The Bearcats managed to lure Adrien Robinson from Indiana 5A state football champion Warren Central High School this year so it only made sense that Coach Kelly and his staff would return to the Hoosier State to see if any other top Indiana prospects were interested in heading to the Queen City to play their college football. The invitation to Cincinnati's Elite Junior Day was enthusiastically received and accepted by six Warren Central Warriors last Sunday.
Among the group visiting from Indianapolis were juniors JaJuan Harris (CB), Anthony Weather (LB), Steve Barnett (DL) and Jewel Hampton (RB). There were also a couple sophomores on the excursion-Eric Williams (RB) and Edward Hazelett (TE).
Despite being only a sophomore, E-Haz is literally and figuratively the "big man" of the group. The Warrior tight end stands 6' 9" and weighs 250 pounds with an estimated 4.8 forty-yard-dash time. He is getting serious interest from colleges for both his football and basketball skills. Ed talked about his basketball abilities. "I play center and power forward. I don't average too many points right now, but I'm pretty decent for my grade." One recruiting service had Ed ranked #37 in its 2009 basketball recruiting class, but Ed's invitation to Cincinnati was by the Bearcat football team, not the basketball Bearcats.
Ed gave his overall impressions of his unofficial visit. "It was really nice. I really liked it even though there was snow. I want to come back and get a better vibe when the snow's gone. I really liked the facilities, and the weight room was something I had never seen before. I've never seen anything like that." Ed continued. "Everybody liked it, but a couple of us really, really liked it." In addition to Hazelet, JuJuan Harris was really impressed with what he saw.
Players standing 6' 9" tall, weighing 250 pounds with a sub 5 second forty-yard-dash are obviously a commodity, but Ed isn't ready to give up either sport to concentrate on the other one. "I want to play tight end in college, but I also want to try and play both sports. For football it's tight end." When pressed to make a decision on which sport he'd prefer to play in college, he responded. "I really don't know because I really want to play both."
As a tight end, Ed spent much of his day with his projected position coach at UC, Mike Elston. Ed was particularly enamored with Coach Elston. "He's a real great guy. He really got me feeling the Cincinnati vibe. It made Cincinnati one of my top schools because he made me feel really at home."
Being a sophomore, Ed still has plenty of time to work on grades, but academics don't sound as if they'll be a problem for the Hoosier big man. "I have a 3.3 grade point average on a 4 point scale."
Warren Central plays in the biggest division in Indiana and won all 15 its games on its way to the 2006 state championship. Ed started all 15 contests at tight end for the Warriors.
Adrien Robinson may have been the plum of Cincinnati's 2007 recruiting class, but having Adrian as a Bearcat could also pay added dividends in the future recruitment of Hazelet. "I know Adrian real well. We're real close friends."
This 16-year-old manchild already has 11 division IA football scholarships, so many he couldn't readily remember them all. "I've got offers from Cincinnati, Arkansas, UCLA, Michigan State, Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky, Mississippi. How many is that? …I can't remember the others right now." He also has an early basketball offer from Purdue, but said Michigan State, Illinois and others are also showing interest. Basketball will likely keep him from attending too many football camps this summer since he plans to play on the AAU circuit.
Bearcat Insider will check back with Ed this summer.