Coach Mark Staten Talks Tackles & Tight Ends

Coach Mark Staten works with the Bearcat tackles and tight ends. BCI caught up with Coach Staten to talk about those positions leading up to the Miami game.

Steve Eastlake and Digger Bujnoch have claimed the starting right and left tackle positions with very few substitutions. Eastlake is a senior playing the most critical position on the line, left tackle, because he protects the righthanded quarterbacks' blind side. Since Eastlake will be gone next year, we wondered why Coach Staten wouldn't want to develop some depth at that position by giving an underclassman some game experience? "You're right that spot is a critical spot. What we'd like to have is for (Jeremy) Bolton to continue to work and put him into some game situations. As far as next year goes, we're more worried about right now, but we are trying to get guys reps. Khalil (El-Amin) played a whole half the other day, and as the season goes on, we're going to have to get guys in there."

Coach Staten has seen his tight ends perform very well. Brent Celek and Connor Barwin are #1 and #2 on the team in receiving yards. After three games Celek is second to only Antuan Giddens's in catches with 10 and leads the team with 120 receiving yards. A true freshman, Connor Barwin, has surprised some by catching 3 balls for an amazing 100 yards. When asked if Connor Barwin had moved into the #2 spot at tight end, Coach Staten replied, "No. It's a rotation. When Celek went down, we tried to rotate them (Barwin and Hank Davis). I was yelling from the box and trying to keep both of them in a rotation. Both of those guys have had little injuries too so we want to keep them both ready."

Although Brent Celek was held out of the 2nd half of the Western Carolina game due to a reported shoulder stinger, he did practice Wednesday night, and Coach Staten confirmed that Brent should be fine for the Miami game.


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