- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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2011 signees: 24
Top prospects: Jameel Poteat is a running back with speed and strength whom the Bearcats pried away from Pittsburgh. Daniel Murray is ranked as one of the nation's top centers, and Cincinnati went all the way to California to get him. Nicholas Temple is a highly productive defensive back with good instincts.
Needs met: After a 4-8 season, second-year coach Butch Jones needed to add depth and talent and appears to have done so. He brought in junior college players at safety and wide receiver for some immediate help. Poteat could step in for Isaiah Pead, who will be a senior this year. Jones also brought in some much-needed toughness in the trenches.
Analysis: Several experts rate this as Cincinnati's best recruiting class ever, which is impressive considering Jones didn't have a lot of on-field success to sell. The Bearcats didn't just stick to their comfort zone in Ohio, either; they reached into Georgia, Florida, California and elsewhere and managed to lure some good prospects. This recruiting effort could help Jones get the program back on its feet quickly.
What Jones said: "The exciting aspect regarding this class is that many competed for championships throughout their high school careers and understand the expectations that surround the Cincinnati football program."
ESPN recruiting grade: C