Phoebus' Mark Wilson switches gears, commits to Cincinnati

After an impressive senior season that brought more recruiting attention, Phoebus defensive end Mark Wilson took back his commitment to Old Dominion and now plans to attend Cincinnati.

Wilson (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) had committed to the Monarchs in July following Coach Bobby Wilder’s camp. Wilson's earlier offers included Northern Illinois, Illinois and Maryland.

“A lot of big-time schools started contacting me, and I didn’t want to just shut them out,” Wilson said. “I wanted to look at the schools. I took official (visits) to N.C. State and Cincinnati, and it came down to Cincinnati.

“Old Dominion understood. They didn’t pressure me by making me feel bad or down-grading me. It was all taken well.”

Wilson said Cincinnati offered around mid-September. He gave his commitment to Bearcats assistant Robert Prunty, the former head coach at Hargrave Military Academy, who paid an in-home visit to Wilson on Wednesday.

Wilson finished his senior season with 22 sacks and 10 forced fumbles and was named first-team All-Peninsula District.

Cincinnati, a member of the Big East, is coming off a 10-3 season which ended with a win over Duke in the Belk Bowl. It was the Bearcats’ fifth 10-win season in six seasons.

Wilson said he has been told he will be given a chance to play as a true freshman.

“They recruited me as a weak-side defensive end — they call it the Leo position,” he said. “They’re telling me I probably won’t redshirt because the guy starting left for the draft and the guy behind him is having surgery.”

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