Being considered one of Ohio's top prospects for the Class of 2008 has not gone to the head of Dublin Coffman wide receiver Jacob Stoneburner. In fact after talking with the 6'5" – 215 lb receiver with 4.53 speed I came away certain this young man has the tiger by the tail and understands the process that lies ahead.
This past Sunday several top prospects visited the campus of the University of Cincinnati during the teams Junior Day, and while everyone had a great time Stoneburner walked away with an offer from head coach Brian Kelly and a new feeling towards the Cincinnati program he's been hearing so much about.
While recruiting is just starting between Stoneburner and the Bearcats it's not the first time he's heard about Coach Brian Kelly or about the new growth and direction in the Cincinnati athletic program. With an uncle who is the nephew of the man whose name is attached to the new gem of the Bearcats athletic program, talk about Cincinnati has come up during family gatherings. But Stoneburner said visiting and seeing for himself all that's new has caught his attention during the early parts of the recruiting process.
"I've talked with others and they've told me about everything going on at UC. I was very impressed with the weight room and the new Lindner Center. The weight room is huge and stacks up with any I've seen during my visits to other programs. The new Lindner Center is very impressive and I really liked how everything is right there. I also really like the stadium."
But like most juniors seeing what's available is not the only thing they look to get done while taking these visits.
"I really liked all of the coaches. I can see why Coach Kelly has won everywhere he's coached. I also enjoyed talking with Coach Molnar (wide receivers) and Coach Hinton (recruiting coach)."
One question many have talked about when discussing Stoneburner is what position he'll lineup at in college. Is he a tight end or a wide receiver? The Bearcats left nothing to chance and explained what they have in mind.
"Coach Kelly and Molnar both told me they want me to play wide receiver and not tight end. When it comes down to making my decision I'll have to keep that in mind. Everyone except Michigan and now Cincinnati has told me I'd be a tight end."
With the pressure of being considered one of the top prospects in Ohio for the Class of 2008, has Jacob seen friends or fans expressed their feelings of him playing in a bigger named program or have they keep to themselves.
"I've felt some pressure to play in a bigger program like Ohio State, Michigan or Notre Dame. But I also know it could be special to be part of an up and coming program like Cincinnati or another program and be part of something new. It's also helped having guys like Mike (teammate Mike Adams) and DeVier (DeVier Posey) going through the same thing at the same time. Mike and I've been playing since our sophomore years and have shared in a lot of the same experiences. Both of us have become very good friends with DeVier and we all talk almost every day."
As with most prospects talk of making a college choice is always one of the questions they hear. Has Jacob set a timeline or just taking everything in as he narrows things down? And what deciding factors will come into play when making that choice?
"Right now I'm waiting and taking everything in. I know at some point I'll have to narrow things down but I'm not ready to do that just yet. There are several things I'll be looking at in the program I pick. Things like who the staff sees me in their system, academics are just a few of the things I'll look at. I know that at some point I want to make my decision so I can help bring in other players that will help the program win."
We'll continue to follow Jacob until he makes his college choice.