More from First Belk Bowl Practice

Saturday opened up preparation for the Belk Bowl and has more from the day right here.

Saturday found Cincinnati under the bubble getting ready for their trip south to battle North Carolina in the Belk Bowl.

Besides putting the pads on and getting a little work in, the Bearcats had a lot of other things going on inside and outside of the practice bubble.


The Bearcats had several guys miss practice Saturday as they took part in graduation ceremonies inside Fifth Third Arena. Tommy Tuberville was a proud coach as he gave the names of those who earned their degrees. "We had nine guys graduate," said Tuberville following practice. "We had graduation today and the most important part about college is graduation. We had Andre Cureton, Deven Drane, Blake Annen, Greg Blair, Brad Harrah, Cory Keebeler, Dan Sprague, Jordan Stepp and Adrian Witty. And Chris Williams is a former football player who graduated this term. So overall that is ten and that is a good semester of work and our graduation rate keeps going up and up. It's a lot of hard work and dedication so proud for those guys.

Recruits on Campus

Saturday also saw a few guys on campus taking in practice including Copiah-Lincoln junior college receiver Casey Gladney.

While it looked like the Bearcats were trying to put a push on a few other prospects on visits to help finish out the 2014 recruiting class, a visitor for the 2015 class may have been the most important as Loveland (Ohio) offensive lineman Ian Leever was seen in the bubble just a week after winning a state championship. Leever was paying close attention to the work of the offensive line and coach Darren Hiller. Bearcat Insider will have more on Leever coming soon.

Also visiting with Leever was teammate Nate Slagel who missed the championship game and later part of the season with an ACL injury.

Early Dead Period Needs Tweaked

As the NCAA continues to look at changes in college football recruiting, one new rule in place is an early and extended dead period. Coach Tuberville has a few thoughts on the new rule.

"There is not a lot of work you can do," said the UC coach. "It's a little scary especially when you play a game at the end of the first week. We lost a week of recruiting by playing on Thursday night. So I think we need to address that for teams that are playing later in the season, later in December when you are playing all those championship games and all those things that happen.

"It puts you in a bind a little bit. Recruiting is hard, you don't have enough time. I think you need more evaluation time than you do closing time which is what I call January. But it's a lot better than it used to be."

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