CINCINNATI — The Bearcats added another highly rated prep quarterback on Wednesday, getting Ross Trail from Arkansas to commit as Gunner Kiel's backup for now.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback from Wynne, Arkansas, was the highest ranked in Cincinnati's 28-player recruit class. The Bearcats went 9-4 last season behind Kiel, a sophomore who threw for 3,254 yards in his first season and tied the school record with 31 touchdown passes.
The Bearcats recruited Trail as a junior and he stuck with them. He'll have a chance to win time as Kiel's backup next season.
"He's a better athlete probably than the other quarterbacks we have in terms of running," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "Throwing the football, that's kind of his forte. He's a big kid. He's perfect for us. We like a pocket passer."
Cincinnati shared the American Athletic Conference title with Memphis and Central Florida. The Bearcats lost to Virginia Tech 33-17 in the Military Bowl.
Tuberville also restocked the senior-heavy position of receiver, signing four of them. He said Cincinnati's style of throwing the ball deep helped get recruits.
"We're one of the few teams that does throw the ball deep down the field (often)," Tuberville said. "A lot of other teams across the country, they run this chuck-and-duck stuff, throw it 3 yards and hope they break a tackle.
"We do some of that, but we like to throw deep. That not only helps us with quarterbacks like Ross Trail but it helps us with receivers. They see pro routes, they see deep routes, post routes, all those things where they can learn to be route runners."
The Bearcats signed 10 linemen — five each on offense and defense.
Top 25 Class: No
Best in class: Trail.
Best of the rest: Kahlil Lewis, WR, Hollywood, Florida.
Late addition: Lewis.
One that got away: Kirk Livingstone, DE, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (South Florida)
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