Back in July, Everett wide receiver and defensive back Jaleel Canty committed to Cincinnati and planned to play his upcoming senior season without any worry of the recruiting grind.
Now, just weeks away from National Signing Day, Canty’s status is uncertain.
Following former coach Butch Jones’ departure to Tennessee, the Bearcats hired Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville on Dec. 8. A week following the hire, an NCAA scheduled “dead period” prohibited coaches from contacting recruits.
Canty had spoken with members of the interim staff at Cincinnati before the no contact period began. Based on those conversations and having been a long-time commitment, he thought his spot in the incoming class was assured.
That tune changed when the dead period ended this week and Canty reached out to Cincinnati.
“I called one of the assistant coaches and then they called back and said they were just finalizing the staff and that coach Tuberville is bringing in new recruits,” Canty said. “He said ‘we don’t want to tell you that we don’t want you, but I want you to go look at other places’, basically saying that he wasn’t sure they were going to have enough numbers for me to go there.”
Canty says he has not yet de-committed from Cincinnati, hopeful that the new staff might eventually find room for him, but he has immediately begun to look at other options.
“I think I had like nine offers when I committed to Cincinnati and I cut off a lot of them due to my commitment. Now for it to be January and February, for it to be almost Signing Day, it kind of puts me in a tough spot because I hadn’t talked to other coaches that had offered me a scholarship,” Canty said.
Canty has been in contact with coaches from Illinois and Minnesota as well as ones from Mid-American Conference schools, but explained that he has fewer options than what he had before he committed to Cincinnati.
The spots will be scant at those schools as well, since most recruiting classes fill long before Signing Day.
“They said that we had to keep in touch and play the waiting game pretty much,” Canty said of his other possible destinations.
Canty has not been able to speak with Tuberville directly, even while Tuberville has held the position for over a month and has been active in recruiting players to possibly fill the spots that Canty and other previously committed players held.
“The thing was, I didn’t receive a call from Cincinnati, I had to call them and I had contact with a couple others players that were committed and they were both given the news before me and that’s how I got the news and had to call them and figure out what was going on,” Canty said. “”It was just kind of disappointing.”
National Signing Day for college football Letters of Intent is Feb. 6.