Butch Jones and the "new" Bearcat football program picked up their first verbal commitment on Sunday when Roney Lozano verbally committed to play his college football at Cincinnati before heading back to his home in Hialeah, Florida.
Lozano could easily be considered an "under the radar" prospect that is until recently.
Florida International offered Lozano as a junior, but his recruitment never seemed to go any further until the last month or so. In recent weeks, Lozano has picked up scholarship offers from BCS programs like Maryland, Michigan State and Cincinnati. He talked about the difficulty in passing up the FIU offer.
"That's one of the pluses for Florida International. They can say 'We've been here since the beginning. You are our #1 but probably their #3 or #5. That's why those schools are coming in so late.'"
The 6' 3"/265 pound defensive tackle with 4.7 forty speed explained why he feels it took so long for BCS schools to take notice.
"My junior year I had a coach that wasn't too happy with the team, and he put on a website for recruits that he didn't have anyone. That's why we didn't have any coaches come by, but when I made my highlight tape, the man that made it for me said my highlight tape was ridiculous and asked how many offers I had. I told him that all I had was Florida International. He said he was going to send out the tape and that would change. It did and the other offers started coming."
The native of Columbia came to the United States eight years ago but has been playing football only since his sophomore year. Being so inexperienced in football suggests he has a tremendous upside.
So what did Cincinnati tell Lozano that convinced him to become a Bearcat?
"They told me they were in need of inside defensive guys and would give me a chance to compete immediately. They didn't promise me anything other than the chance to compete, but that sounded good. And they had my number (jersey #55) open."
The path to Cincinnati may have been fate since Lozano was originally scheduled to visit Michigan State last weekend.
"Coach Staten called me and told me they were overbooked," said Lozano. "I didn't like that at all. I guess they were going to try and get me to go on another date, but they haven't even called me so I guess they weren't that interested."
With a 3.0 GPA and plans to major in international business, Lozano looks to be a good bet to get academically qualified.
When asked which Bearcat football player hosted his visit, Lozano replied. "Big Derek Wolfe."