BUJNOCH: DREAM TO REALITY

Last season, Digger Bujnoch was asked by the coaching staff to move from offensive tackle to tight end. A.J. Lucius was injured, and the Bearcats needed depth at the position.

Digger was only too happy to oblige. The move to tight end was accompanied by dreams of scoring touchdowns and casually flipping the football to the official while teammates jumped on his back and congratulated him. The media would want post game comments about how he felt and how he got so open. He could even talk about himself in the third person with quotes like, "No one can stop the Digger when he's plowing to the end zone." After graduation, he might even have a line of shovels named after him-six pointed shovels used for moving pay dirt. Oh, what a future he would have!

Then reality set in. In Digger's words, "It was fun while it lasted, but the dream is over." The coaching staff recruited two quality tight ends for next season and returned Digger to the position for which he was recruited, offensive tackle. A position that gets noticed by fans only when a lineman jumps offside or holds. It's often a thankless position where he will toil in the "trenches," a position where dreams go to die. To make matters worse, he's undersized in this land of behemoths.

This Elder grad stands 6' 4" and weights 272 pounds, very modest size for a Division IA offensive tackle. Because of that lack of size, he knows he has little margin for error. "Right now, I need to be a technician. At my size, I realize I could have a strength problem and power problem getting off the ball. I need to get and stay underneath people. If I do that, I'll do a good job."

Digger's actually named after his father, Glenn Bujnoch, who played seven seasons for the Bengals in the last 70's and early 80's, but he picked up his colorful nickname courtesy of his grandfather. "When I was born, my feet were really big so Grandpa gave me the name Digger. He said it was like I was digging a hole every time my feet hit the ground. They're size 17 now." I was watching Digger in a drill last week, and my eyes were drawn to his feet. They are huge.

The city of Cincinnati actually played a role in Digger's recruitment. It's one of the main reasons he chose to play his college ball at UC. "I love Cincinnati. I get to live on campus and have a home away from home. I can always go home if I want to. For me, it's only fifteen minutes away. I also have all my friends in town." Those friends include seven Elder High School teammates on UC's roster next year.

Some considered Digger a late bloomer in high school. Many felt he wasn't even the best offensive tackle on his team. Tom Anevski, a Boston College recruit, got much of the attention of the recruiters, but Cincinnati and Miami of Ohio saw Digger's athleticism and potential. "UC and Miami were the only schools I visited. After committing to UC, South Carolina and Stanford started recruiting me and offered, but it was way too far away."

Digger Bujnoch is quick with a smile and willing to laugh at himself, even his large feet. He's also an excellent student and will certainly earn a degree. He's the type of young man that will definitely take his dreams and make them a reality.

 


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