Recruiting momentum: Cincinnati lands on lists of two four-star defensive standouts

Cincinnati lands on lists of two four-star defensive standouts

An already hot summer for University of Cincinnati football coach Luke Fickell and his staff could get even hotter.

Over the last week, Fickell's Bearcats have landed on the lists of two four-star recruits in 2023 defensive end Jalen Thompson and 2024 defensive tackle Omar White.

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Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound standout at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, on Saturday announced Cincinnati as one of his top five possible college destinations in a post via Twitter.

In addition to the Bearcats, Thompson named Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Pittsburgh as potential landing spots.

Six days prior, White, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound 2021 Region 1 6A Defensive Lineman of the Year at Lee County High School in Leesburg, Georgia, listed Cincinnati in his top 10.

While Thompson and White both had the Bearcats and Michigan State, White added Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M and HBCU Jackson State, where Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is the head coach.

Thompson, who visited Cincinnati on June 10, is the second-ranked 2023 recruit in the state of Michigan, according to 247Sports, trailing only quarterback Dante Moore (Oregon commit).

A commitment from Thompson would give the Bearcats four four-star commitments in an already loaded 2023 recruiting class that includes four-star recruits Trevor Carter, Daeh McCullough and Amare Snowden.

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Pat Lambert, a former Cincinnati defensive back (2008-12) and the recruiting director for the Bearcats football program, told The Enquirer last month that Cincinnati's goal is to “continue pushing to be a top-10 program.”

A commitment from White would be a huge start to the 2024 class for Lambert, Fickell, and the two-time defending American Athletic Conference champion Bearcats, who are scheduled to leave the AAC and join the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023.


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