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November 26, 2012Friday night on ESPN the seniors like Maalik Bomar, Chris Williams, and Dominique Battle celebrated their final college home game.
It also represented the final opportunity in 2012 for UC football to show future recruits their on-field product.
A trio from Springfield High School took in the game. Wide Receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass and linebacker Davonte James left town with verbal scholarship offers.
Wnile James, Snodgrass, and Marlon Nunn attended the Cincinnati-South Florida game Class of 2014 lineman Devin Nye also has some college interest.
James' visit list is long.
"I have been to Michigan State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Indiana," said James. "That is about it."
Beyond those schools he was invited to visit Alabama, Duke, Georgia Tech, and Wisconsin.
The aforementioned schools are clearly at different stages of program development. A team like Alabama has a tradition of winning that dates back decades.
Cincinnati, Louisville, and Notre Dame are proudly winning with regularity now. Duke and Indiana believe they have the right coach in place to lift them from conference cellar-dwellers.
Cincinnati makes a move
Though the recruitment began months ago James' junior film certainly kicked it up a notch.
"They were just talking about how much they love my film," said James. "They offered me too. When I first talked to the coach he was saying how much they loved my film. I knew it was close (to getting an offer)."
The Bearcats have seen enough of James to know he would help them get even better.
"They were saying how much they would love to see me come play," said James. "They want to see me over the winter."
For Springfield High the linebacker plays in a 3-3-5 system. He hopes they change that in the offseason.
Middle linebackers in the UC system include Ey'Shawn McClain, Solomon Tentman, and Errol Clarke.
Teammates with 4-star WR Snodgrass, James has plenty of interest in his skill set too. Cincinnati will not be the last offer to come his way. Still James has a fondness that indicates this is more than merely an act of kindness.
"I feel like the coaching staff is real cool," said James. "The team is really good. They were saying they have a strong business and finance there. That is what I want to major in."
James is yet another Class of 2014 recruit who rated Cincinnati's academic-leanings favorably.
"I want to look and see what school has it a good business, finance major," said James. "Also I want to see where I would be for playing time. How the coaches are, if I like them. The campus and surroundings are important too."
In less than two years Davonte James will be playing college football. He will not the first in his family to make the jump.
"My brother plays at Notre Dame College right now."
As a freshman, Darius James recorded 32 tackles and 7.0 TFL's with Notre Dame College. That kind of immediate impact is hoped for Davonte too. He has an imposing mixture of burst and power, making him an ideal candidate for Bearcat Blackcats.