High school football: Miamisburg’s A.J. Salley commits to Cincinnati

A.J. Salley is not going far to continue his football career.

The Miamisburg offensive lineman announced Wednesday he has verbally committed to the University of Cincinnati, becoming the first Bearcats commit for the class of 2023.

The 6-5, 232-pound Salley is the No. 7 prospect in Ohio in 247Sports rankings and the No. 2 player in the Dayton/Springfield/Middleton/Hamilton area in the class.

He trails Wayne offensive lineman Josh Padilla (No. 5 in the state) and is one spot ahead of Springfield receiver Anthony Brown (No. 8).

Locals also appearing in the early 2023 rankings are  Hamilton linebacker Breeon Ishmail, Miamisburg running back Christian Davis and Wayne offensive lineman Evan Tengesdahl.

Others in the area junior class getting attention from NCAA FBS schools include Springfield receiver Shawn Thigpen, Hamilton linebacker Gabe Verdon, Fairfield defensive back Josiah Jackson and Arcanum quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer.

Salley, who was among players to camp at Ohio State over the summer, reportedly also has offers from Iowa State, Kentucky, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Toledo and UC rival Miami University.

“When I look at what I want and what I look for in a school, Cincinnati put it over the top,” he told 247Sports. “They have the coaching staff and the proximity to home.

“Sure, I like a school like Oregon. They’re a very, very amazing program. I wish the best for them, but it’s 18 hours away. It’s just unrealistic for me to go somewhere that far where I really don’t know anybody, but when I stay somewhere in Cincinnati, I have friends in Cincinnati, I’m in Cincinnati all the time. I stay there and I love the city.”

Cincinnati has heavily recruited the area since Luke Fickell took over as head coach of the Bearcats.

Cody Lamb, a senior offensive lineman from Miamisburg, is among 12 players on the current UC roster.

Joining him are receiver Blue Smith (Wayne), cornerbacks Justin Harris (Wayne) and Sammy Anderson (Trotwood-Madison), tight ends Leonard Taylor (Springfield) and Jack Campbell (Bellbrook), linebackers Cam Junior (Middletown) and Daved Jones Jr. (Lakota West), kicker Cole Smith (Middletown), running back Ryan Montgomery (Franklin), defensive lineman Malik Vann (Fairfield) and offensive lineman Gavin Gerhardt (Xenia).

Cincinnati’s 2022 class includes 18 players, is ranked No. 32 in the nation and is headlined by Alter lineman Derrick Shepard.

About the Author