With Darnell Wilks recently joining Cincinnati's 2007 recruitng class, it opens up another scholarship for 2008. One of Cincinnati's recruiting targets looks to be Jared Swopshire of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and Bearcat Insider recently spoke with the sharpshooting forward.
With five seniors on the Bearcat basketball roster for the 2007-2008
season and only one verbal commitment in its 2008 recruiting class, the Bearcats
would seem to be wide open to the idea of adding some more versatile
athletes. One high school
senior-to-be that has shown interest in joining Mick Cronin's program is Jared Swopshire from O'Fallon, Missouri.
Although the 6' 8" Swopshire is from the St.
Louis area, he attends high school at the IMG Academy
in Bradenton, Florida.
By attending the Florida academy, he's already shown that he is
not afraid to travel, and his offer list reflects that attitude. "Cincinnati has offered. I also have offers from Marquette, Clemson,
Colorado, Utah, Miami of Florida, Michigan, Southern Illinois, Missouri and Illinois. There are several other schools in the
area that have offered too, and Wake Forest is starting to really recruit me
strong." With so many schools being
interested, it was hard for Jared to remember every school off the top of his
head, and he cautioned that the list is probably not complete.
When Bearcat Insider spoke with the four star recruit late Monday
afternoon, he had just returned to his St. Louis area home with an AAU
championship. His Florida Rams won
the T-Mac Got Game Tournament in Auburndale,
Florida after reaching the semi-finals in
previous weekend in the Adidas It Takes 5ive Classic. The Rams may have fared better in
Cincinnati but were missing two of its better
players in Ray Shipman (Florida commit) and Dago Pena. Both played this weekend in Auburndale, Florida.
Despite the plethora of offers and busy AAU schedule,
Jared seems very interested in the Bearcats. He even squeezed in a one day unofficial
visit to Cincinnati in June. He talked about his first visit to the
City. "I was there for just one day and got to
tour the school. I got to meet all
the coaches and visit with several of the players. I also got to talk to the head coach for
a little bit, and he told what they were trying to do and how I fit in." When Jared returned to campus a couple
of weeks ago for the Adidas Classic, both his younger brother and father were
with him. Jared continued with his
impression of Cincinnati. "The campus was really nice. I liked it a lot." Jared's only other unofficial visit was
to Marquette, which he took on the same weekend
The 3.0 student is joined by IMG teammate and Florida commit, 6' 10"
Kenneth Kadji, on his Florida Ram AAU squad.
With such a wide variety of schools offering, does Jared have any
preferences? "I'm just looking for
a place with a good educational program and a coach that will help me
develop. I'd also like to go to a
place that can compete for a national title. I'm just looking for the best
Jared believes at 6' 8", he can create some mismatches. "If a smaller man is guarding me, I can
go down low in the post. If they
put a bigger man on me, I'd go out on the wing. I'm more of a guard/forward."
The 17-year-old 180 pounder knows he needs to add some bulk. That was one of the reasons for
attending the IMG
Academy. "We lift every other day and do
plyometics and agility stuff. Every
day we're working out with certified trainers, and it helps a lot."
Before making a verbal commitment, Jared would like to take some official
visits. "I want to take my time
because it's a big decision. I'd
like to take some official visits, but I'm planning to have a decision by
September or October."
The recruiting process can get tedious for many young men with all the
phone calls and text messaging, but Jared said it hasn't gotten so with
him. "For some people it can be
tough, but not for me because they're showing me how interested they are. I want to go where there's the best
opportunity for me." Jared is being
recruited by Cincinnati assistant coach, Larry Davis, and
Jared said it is not unusual for him to hear from Coach Davis in some form at
least twice a week.
The Bearcats are definitely in the hunt for this young
man's services, and Bearcat Insider will check back with Jared in the fall to
get an update.