June 15, 2011

Latest UC commit reflects on recruitment

It has been four years since UC signed a high school star from Tennessee. T.J. Franklin out of Knoxville.

With his Wednesday night verbal commitment Alex Dale now updates that outdated factoid.

"I just felt like it is a perfect school for me," said Alex Dale. "I have a great relationship with the coaches. After they offered me it was basically the offer I have been waiting for."

Dale did have plans to camp at other schools, but called their coaches and explained his heavy interest in the Bearcats.

"They knew I loved Cincinnati," said Dale. "I called a coach from another school. They told me that if I don't want to wait just go ahead and do it."

Dale could not wait. He saw no reason to. He knew prior to UC camp Monday that it was the offer he coveted.

When it arrived he pounced on it.

"It really wasn't a tough decision," said Dale.

Tennessee strong

This winter TE Coach Mark Elder expanded his recruiting area from central Ohio to Tennessee. It makes sense. Tennessee is not some distant land, incapable of penetration.

The SEC routinely hammers The Volunteer State. In 2010 and 2011, UC bypassed the state in favor of longstanding relationships in Indiana, Florida, and Georgia.

For UC to broaden their brand, enlarge their recruiting areas, Head Coach Butch Jones decided to tackle Tennessee.

Alex Dale is the first concrete sign the embedded recruitment is working. Many Memphians have enjoyed the recruitment from Coach Elder. And Dale believes UC could land another pair.

Guys like Carl Mitchell, Nathan Cole, and Brian Kimbrow are still considering the Bearcats.

Dale thinks he can talk some sense into Sheldon Dawon (Memphis Ridgeway) too.

"There are a lot of skill position players in Memphis," said Dale.

Friendly perspective

Often players are too humble to brag about their accomplishments or skills. Alex is no different. To better understand how tenacious and aggressive Dale is on the field BearcatReport talked with fellow Memphis University High School starter Nicholas Vergos.

"Alex plays like a different person on the field," said Vergos. "When he puts the helmet on nothing else matters."

Vergos has played with Dale since seventh grade and touts the feisty spirit always present.

"He never takes a play off," said Vergos. "He is a great leader. In practice his best drills are one-on-one and change of direction drills."

Final decision
Dale easily could have continued his recruitment through the fall. His senior season promises to be a special one. More offers might have joined the trio of UC, Ole Miss, and WKU.

In the end Dale was "swayed" by Coach Elder.

Alex wanted to go to a college where he could play football and fit in academically. "

He has always been high on Coach Elder," said teammate Vergos. "I always thought he would go Ole Miss or Cincinnati."

Vergos spent the whole day with Dale.

"He was excited," said Vergos. "He was excited to find a fit. He was just ready to make a decision and get the recruiting over with."

For Cincinnati Dale will play cornerback. Monday at camp he worked out with his future position coach, Kerry Coombs. A relationship is already growing there.

"I just clicked with Coach Coombs, Coach Banks, Coach Jancek," said Dale. "I have a great relationship with them."

Dale becomes the tenth member of the class. UC is going to have another huge class filled with talented players from across the nation.

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