Grading The Bearcats Walk-ons & More

Not every member of the Class of 2010 will walk onto campus with a scholarship in hand. But while these members may start without one early in their careers, every one of the Bearcat coaches expects them to earn a scholarship in the near future. So how good is this year's walk-on and grayshirts?

Each year college coaching staffs work hard to sign a top recruiting class. But while the main members of each class play an important role in a team's success, it's a player here or there that can make a major difference as the years go by. That is why BearcatInsider.com has no problem issuing grades to the players who will walk-on or enter Cincinnati in a non-traditional manner.

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Cory Keebler – Tight End

Lakota East High School

Keebler is no stranger to being wanted by the Bearcats. Having been given a spot as a grayshirt by the previous coaching staff, Keebler saw several D-I programs try and get him away from the Bearcats as the final weeks of recruiting took place. At the time of this article plans have not changed but if anyone slips up Keebler could find a scholarship roster spot as early as this fall.

Built with a long frame, Keebler is a safe prospect for Butch Jones and his staff. Starting his career as a tight end, Keebler could grow into an offensive tackle down the road. At Lakota East, Keebler lined up as a fullback coming out of an I-formation as a blocker and also a receiver. On film he shows good hands using good technique by getting his hands out in front of his body to make the catch. He also showed the ability to get yards after the catch. Keebler is an underrated player coming out of high school with a great upside. BearcatInsider.com is giving Keebler a high grade based on what we've seen and heard from fellow GMC coaches who feel Keebler is one of the biggest "Hidden Gems" in Southwest Ohio the past year.

View Highlights:

BCI GRADE: A

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Corey Mason – Linebacker

Elder High School

I still can't believe Cincinnati got Mason as a walk-on for this class. Having watched Mason the past two seasons had me a believer in his abilities as a solid D-1 prospect. I don't know what may have happen during his recruiting but I really feel some college coaches are going to be upset for not having signed Mason when they had a chance.

Can Mason play at a high level? Yes, if you saw Mason play against East St. Louis High School in week one of the season you got a chance to watch him play against one of the most athletic teams in the Midwest. Mason held his own while also leaving his mark on the final outcome of the game.

Built with a good frame, Mason will enter as a linebacker who could in time grow into a rush end.

View Highlights:

BCI GRADE: A

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John Lloyd – Punter

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

Another huge get for Butch Jones as Lloyd turned down scholarships to stay home and attend UC. Lloyd has a very strong leg and was Ohio's top punter this past season. One concern some have is about his frame. Standing 6-foot-2, 225-pounds, Lloyd is not your thin stick figure of a kicker. Some worry about flexibility as he gets older and kickers and punters always have an adjustment period to the college game. Lloyd is a good pick up and a player who could be on scholarship after one season.

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More Highlights:

BCI GRADE: B+

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Tony Miliano – Kicker

Elder High School

Another player who turned down D-1 offers to walk-on at UC. Miliano has a strong leg and shows good form. Capable of doing both field goals and kickoffs, Miliano found other programs working hard to get him to take their scholarship or walk-on. A year of grooming will serve Miliano well and he'll be counted on to compete for the kicking job in the fall of 2011.

View Highlights:

BCI GRADE: B


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