Part One: One-on-One Robert Prunty

It didn't take long for associate head coach/defensive end coach Robert Prunty to put his mark on the Cincinnati football program by helping the Bearcats secure a solid class in 2013. Spend some time with the Virginia native and you will see why many consider him one of the best recruiting coaches in the country.

Every man must choose the path he'll walk in life. For new Cincinnati defensive end coach Robert Prunty, the journey to major college football was not the path taken by most.

We spoke with Prunty as he was preparing for his first season with the Bearcats about his journey in life and the philosophy he brings to recruiting and the field.

With the Bearcats about to start camp, fans are wondering what changes will be seen especially on defense when the team opens up the season against Purdue.

For new defensive ends coach Robert Prunty, things are looking solid as camp quickly approaches.

"I'm very excited as the guys have been working extremely hard from what I'm hearing," said Prunty. "Coach Joe Walker has done a great job with the young men this summer and I'm ready to get started.

"We've got Silverberry Mouhon and we're expecting big things from him as he's been working hard and is ready to go. He's a guy who can play the run and rush the passer. Brad Harrah is a guy who hasn't played a lot, but he's been in the system for three years and he's really stepped up and we expect a lot out of him.

"Jerrell Jordan came in from Copiah-Lincoln Junior College and had surgery on his foot. So he didn't go through the spring. But from what I'm hearing from Coach Walker, he's going to be a good athlete for us and he's going to play hard at the d-end spot for us.

"Terrell Hartsfield is another guy who comes from the same junior college as Jordan and we expect a lot out of him along with Elijah Shuler who played some last year.

"We also expect a lot out of Josh Posley and Chad West. So the depth is good and we have the freshman coming in like Korey Cunningham. He's going to be a defensive end and not a tight end or tackle along with Mark Wilson and Dwight Jackson."

What does Prunty want from his charges?

"I expect smart but tough guys," he said. "Play hard but play smart, that is what I'm looking for. Aggressive but controlled because at defensive end, you have to be a smart guy and do a lot of thinking."

What has surprised the Virginia native the most since his arrival on campus?

"The people," stressed Prunty. "We all work well together and I love the village because everyone is here together. At some schools I've been at, football has been isolated from all the other sports. But being here and being in the village with everybody being together, you get a chance to socialize and interact with every sport.

"I feel good about that because I get to know other people and get to see them go through what their sport goes through. So I'm more involved and you have better interaction.

"I also love the city of Cincinnati and the people. Plus, Cincinnati is closer to home. I'm from Virginia and being down in Texas, I was so far away. So I'm grateful and thank God for this opportunity as it couldn't have come at a better time than now."

The path to Division One college football taken by Prunty was not the normal path taken by many in his profession.

"I started at Gretna High School in Virgina," said Prunty. "A program that was a very unsuccessful program as they were 0-44 when I started there and hadn't won a game in five years.

"I was there for nine years and then I went to Hargrave Military Academy and was there also for nine years.

"So I had been a head coach for 18 years before going to Texas Tech. So I started from the bottom and worked my way up."

While Prunty loved the thoughts of being closer to home with the move to Cincinnati, the fact he would continue working with head coach Tommy Tuberville was also a major draw.

What makes the Bearcats new head coach one of the top coaches to work for?

"I think the thing about Coach Tuberville is he understands people and lets a coach, coach," said Prunty. "He's also always there why you need to talk about things and very knowledgeable about the game of football and when it comes from dealing with people.

"He brings the whole concept that we're going to build the person first before we build a football player and that is the kind of philosophy I like about him too."

Be sure to stay with Bearcat Insider for Part Two of our one-on-one with Coach Prunty.

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