July 16, 2009

Givens Closing in on Decision?

With fifteen recruits already verbally committed from an expected eighteen available openings, the Cincinnati Bearcats would seem to be coming down the home stretch in their 2010 football recruiting. Could Andre Givens (RB) from Hubbard, Ohio be one of the final targets in completing this class?

There is no question that UC would like to add some receivers in 2010, and a spot will presumably be held open for Matt James (OT) from St. Xavier. But there was no running back in Cincinnati's 2009 class, and Givens is obviously very highly regarded by the Bearcats as shown by his early offer. Of course, there is always the chance other roster spots could become available through attrition and the like, and it would be difficult to envision a scenario where Cincinnati would pass on such an impressive talent.

Bearcat Lair spoke to the 5' 10"/185 pound all-purpose back on Tuesday evening about his future plans, and the Big East Conference seems to be an attractive destination.

Despite having seventeen scholarship offers, Givens confirmed that Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse are all very high on his list, and a decision may not be too far in the future.

"It (a decision) will be pretty soon. I know that," said Givens. "I know a lot of people are making their decisions, and I want to make mine before the season. I'm going to visit a few colleges this week and next so I'd say I'll probably decide in a couple weeks."

West Virginia received a verbal commitment from Braylon Heard last week so if the Big East could also land Givens, the conference would have arguably the best two senior-to-be running backs in Ohio.

Although Givens said he intended to unofficially visit several schools in the next couple weeks, only Pitt is currently penciled in on Andre's calendar. "I am going to Pitt on Friday."

He said the Panthers might be considered his leader at this point in time, but when asked what he liked about Pittsburgh, Givens replied. "Just the style of their offense and their coaching staff. Since I haven't been there yet, I really can't say too much about them. But after I do (visit), I'm sure I'll like it."

Pittsburgh might have another advantage since it is easily the closest of the Big East schools. Givens said the Steel City is only about an hour's drive from Hubbard while Cincinnati is more in the four hour range.

The Rivals' three star back later indicated his recruitment is still open to the other contenders. "The Big East is still in there. Cincinnati could be there as well as Syracuse and Louisville or even a couple of Big Ten schools."

Givens' high school teammate and good friend, Kurtis Drummond, is also being recruited by Cincinnati and could play safety or wide receiver in college. Drummond also has offers from Louisville and Pittsburgh among others.

Because Givens hasn't unofficially visited Cincinnati, he wasn't too familiar with the Bearcats but was pleasantly surprised to hear that UC runs the spread offense. "They (UC) told me if I come there, I have a pretty good chance of playing. I didn't know they run the spread offense, but that is good because we do it now at Hubbard. That's a plus."

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