Feb. 1, 2006
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CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Winners may be the best description of the 18 players who signed national letters of intent to continue their academic and football careers at the University of Cincinnati.
"We have players who have been part of state championship programs. We have others who have helped their teams to regional finals. We have first team all-state players," stated UC head coach Mark Dantonio.
"The most impressive thing about this class is that these young men are quality people. They're going to have a great experience here because they will come together and be great friends for the rest of their lives--they are that type of people."
The Bearcats met their needs with this year's recruiting class, according to Dantonio. Cincinnati got the commitments of eight offensive or defensive linemen, five "big skill" players--running back or linebacker types of performers, and five "small skill" players--wide receiver and defensive back candidates.
To bolster the defensive line, UC secured Chris Harrison, a first team All-Ohio selection from Youngstown (Ohio) Liberty High; Ricardo Mathews, a highly-recruited lineman from Terry Parker High in Jacksonville, Fla.; Ralston Reeves, a second team All-Michigan performer from Murray-Wright High in Detroit; and Oren Wilson, an All-Northern New Jersey gridder from Teaneck.
C.J. Cobb, an all-league and academic all-conference tackle from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood High; and Toby Boeckman, from St. Henry, Ohio join junior college transfers Mario Duenas and Ken Rodriguez in rebuilding the offensive line.
Four defensive backs were signed: Jason Whitehead, an all-area pick from Jacksonville, Fla.; Aaron Webster from Birmingham Groves High in suburban Detroit; Brandon Miller from Cincinnati (Ohio) Withrow High and Quebec native Peter Carriere. Marcus Barnett, an all-state performer at Frederick Douglass High in suburban Washington, D.C., will join the UC receivers.
Bolstering the linebackers are first team All-Pennsylvania pick Robby Armstrong from the Greater Pittsburgh area, and Freddie Lenix, a Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville High football and track standout who signed with Ohio State last year but did not enroll at OSU.
John Goebel, who earned first team all-state recognition at Brother Rice High in the Detroit area; Jacob Ramsey, a second team all-state pick at Columbus (Ohio) Independence High; and Ben Guidugli, who earned first team all-state honors at Highlands High in Northern Kentucky, will join the competition at running back.
"It's an extremely great class for us," added Dantonio. "This year's class builds on our previous two and has established a foundation for us to build championships."