The University of Cincinnati landed a potential future cornerstone of the line of defense on Saturday when Pickerington Central’s Cecil “CJ” Doggette Jr. announced his commitment to the Bearcats. That recruitment was one that is hard to be sure of, but today believes that Cincinnati has been the place for him all along. CJ Doggette is a 6,2,275 pound defense attorney from Pickerington Central High School in Pickerington, Ohio.
If the Doggette name sounds familiar, it can only be because Doggette’s father, Cecil Doggette, was in West Virginia in the late 80s / early 90s and bounced around in the NFL and other professional leagues for fifteen years. His mother was also a mountaineer and star gymnast. The Doggette family is athletic, and we see more of them here in CJ.
“It’s a blessing to be in this position, man,” said Doggette. “The main thing for me in the whole recruiting process was what they were producing from the defensive line, and the relationship with the coaches was a really big deal for me. I feel like I clicked with Coach Scruggs not just for football, but with really everything in life. Defense line coach Scruggs led the indictment, but Luke Fickell and new defense coordinator Mike Tressel also wanted to bring the versatile defender to Cincinnati.
The defensive coordinator has been in a fluid situation in Cincinnati for the past six to eight weeks. Marcus Freeman left and Mike Tressel entered, but Doggette never had many concerns. Trusting Fickell and his communication with Coach Scruggs makes him feel like nothing has changed. Doggette raved about his future defensive coaches.
“Something I will focus on at the college level is expanding my range of movements. I think I’ve gotten better at adding more moves over the years, but I still want to perfect my craft and I know I can do that with Coach Scruggs. “Doggette continued with Mike Tressel,” I spoke to Coach Tress when he was in Michigan. Now that he was in charge of all defense, we’ve definitely gotten in touch with more. They want to move me, but the end of the five technologies is the main position they want me in. In all honesty, Cincinnati is just a place where I’ll be comfortable. Wherever I am, I have no problems. “
We continued talking about the coaching team and the headmaster Luke Fickell. It may come as a surprise, but most recruits don’t spend a lot of time talking to the head coaches of the programs they’re being recruited into. That wasn’t the case here because Doggette felt a lot of love from the man at the top.
“I talk to Coach Fickell a lot. That is another matter too; it shows how much they wanted me when the head coach spoke to me so often. Knowing that the head coaches are always busy and always in meetings, it was nice to have time to talk to him and everything. Another thing that I think is loyal to the Bearcats and I needed to know which coaches were going to leave and which were not, but I think he will be there for quite a while. “
A lot has been written on this forum about what a CJ Doggette commit would do for Tyler Gillison and vice versa. I get the impression that they’ve never been a package deal, but that they’d love to play together on the next level and that Gillison is very fond of Cincinnati too.
“We’ve always wanted to play together since we played together in the small league and we both thought it would be a fun option to stay together. If he goes, it’s because he thinks Cincinnati is giving him the best opportunity to do his best. “
Doggette received looks from many G5 and P5 teams that included the interest of some blue blood cells. The primary competition for Doggette’s services was Michigan State and Rutgers. A lot was made of West Virginia throughout the process, but I got no indication that they were ever really in the mix. In addition to these three schools and Cincinnati, Doggette received five offers from Kentucky, Pittsburgh, and Washington State.
Doggette will join Derrick Shepard and Segree Graham as commits along the 2022 defensive lineage class and step up as fourth place commit to the already number 18 class.
Stay tuned for the latest news and recruiting information for your Cincinnati football and basketball teams on BCJ.