NCF Nation: Robert Prunty

Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville announced the hiring of six assistant coaches and the strength and conditioning staff Friday.

The new staff:
  • Darin Hinshaw, passing game coordinator/quarterbacks
  • Blake Rolan, wide receivers
  • Art Kaufman, defensive coordinator
  • John Lovett, defensive backs
  • Robert Prunty, associate head coach/defensive ends
  • Fred Tate, defensive line
  • Joe Walker, director of football strength and conditioning
  • Orlando Smith, assistant director of football strength and conditioning

The new hires join Eddie Gran, who was named the team’s offensive coordinator in late December.

"I'm pleased with the staff we have assembled so far," Tuberville said in a statement. "We have a group of excellent coaches with a wide variety of experience as well as strong recruiting ties and knowledge of Cincinnati and the tri-state area. I'm excited to get started, finish off recruiting and prepare for spring football."

Hinshaw and Rolan spent the past three seasons at Tennessee. Hinshaw worked with the Vols’ quarterbacks in 2010-11 before moving over to the wide receivers and serving as the recruiting coordinator in 2012. Rolan served as an offensive intern during that time, working closely with the offensive staff and wide receivers.

The four defensive coaches all join Cincinnati from Texas Tech. Kaufman has 11 years experience as a coordinator at the FBS level. The 2012 Broyles Award nominee was a former defensive coordinator at North Carolina and Mississippi, where he first worked with Tuberville. Kaufman has also has coached at Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, Arkansas Tech and Louisiana Tech.

Lovett returns to Cincinnati for his second stint with the Bearcats, having served as defensive coordinator from 1989-92. His career includes stints as defensive coordinator at Miami, Bowling Green, Clemson, Auburn, Maine and Cincinnati. Lovett and Tuberville first coached together at Ole Miss and then again at Auburn from 1999-2001 and at Texas Tech in 2012.

Prunty helped Texas Tech put together its top-two rated recruiting classes in school history in 2011 and 2012. He was the head coach at Hargrave Military Academy from 2002-10, coaching 27 players who would later play in the NFL.

Tate has had coaching stints at Marshall, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Southern Miss, East Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Texas State. After graduating high school, he spent five years in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer. Following his service, Tate was a junior college All-American at East Central CC before finishing his career at Southern Miss.

Both Walker and Smith join Cincinnati from Texas Tech. Walker also spent time with the strength programs at Auburn, TCU, Kansas State and Pittsburgh. Smith was a two-time All-Conference USA running back in the late 1990s at Cincinnati. Before joining the Red Raiders, Smith worked previously at South Carolina, Kansas and Minnesota.

Recruiting season got started in earnest on Tuesday with the release of the ESPN 150, so it's time to offer our first real check-in on where the Big 12 recruiting classes sit with a little less than 10 months before players can officially sign.

Remember, this card is in pencil. Players are free to switch commitments until they sign a letter of intent with a school.

1. Texas Longhorns

Total commits: 13
ESPNU 150 commits: 7
Key commits: QB Tyrone Swoopes, WR Ricky Seals-Jones, C Darius James, OT Jake Raulerson
Class notes: Texas' top three commits are all the best at their positions, and 10 of the class' 13 commitments are four stars or higher. That's nothing new in Austin, but Swoopes looks like the quarterback of the future in Austin, though he hails from a smaller school in Whitewright, Texas. Seals-Jones is a physical presence at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 3
Key commits: RB Greg Bryant, RB Keith Ford, DE D.J. Ward
Class notes: Oklahoma's class is still pretty small for now, but the Sooners are getting some much needed help at running back, where numbers are suddenly thin following a rash of transfers after the season. Ward joins fellow DE Matt Dimon in the class, too.

3. Baylor Bears

Total commits: 6
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: QB Chris Johnson, RB Johnny Jefferson, WR Quan Jones
Class notes: No surprise here: Baylor's new class is loaded with skill position talent. Johnson is the nation's No. 2 dual-threat passer and Jefferson is the nation's No. 36 running back. It seems like almost every year, Baylor reels in a huge prospect. For now, 2013 is no different, and coach Art Briles looks like he can continue his QB lineage. Johnson is a four-star, and Jefferson and Jones are three-star recruits.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Total commits: 5
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Devin Lauderdale, WR Dylan Cantrell, CB Will Barrow
Class notes: Texas Tech has landed top-25 recruiting classes in each of Tommy Tuberville's first full seasons in Lubbock, and the Red Raiders are off to another nice start in 2013. Super recruiter Robert Prunty's developed a penchant for reeling in ESPN 150 talent, so keep an eye on the newest major player on the recruiting scene. Lauderdale is a four-star recruit.

5. Kansas State Wildcats

Total commits: 3
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ILB Tanner Wood, DE Jordan Willis, WR LeAndrew Gordon
Class notes: Two of Kansas State's three commits are three-star recruits. The Wildcats won 10 games in 2011, but another solid year in 2012 could help spur recruiting efforts even further.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Total commits: 1
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Fred Ross Jr.
Class notes: Ross is a four-star and the nation's No. 21 receiver, but OSU could climb this list quickly, riding the success from its first Big 12 title in 2011. It's a slower start than you'd envision for OSU, but we'll see if the Cowboys can win some battles with Texas Tech, TCU and others.

7. TCU Horned Frogs

Total commits: 2
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: OLB Sammy Douglas, OG Patrick Morris
Class notes: Douglas is a three-star recruit and the nation's No. 36 outside linebacker. That's a big position of need for TCU, but the Big 12 entrance and recent campus drug sting that resulted in four players being arrested will be battling for positive and negative pushes on the recruiting trail. We'll see which one wins out in 2012.

8. Kansas Jayhawks

Total commits: 3
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Montell Cozart, TE Ben Johnson, LB Kellen Ash
Class notes: Kansas doesn't have a nationally ranked recruit, but Weis sounds like he's high on Cozart, a highly recruited QB from the Kansas City area who had offers from West Virginia and Minnesota.

9. West Virginia Mountaineers

Total commits: 0
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: None
Class notes: WVU is one of two teams without a commit yet in the 2013 class. We'll see if that picks up if WVU can validate its membership in the Big 12 with a strong debut season.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

Total commits: 0
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: None
Class notes: Iowa State has started slow, too. Another bowl appearance would help, but it has to be a bit frustrating for the Cyclones to be behind the eight-ball for now. That's especially true considering what Kansas has done thus far.

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