Preseason Camp Higher Ground Afternoon Day 4

The Bearcats took to the fields of Camp Higher Ground and survived the heat as they prepare for the 2005 season and their home opener against Eastern Michigan.

Tim Adams covered the morning session of practice at Camp Higher Ground on Saturday morning and I took the afternoon. Man was it hot!

With temperatures in the high 90's and on field temps over 110 degrees, Bearcats players and coaches felt the effects on the heat. Practice was cut down to 19 periods with trainers and other staff making the rounds with ice cold towels for the players to cool down with.

While the morning also saw the tempters rise very high, several players stressed this was the hottest day by far.

But while the heat was extreme, coaches know it will help prepare their team for the home opener against Eastern Michigan in just a few weeks.

The Saturday afternoon practice brought out many family members of Bearcats players. Mothers and fathers watched as their son's worked in the heat. While the players were out in the sun, many parents found cool spots around the shade of trees or in the Cool Zone tent.

The schedule for the Bearcats on this afternoon saw a family picnic after practice and then a team meeting at 9:00 p.m. to get back to work. Sunday brings a short practice then a trip to Kings Island for the players and coaches.

Here is the news and notes from the afternoon practice.

It was hot!

No, it was very HOT!

I enjoy watching several of the Bearcats coaches. They love to coach and it shows each and every day when their on the field. Don't be surprised down the road that a couple of them end up as head coaches and very successful.

Coach Dantonio may be the head man, but that doesn't stop him from coaching on the field. He takes pride in working with the safeties and corners. This afternoon he worked the safeties hard during their one-on-one drills. I expect this year we'll see several interceptions from the safeties.

David Wess is now a full-time safety. He's picking up the steps and defense at a fast rate and should be a major factor on special teams this fall.

Not much changed with who was in green or yellow jerseys in the afternoon session.

Dominic Goodman is working hard and picking things up at a very fast pace. He's showing the ability to catch the ball and get positive yards after.

Steve Eastlake looks to be back to 100% after missing the spring. His leadership along the offensive line will be the difference in this group being successful.

Who is the most important Bearcat this fall? Mike Daniels! The mighty mite from Princeton High School will need to have a great year on special teams with returning kicks. In watching drills of the players who are working on this area, you soon learn why Daniels is going to be needed more than ever in 2005. He's the most consistent in catching the ball and getting positive yards.

The Bearcats are loaded at the tight end position. Not only do they have an All-American in Brent Celek, they have two very underrated freshmen who will do big things for the Bearcats down the road. But the surprise may well be a walk-on by the name of Taylor Porter who may be behind the two freshmen but is making his mark.

For the most part practice was moved along at a fast pace and players looked forward to seeing their families. The Bearcats return to the practice field on Sunday morning before their trip to Kings Island in the afternoon.

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