Bearcats Underdog For Local Product?

Brian Kelly and his staff will be aggressive in going after the best talent in Cincinnati, but are they currently the underdog for this three star talent?

Since the Bearcats have three senior running backs for the 2007 season, they will definitely be looking to add two or three "hybrid" backs in 2008 to help run their spread offense.  Darius Ashley from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati would seem to be a perfect fit, but after talking with the 5' 9"/185 pound scatback, the Bearcats still need to gain some recruiting ground.  "Tennessee, Louisville and West Virginia would probably be my top three.  I'd put Cincinnati at fourth."  Of those four schools, all but Louisville has offered." 


Although Ashley freely admits Cincinnati isn't with his present leaders, he has shown enough recent interest in the Bearcats to give UC fans hope of landing the Bomber star.  Darius has twice within the last week been seen on the Clifton campus.  Most recently Ashley attended The Bearcat Bowl spring game and talked about his impressions.  "It was very nice actually.  The coaches were very personable, and Coach Coombs is a great guy.  Every time I speak with him I enjoy it."  


When asked what gives the three leaders an edge over the Bearcats, Darius gave it a lot of thought before responding.  "It's not that they have something UC doesn't.  I've gotten to see all their facilities, and they all have nice facilities.  UC is right with them.  UC has nice facilities as well.  I guess it's really just a matter of recent success probably."


Since Darius saw Cincinnati's spring game and Coach Kelly's spread (one back) offense, he was asked if he fits into the offense.  "I'd like to think I'd play well in any style of offense, but I know that spreading the field gives me an opportunity to go one-on-one with a defender and would probably be my strong suit."


It's still pretty early in the recruiting process, and despite naming his leaders, Darius has not yet determined where he'll take his official visits next season.  Nor has he made any plans to attend any senior camps.


When Darius looks at himself, he sees versatility.  "I think I have a nice combination of speed and strength for my size, but my balance is probably my strong point with my ability to break tackles."


Fans of Tennessee, West Virginia and Louisville might point to their fan support as a recruiting advantage over the Bearcats, but Darius doesn't seem concerned with that element.  "If I were to choose a school like Cincinnati which is up-and-coming, it would be great to be a part of the process of reviving a program like that."


Bearcat Insider will check back with Darius at a later date.

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