Three Vandalia-Butler Athletes Like UC

As Brian Kelly and his staff cast their recruiting net, the Dayton area looks to be an area of interest for the Bearcats. Three players from Vandalia-Butler have made their interest in Cincinnati very clear.


Last Saturday, Brian Kelly and his staff hosted the largest Junior Day ever at Cincinnati.  Over 135 juniors were expected to participate in the event until the Cincinnati area got hit with a snow storm.  Some recruits decided to cancel visits while others braved the elements and headed for the Clifton campus.  Two of those determined souls were Jason Albertini and Logan Zechar from Vandalia-Butler High School, but they never arrived at UC.  Logan explained, "We got down there, but we got in an accident and couldn't make it to the school."


Albertini and Zechar make-up two/thirds of the Aviators triple threat offense with Nick Gillum rounding out the group.  Albertini is the quarterback.  Zechar is the running back while Gillum is the wide receiver.  


Logan is an intriguing talent.  He led the always tough Greater Western Ohio Conference in rushing last year before breaking his leg at the midway point in the season.  (Ohio State recruit Brandon Saine of Division II state champion Piqua High School also plays in the league.)  The injury was a broken fibula that occurred in Zechar's driveway as he was shooting baskets a couple days after Butler's fifth game.  Zechar managed to amass over 900 yards in five contests for a 9+ yard per carry average.  The 3-7 Aviators were unable to win another game after Zechar's injury.


Despite the gaudy rushing statistics, Zechar could be regarded as a "sleeper" even though he possesses toughness, strength and speed.  Logan lost both his front teeth during the final Aviator scrimmage last year but was still ready for the opener.  He won a powerlifting meet last year with a 450 pound dead lift and reports a 4.59 forty-yard-dash time.  Still, most of his recruitment has been limited to getting letters.  "I've been getting a lot of letters from schools like Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and other schools."  No Cincinnati coach is presently recruiting Logan.  His invitation to Junior Day came by way of a letter.


Zechar, like his teammates, knows he still needs to get exposure heading into his senior season.  "I'm hoping to make it to Cincinnati's senior camp this summer and hopefully continue getting my name out.  I think I may go to a Junior Day at Miami too."  He's also planning to attend a combine this spring.


Next season Jason Albertini (6' 2"/220) is expected to be the three year starting quarterback for the Aviators and has the size and arm to continue his career in college like a former Vandalia-Butler quarterback, Josh Betts (6' 2"/217), who went on to star at Miami of Ohio and currently is on the roster of the Super Bowl champions, Indianapolis Colts.  But if Jason is to play Division IA football, he'll probably need to improve on his numbers.  "I had 7 touchdowns, 8 interceptions for 1,350 yards and about a 47% completion percentage."  Like Zechar, the recruiting interest has been pretty much limited to letters.  "I'm hearing from a lot of schools with letters but nothing real serious."


Jason knows he too needs the additional exposure heading into his senior season.  "I went to the combine last year, and I'll go to as many of the camps in the area as I can.  But I'll definitely go to their (Cincinnati's) senior day."


Albertini assessed his strength and weakness.  "I think I read defenses well.  I can read coverages.  I've had the same coach helping me with that since my freshman year."  As far as an area needing improvement, "Not going for the home run ball, just keeping it safe.  I think that's how I get a lot of my interceptions."


Nick Gillum should be Albertini's prime target next season.  Jason talked about his teammate.  "He's my big time target.  He's big and runs very good routes.  He's pretty quick and very athletic.  He plays basketball and runs track too.  I've been throwing to him since my sophomore year."


Gillum has interest in the Bearcats but did not receive an invitation for their Junior Day.  At 6' 2' and 195 pounds with between a 4.6 and 4.7 forty-yard-dash time, Nick's position at the next level could be somewhere other than receiver.  He occasionally played safety at Vandalia-Butler, but he might project as an H-Back or tight end in college.


When Nick looks ahead to next season, he knows a healthy Zechar is vital to his and Albertini's success.  "I think Logan will be great and a big part of our success.  If we can establish a good running game with him, that will open things up for Jason and me through the air."


Like his teammates, Nick is very interested in the Bearcats.  "I love Cincinnati.  I'd like to go there.  I've gone there to watch some high schools games in their stadium and really like their stadium.  It's a great place."


Nick sees his size as one of his biggest assets.  "I'm pretty big so I'm a big target for Jason.  I'm not afraid to go over the middle, but I can also help with the deep ball.  I have a pretty good vertical so I can go up and get the ball too."  Nick's not opposed to the idea of growing into a tight end.  "Yeah, if I get a little more size on me, definitely."


Bearcat Insider will check back with these three young men in the summer.       






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