Fans of the University of Cincinnati and local media have stressed the importance of the Bearcats keeping hometown talent from leaving the area. On Wednesday those who made the choice to set an example for others watched as no other media outlet stopped by to visit and learn more about the five players setting the tone for future recruiting classes.
Maybe I'm wrong in my thinking. I received a call on Tuesday telling me all five of the local players signing with UC would be in one place. To me this was great as I knew I'd get a group photo and also have the chance to speak with each away from all the hustle and bustle that goes on at the events at the local high schools.
But as the crew of Bearcat Insider walked in (Woody, Crew, Myself) we knew no others were coming. No television cameras were there to capture these new teammates together enjoying each other's company. No local newspaper photographers were on hand to grab a quick photo for the Thursday edition. Instead it was the players and their families enjoying their time together knowing the local media again missed out on a great way to help show why local players need to consider being a Bearcat.
No matter what the future holds for these five members of the Class of 2008 they all share in one thing. They are homegrown Cincinnati football players. Each coming from what many consider some of the top prep programs in the area if not the state. A perfect photo opportunity set up by the father of Danny Milligan almost went to waste and I feel there is just no excuse for it.
While each player had their signing at their high school, the chance to get all five of the newest "Hometown Bearcats" together was one we or others couldn't or shouldn't pass up on. We've been with most of these kids during the past year or two while they went through the recruiting process and couldn't help but to make sure one of our many stops be with these young men who've accepted the challenge placed in front of them by staying home and helping Brian Kelly take the Bearcats program to another level.
But there sat Danny Milligan, Brandon Mills, J.K. Schaffer, Nick Truesdell and Evan Davis along with several of their family members and no media on the biggest day of their lives while almost no one took notice. How special was this little event? Colerain head coach Tom Bolden found it special enough that he brought his other players who signed with other school to the event to show their support for those given the chance to stay and play in their hometown.
I don't want to bash any one media outlet for not being there as I'm not in charge of what they do or know what they have as a budget or time restraints on a day like National Signing Day. But I want to stress that if the local media can't show up for a few minutes and get a photo or do a quick group interview then we shouldn't bash a kid for looking outside of Cincinnati. Keep in mind just a few minutes before they were down the road less than 5 minutes away at LaSalle High School.
Here is the group photo taken on Wednesday of the "Hometown Bearcats of 2008".