and had two NFL coaching stints in Cincinnati. The first was from 1995 to 1998 and the second was from 2001 to 2002. Garrett was a Bengal scout in 2003.
All these Colerain juniors are expected to attend a "Junior Day" at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, February 17th or Sunday, February 18th, but none presently hold any college offers.