Have you ever been stopped in your tracks? If so then you know how Tuesday was for me as I watched the over 250 prospects take to the hot turf of Nippert Stadium trying to impress the Bearcats coaching staff by earning an offer. I've been to camps since around 1999 and while I've seen some good ones in this time I can only think of one other camp were so much talent was on display on one day at one location.
Where to begin is the hardest part of this story but here we go.
Teammates Again From The I-75 Pipeline?
One person watching during day three of camp was current Bearcats safety Aaron Webster. The Michigan native (Groves High School) was also seen on Monday but Tuesday had a little different meaning as fellow Groves student athlete Bruce Horner (6-foot-1, 180-pounds)was on hand looking to impress the Bearcats coaches. We it must have worked because Horner told Scout.com he picked up an offer after his day at camp and is very excited about it. Horner is a very good looking defensive back / wide receiver prospect who displayed great speed and athletic ability and would continue the I-75 pipeline Brian Kelly and his staff are building.
X-Marks The Spot
I had never seen so much wide receiver talent at one camp as I saw on Tuesday in Cincinnati. The Bearcats could have filled three or more recruiting classes with all the talent but as you know you can only have so many receivers.
One player I've been very high on is Stephon Ball of St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati). Ball has a great physical build and is very smooth in running his routes and catching the ball. There is no wasted motion and his giant hands make the football look like a small object when they land in them.
Stephon didn't disappoint as he has told me he received an offer after his camp performance on the day. Are the Bearcats in play? One thing Ball and two of his high school teammates have told me is they want to play college football together by going to the same school. Everyone knows the one teammate as running back Darius Ashley would be another great get by the Bearcats staff. The other teammate you'll have to wait until later in this story to learn more about.
Cruse-in For An Offer
Another receiver out of Southwest Ohio I've been very high on is Andrew Cruse of Turpin High School (Cincinnati). Much like Ball the Turpin product has great physical size and giant hands that make catching the football look easy. The question going into camp season was his speed and Cruse has shown he's got plenty of speed and the ability to get open and make the play. Tuesday night Cruse reported he picked up an offer from his performance and has high interest in the Bearcats program.
Not A Burden If He Becomes A Bearcat
Having watched La Salle High School play last season gave me an early look at Chandler Burden and his future potential. While it was easy to get lost in the Ben Martins and other top prospects from last year's team Burden just went about his business. That changed when he showed up at the Scout.com combine in Cincinnati and had a great day. Since then he's been doing the same every place he's gone and his efforts are paying off as Cincinnati jumped on board with an offer after his performance at senior camp on Tuesday. Burden would be the right guy for the Bearcats to get as he could play along the defensive or offensive lines at the college level.