Hooey Contemplating Big Decision

Bearcat Insider spoke with Sean Hooey one day after his third unofficial visit to the Cincinnati campus. When will he make his college choice? And where do the Bearcats stand at this point? We have the latest.

For decades the voice of ABC college football, Keith Jackson, dubbed the offensive lineman- "the big uglies." He knew the positions were anything but glamorous, and he also knew good offensive line play was the key to any potent offensive attack. After signing five O-linemen in their 2007 class, Brian Kelly and his staff are continuing to go after "the big uglies" although a very boyish looking Sean Hooey might object to such an unflattering nickname. Nevertheless, the 6' 8"/240 pound projected college offensive lineman made the 4.5 hour trip to Cincinnati with his father on Monday and explained the primary reason for the visit. "My main reason for going down there yesterday was to see the campus because I hadn't really seen much of that, and that's one of my main factors for making a decision of where I'm going."

Sean is no stranger to the Cincinnati campus since this was his third unofficial visit, but Monday's tour given by John Goebel apparently helped put the Michigan country boy more at ease with the urban campus. "I walked away with a better sense of what the campus was like and what the area was like. I liked it better than what I thought so Cincinnati is still in the top three of my list."

In addition to Cincinnati, Hooey also holds offers from Purdue, Central Michigan and Akron, but he didn't sound like someone ready to make a decision. "I'm still holding out. I don't know where I'm going to go, but I know I'm going to commit before the season, probably in mid-summer."

The two biggest in-state schools have not yet made offers, but the lure of Michigan is strong for a kid that grew up in the Wolverine State. "I grew up watching Michigan and Michigan State so getting an offer at Michigan would be great. That was my dream as a little kid to play at Michigan, but the reality is if I got an offer from Michigan, I probably wouldn't play until my redshirt junior or senior year. I want to play quite a bit. I actually want to start early and do something to help the team. Cincinnati might be perfect for me because they said I'm one of the top ten players on their board."

Hooey knows his early verbal commitment to Cincinnati could help attract other good recruits to his 2008 Bearcat class. "They've told me they'd like me to commit so they can use that to get other top players."

Weighing only 240 pounds, Sean knows he'll need to add weight in college to play on the offensive line, but the sixteen-year-old doesn't see it as a big obstacle. "If you look at my dad who is 6' 4", he's pretty stocky, but I weight more than him right now. I still have a lot of room to grow. My sophomore year I was 180. After my sophomore season, I started lifting weights and gaining weight. I think I'll be able to keep going." Sean won't turn seventeen until July 26.

When asked about the main attraction for his becoming a Bearcat, Sean replied. "The coaches, definitely." Coach Elston has been primarily responsible for Sean's recruitment, but Coach Quinn has also taken an active part along with Coach Kelly.

So what's next with Hooey's recruitment? "I think I'm going to the Michigan State camp on June 3rd and following that I'll go to Michigan, but even if I do get a Michigan offer, there are tons of other factors and tons of questions I need to think about."

A little over a year ago, Sean had no idea he'd be sitting in this position. "When I started all this during my sophomore year, I decided I loved football and wanted to go to the next level, but I had no idea I'd have a Big Ten offer or even a MAC offer. I never thought it would lead to this."

The more we talked, the more it became clear that the process is beginning to wear on this young man. "Yeah, it's getting pretty old fast. The texting, e-mails and all the calls are getting old. All the coaches saying ‘Come here' and ‘Do this.' I'm thinking about all the factors of where I want to go. Where will be best for me in the long run and where I'll be happy. It's hard to decide and I can't wait until it's all over." This polite young man realizes he's going to have to decline offers from people he genuinely likes. "I already know it's not going to be easy."

Although some list Sean as a tight end, playing that position has really been more of a recent novelty, and he knows his future is up front with the big uglies. "Up until last year, I've always played tackle because I've always been so much bigger. This past year I played tight end and it was fun, but I know it takes more speed to play tight end at the college level. I have really quick feet, and a lot of coaches have told me I stay low real well. It doesn't bug me at all to move back to the offensive line. I'm just glad to get a free education and the chance to play football and have fun."

Sean said he'll likely sit down with his parents around the middle of the summer and list each school's pros and cons before making his college decision so Bearcat Insider will check back with him then.

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