You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myDaytonDailyNews.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myDaytonDailyNews.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myDaytonDailyNews.com.

breaking news

Franklin’s Luke Kennard drafted by Detroit Pistons in first round

Fairfield’s Vann on committing to UC: ‘It just felt right’


Malik Vann’s lengthy recruiting road has stopped in Clifton.

The Fairfield High School junior defensive end is excited and relieved after verbally committing to the University of Cincinnati football program and new head coach Luke Fickell.

“It’s a huge weight off my back,” Vann said Wednesday afternoon after taking the ACT. “It was a hard decision, but at the end of the day, I could only pick one school, and I felt like UC would be the best fit for me. It just felt right.”

Vann announced his decision Tuesday, but the blue-chip recruit said he told Fickell just before the Bearcats’ spring game last Friday.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Vann said UC and Michigan State were his top two schools in a group of finalists that included Alabama, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

»RELATED: Top programs vying for area players

“I’ve been all over, so distance was never really an issue,” said Vann, who plans to major in criminal justice at UC and would like to work for the FBI someday.

“It was just a chance to play for my home city and rebuild something vs. going somewhere that’s already established. It’s a chance to give my city something back that’s been lost the past few years and do it with the people who already live here.”

Fairfield coach Jason Krause feels strongly that Vann made a wise decision.

“He had some really big offers, and I think kids can get carried away with some things,” Krause said. “I think Malik looked at the entire picture, which is what you want kids to do. Your feeling. Your fit. The relationship that you’ve built with the coaches recruiting you. Your comfortability. The opportunities for you to play. The major he wanted.

“It’s tough for kids to go through this process, especially when you’ve got so many offers. I commend his mother. They made a lot of visits over the last few months, being in the car, catching a plane. She did a really good job of offering him those opportunities to make this decision in the right manner.”

Cincinnati is coming off a 4-8 season under Tommy Tuberville, who resigned in early December after four years at the helm. Fickell was named head coach Dec. 10.

Vann got his first scholarship offer from UC as a freshman, but he wasn’t seriously considering Cincinnati before Fickell arrived.

“I just loved Fickell,” Vann said. “I love the attitude and intensity and energy he brings to UC. I’ll definitely get behind a leader like that.”

Fickell has brought immediate optimism to the Bearcat program and is attracting high-level recruits.

Vann said his feeling about UC was bolstered by the recent commitments of guys like Blake Bacevich of St. Xavier, Josh Whyle of La Salle and Ty Van Fossen of Columbus DeSales. He’s also become close with La Salle’s Jarell White, who signed in February.

Krause is happy to see Cincinnati targeting local players.

“With me being a guy that’s from this area and being here during those times when Butch Jones and Brian Kelly and those guys were recruiting our area pretty heavily, it wasn’t really working that way the last few years,” Krause said. “One of the things Coach Fickell has brought is his intent to recruit within a hundred-mile radius very heavily, especially schools in the suburbs of Cincinnati.”

Vann has played football since the age of 5. He’s been in the Fairfield school system since the seventh grade, having spent time in the Northwest and North College Hill districts.

He is planning to graduate from Fairfield in December and start classes at UC in January. Vann said redshirting will be up to the coaches, but added, “It’s not in my plan.”

“I’m happy to get this out of my way and focus on my senior season,” Vann said. “The recruiting process was fun in the beginning, but toward the end of it, it was a headache. I just got to a point where I was like, ‘All right. I’ve seen it all. I’ve talked to everybody. Let’s just make a decision.’ ”

Krause said the following schools also made offers to Vann: Duke, Florida State, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota, Notre Dame, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Toledo and West Virginia.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Franklin’s Luke Kennard drafted by Detroit Pistons in first round
Franklin’s Luke Kennard drafted by Detroit Pistons in first round

Franklin High School graduate Luke Kennard was taken No. 12 by the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday night. Kennard, a 2015 Franklin grad who played the last two collegiate seasons at Duke, was among 20 players invited to attend the draft, which was televised live by ESPN and held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He is...
Former UD golfer rallies for Ohio Mid-Am win
Former UD golfer rallies for Ohio Mid-Am win

People often have difficulty deciding how to pronounce Matt Buse’s name. It happened again Thursday afternoon at the Miami Valley Golf Club after the 26-year-old former University of Dayton golfer won the Ohio Mid-Amateur Championship. “It’s bus with an E,” Buse explained. The slender Cincinnati native bears no resemblance to...
Back home, Dynamo goalkeeper Ryan Hulings thriving
Back home, Dynamo goalkeeper Ryan Hulings thriving

Ryan Hulings is a glass-half-full kind of guy. After breaking his left ulna while playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Hulings opted for surgery. One plate, seven screws and close to two months later, the goalkeeper was ready to return to the field. It wasn’t long, however, before his contract expired and Hulings was a man without a team. &ldquo...
Jim Morris’ fishing report

Caesar Creek Lake: Crappies are being caught around 15 feet deep around structure. Work the mouths of coves around sunken trees with minnows. Bluegills are biting on waxworms fished around stickups. The best saugeye fishing has been on the flats, jigging with nightcrawlers or bass minnows. Catfish are in the channels, hitting cut shad, chicken liver...
Local wrestler B.J. Whitmer to make TV commentary debut on ROH PPV on Friday
Local wrestler B.J. Whitmer to make TV commentary debut on ROH PPV on Friday

Long before he was scheduled to make his commentary debut before a worldwide audience on pay-per-view this Friday, B.J. Whitmer was a Dayton-area pro wrestler, who spent most days working for Cincinnati-based WWE territory Heartland Wrestling Association, training under noted instructor Les Thatcher, and doing frequent shows at the Montgomery County...
More Stories