The ultra-competitive game of area college football recruiting continued last week as some high school seniors began to approach the New Year with a bit less certainty than they did at the time of their oral commitment.
With national signing day almost a month away, some recruits affected by the latest coaching carousel are considering various options as national signing day approaches Feb. 3.
Cincinnati Wyoming senior defensive lineman Jibreel Black, who has orally committed to the University of Cincinnati, is one player considering other schools.
Black, like most other Cincinnati commits, is still solid with the Bearcats, but wants to consider his options before signing day. He plans to take official visits to Cincinnati, Michigan State, Louisville and Indiana in January. On Wednesday, Cincinnati hired Central Michigan coach Butch Jones to replace Brian Kelly, who left the second week of December to become Notre Dame’s new coach.
Black, who is 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, was Division III first-team all-state this past season. He had 9½ sacks and 61 tackles for Wyoming, which was a Division III state runner-up.
Black orally committed to Indiana this summer, before he switched his commitment to the Bearcats in late October.
The Cincinatti Enquirer reported Black is expected to visit all four schools in January, with the Cincinnati visit on Jan. 8 and Michigan State on Jan. 15.
Winton Woods senior quarterback Dominique Brown is another Cincinnati commit exploring his options. He could take two of three college visits after the New Year. Brown helped lead Winton Woods to the Division II state title this fall.
2. Reed commits to Ohio State: Columbus Marion-Franklin quarterback Verlon Reed orally committed to Ohio State on Dec. 16, according to the Columbus Dispatch. He took an official visit to Ohio State in early December and was impressed, according to the Dispatch. "It’s everything I expected, it’s a home inside a home," he told the publication. "It’s a dream come true, something I wanted to do my whole life." Reed rushed for 1,395 yards and 19 touchdowns and threw for 1,548 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
3. James wants to visit Gainesville: Cincinnati St. Xavier senior offensive lineman Matt James plans to take an official visit to Florida on Jan. 16, according to the Enquirer. James is also considering upcoming official visits to Cincinnati and Notre Dame. James, who is 6-7 and 290 pounds, is considering schools that include Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Florida and Ohio State on his final list.
4. Princeton to play Oak Hill Academy: The Cincinnati Princeton boys basketball team is scheduled to play Oak Hill Academy (Va.) at the Ironton Classic Invitational on Tuesday night. It is the first time the Vikings (2-0) will play Oak Hill. The game is scheduled at 9 p.m. at the Conley Center in Ironton, Ohio. Oak Hill is rated No. 3 nationally by MaxPreps.
5. Lakota East narrows search: Liberty Township Lakota East named the three finalists for its head football coaching position last week. Wilmington College head coach Barry Wulf, Thomas More College assistant Rick Haynes and Lakota West defensive coordinator Carlton Gray are among the finalists. Lakota East hopes to name a new coach after Jan. 1.
Among the outstanding efforts this week
Ally Malott, Middletown Madison: The junior center had 28 points to lead Madison past Bishop Fenwick 64-44 on Monday night. Malott is a major Division I college prospect and has several scholarship offers.
Michael Brown, Dayton Stebbins: The junior bowled his first career 299 game on Monday as Stebbins defeated Greenon 3,249 to 2,494, according to the Dayton Daily News. Brown had a 514 series.
Eric Martin, Turpin: The junior guard had 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as Turpin defeated Loveland 75-73 in double overtime.
Woodward at Moeller boys basketball, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday: Two of Cincinnati’s top teams play in northern Cincinnati. Moeller is led by senior forward Griffin McKenzie, a Xavier commit. He averaged 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds through the first three games. Woodward is ranked No. 17 in the MaxPreps Ohio rankings. Moeller is ranked No. 2 in the Enquirer coaches’ poll.
Aiken at La Salle boys basketball, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday: Another top nonleague game with several college prospects on both teams. La Salle is rated No. 4 in the state by MaxPreps. The Lancers started the season with a 3-0 record. Junior forward Brandon Neel averaged 14.7 points through the first three games. Aiken, which started the season with a 1-1 record, is led by junior guard Aaron Thomas, who averages 19.5 points.
Cincinnati St. Xavier junior linebacker Steven Daniels (6-1, 240) has been offered by the University of Louisville. He also has offers that include Indiana and West Virginia. … Middletown senior defensive end Rashad Frazier (6-6, 225) picked up an offer from Michigan State. He also has offers from Purdue, West Virginia, Kent State and others. … Indian Hill senior quarterback Sam Hendricks was offered by Eastern Illinois last week.
Mariemont senior soccer standout Kelsey Hogan was recently named to the National Soccer Coaches of America girls All-American team. She had 26 goals and 10 assists this past season. … .Former Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace will be the guest speaker at the Cincinnati La Salle sports stag on Jan. 20. …Cincinnati Northwest hopes to name a new football coach by mid-January. Jeff Neal resigned in early December after coaching four seasons at the school.