CINCINNATI -- National Signing Day isn’t until Feb. 1, 2017, but college football recruiting never has an offseason.
As we enter Week 3 of the high school football season, the Cincinnati area will continue to see plenty of highlights and top-notch games.
While the first week of the college football season is complete, coaches will soon kick recruiting into another gear in evaluations for the 2017 class. Several college programs will take a look at the first three games of a senior season.
Most uncommitted players are in the process of taking visits or waiting for another opportunity before making a decision.
The area’s most recent commitment came Monday when Simon Kenton senior quarterback Cameron Racke made a pledge to Wofford College just a few days after he was offered.
Let’s take a look at nine uncommitted players from the 2017 class that you should know:
1. Reed Aichholz, Indian Hill: The 6-5, 220-pound left-handed quarterback has thrown for 486 yards and five touchdowns the first two weeks. “He is just now beginning to feel the groove,” Indian Hill coach Tony Arcuri said. “I think he feels it all gelling now and will have a breakout game.” Aichholz threw for 2,568 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 1,105 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2015. Dartmouth will be at Friday’s game against Roger Bacon (at St. Xavier) to watch Aichholz and his brother, Indian Hill senior wide receiver Dawson Aichholz. Reed has active offers from Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana State, Davidson, Dartmouth, Brown and Richmond.
2. Kyle Bolden, Colerain: The standout linebacker and reigning TriStateFootball.com Defensive Player of the Year has offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa State, Marshall and others. His father, Colerain coach Tom Bolden, is virtually an expert on college recruiting, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
3. Ra’Von Bonner, Sycamore: The running back has rushed for 265 yards and six touchdowns the first two weeks in games against La Salle and Covington Catholic. Bonner rushed for 1,429 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2015. He has offers that include UC, Illinois and Mid-American Conference programs.
4. Kesean Gamble, CHCA: The running back has rushed for 408 yards and seven touchdowns for the Eagles (2-0). New CHCA coach Mark Mueller says Gamble has played like a standout the early portion of the season. Gamble has offers from Miami University, Toledo, Tennessee-Martin, Kent State, Eastern Michigan and Buffalo. He is expected to visit UC Sept. 15.
5. Keontae Jones, Colerain: The standout defensive back has offers that include Indiana, Iowa State and Louisville. His brother, former Colerain standout quarterback Deshaunte Jones, made his collegiate debut Saturday for Iowa State. Keontae had 77 tackles in 2015.
6. Tyler Knecht, Kings: The quarterback holds 12 school records including career passing yards (4,775) and career completion percentage (59 percent). He has thrown for 547 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns the first two weeks. UC, Central Michigan, Marshall, Toledo and Bowling Green have shown interest, but Knecht doesn’t have an official offer yet.
7. Samari Saddler, Moeller: The 6-2, 305-pound offensive lineman has several offers including Akron, Marshall, Buffalo, Kent State and Miami University.
8. Howard Watkins Jr., Colerain: The 6-4, 277-pound offensive lineman also plays nose guard for the Cardinals. He has offers that include UC, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville and Miami University.
9. Jarell White, La Salle: The standout running back has rushed for 227 yards and five touchdowns this season. He also had 75 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception in 2015. White has offers from UC, Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, Pitt Kentucky, Miami University, Iowa State and several others. He is planning to take visits to Purdue, Indiana, Louisville and Illinois this fall.
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