For years, college football recruiters have flocked from around the country to pull talent from the entire southwestern Ohio region. Recently, though, a school with a hometown advantage has been able to beat out big name programs to make their mark on the class of 2012 from the Cincinnati area.
You can get to Miami's campus in an hour from just about anywhere in Cincinnati, but that proximity has not always meant that the RedHawks could land the area's best recruits. When Don Treadwell's new staff was assembled this past winter, they immediately placed an emphasis on recruiting in Ohio, but specifically the local talent in their backyard. With seven southwestern Ohio players already committed from the 2012 class, it appears that Coach Treadwell and his staff's game plan has been very successful.
When St. Xavier H.S. linebacker commit Nate Gerbus spoke with RedHawk Insider in June, he said that Miami football was "on the rise in Cincinnati." Just a few days later his teammate Bryson Albright, a standout defensive end, committed to join the RedHawks and the wave of success has continued through the summer.
A major defining moment for the new staff and their recruiting prowess came the same week when Josh Dooley, a high energy linebacker from Mason High School (OH), chose Miami over Air Force, a Big Ten offer from Indiana, and a slew of MAC offers. Fortunately for RedHawk fans, the BCS level competition was not to be short-lived as Treadwell picked up a commitment from Kings H.S. running back Jamire Westbrook on June 27th. The Cincinnati area standout has racked up 5,000 all-purpose yards in his first three seasons and selected the Red and White over area rival Cincinnati, many MAC schools and also Kansas, from the Big 12.
Miami's previous coach, Mike Haywood, had built his career in the south and primarily focused his recruiting efforts there. With a ten win campaign last season, Haywood's attack was obviously successful, but many fans and pundits had openly wondered about the lack of Ohio players on the roster. In 2012 that will quickly change as the new staff continues Haywood's pipeline in the south, but also establishes a local presence. A lot of the early success is due to the new staff's established history across Ohio.
Nick Siatris, an Ohio State grad, is serving as the defensive line coach, but is using his experience as an assistant with the University of Cincinnati to make strides in re-establishing Miami in southwest Ohio. He is joined by Miami grad and defensive ends coach, Matt Edwards, who spent the last eight seasons coaching and recruiting with conference foe, Kent State.
They are led by recruiting coordinator Zak Willis, whose southern roots have helped attract three stellar commitments from the Carolinas in DT David Deleon, WR Rokeem Williams, and WR Sam Shisso.
The local success is what has most RedHawk fans excited and rival teams worried, though. Miami continued their Cincinnati hot streak through July as they picked up a much needed offensive line verbal commitment from 6'5 280lb. Nick Custer, a pass protector for Greater Catholic League powerhouse Elder High School. The following week, Miami's defensive secondary got a boost when Jay Mastin, a hybrid safety from Centerville H.S. selected the RedHawks over Air Force and a host of MAC rivals.
Most recently, Miami's staff cemented themselves as a major factor in area recruiting when they once again beat out the rival Cincinnati Bearcats for QB/ATH Austin Gearing, a 6'5 playmaker from Fenwick High School.
Boasting seven local players already verbally committed, the Treadwell staff shows no sign of slowing down and have extended offers to area offensive linemen Terry Davis of Wyoming H.S. (OH) and Adam Pankey of Hamilton H.S. (OH). Each is ranked as a three star OG/OT and has listed Miami as one of their top choices. With the RedHawks recent explosion onto the Cincinnati prep football scene, don't be surprised if you see one or both of them wearing the Red and White in 2012.
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