Area seniors sign national letters of intent

Being recruited to play college athletics can be an emotional ringer. Initially exciting, the process can evolve into anything but.

“As the years pass, it gets stressful,” reflected Tecumseh High School basketball standout Bianca Quisenberry. “I always had to remember that not everyone gets this opportunity. I was definitely happy to make the best decision and be done with it.”

Quisenberry made good on a verbal commitment and signed with the University of Cincinnati on Wednesday. She joined many area seniors who also inked binding national letters of intent with NCAA Division I and II programs. This early signing period lasts one week. Other sports include volleyball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, wrestling and lacrosse.

Another signing day that will stir much interest throughout the country is Feb. 6. That weeklong period will be dominated by seniors who will play football. Unlike this signing period, football recruits often wait until that day to announce or “flip” a previous commitment.

Letters of intent cover one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).

One of the area’s most prolific scorers ever, Quisenberry hasn’t averaged less than 22.5 points in the three previous Arrows’ seasons. Ever the team player, the 5-foot-8 guard chose UC over Butler, Nebraska and Michigan State.

“As it came closer to signing, I realized how close my family and I are,” she said. “I wanted to be able to go up and watch my brothers in high school.”

Graham wrestling standout Bo Jordan, son of head coach Jeff Jordan, chose Ohio State over Penn State. Like his father, Bo will be seeking his fourth individual state championship in March.

That snaps a long streak of Jordans who wrestled at Big Ten rival Wisconsin. Jeff and his brother Jim both excelled for the Badgers as did many nephews.

“Bo kind of went away from tradition,” Jeff said. “I told Bo it was completely his decision. Wisconsin came in third behind the other two.”

Like most recent seasons, more area girls (10) have signed or will sign to play college basketball than area boys (three).

Greater Western Ohio Conference members Springboro and Fairborn will be sending standout girls to Big Ten programs. Springboro senior Jenny DeGraaf is headed to Penn State. Fairborn’s Alexis Gassion is bound for Indiana.

Maverick Morgan, Springboro’s 6-foot-10 senior center, is sticking with Illinois despite an Illini head coaching change. Former Illinois coach Bruce Weber made Morgan a recruiting priority and saw the Panthers play several games last season. However, he was fired when last season ended and replaced by John Groce, who was lured from Ohio University.

The only other two men’s basketball recruits — so far — are Greeneview’s Evan Bradds (Belmont) and Zach Denny of Valley View (Bowling Green). At 29 points, Denny, a deep-threat shooting guard, was among the state’s scoring leaders last season.

No area players signed with the Dayton or Wright State men’s or women’s basketball programs. Miami landed just one, Hamilton’s Jillian Spurlock.

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