The event was moved inside the Shoemaker Center due to the threat of bad weather. The dance team and band performed as fans entered the Shoe for free food and drink. There were several hundred Bearcat fans in attendance, and as the players took their spots at the tables to sign autographs, there was a steady flow of children and adults getting footballs, posters, helmets and various other mementos signed. The line seemed to never die down, even after a half hour of signings.
The Bearcat players present were mostly the upperclassmen, and they clearly enjoyed interacting with the fans. One person that I saw do a great job with the children was Nick Davila, although all the Bearcats were extremely friendly. Nick had his picture taken with children, signed everything and anything, engaged the kids in conversation and even played some catch with a Nerf football as he continually flashed that million dollar smile.
Scott Springer was essentially the host informing fans of the bevy of free souvenirs made available by UC. Scott also later introduced Coach Dantonio to the crowd, and Coach gave a short speech welcoming and thanking the fans. Then the squad took to the field for a short scrimmage that wasn't much more than touch football since they didn't want to risk any injuries in a steady drizzle.
-The scrimmage pitted the #1 offense against the #2 defense and vice versa. Both Dustin Grutza and Nick Davila seemed to get equal snaps with the #1 offense. They would even alternate during a series on occasion.
-The #1 defense had few substitutions. The defensive line was the usual cast of characters-Trevor Anderson, Tony Carvitti, Terrill Byrd and Anthony Hoke. The linebackers were Ryan Manalac, Kevin McCullough, and Anthony Williams. The safeties were Haruki Nakamura and Dominic Ross while Mike Mickens played one cornerback spot and John Bowie and Antoine Horton seemed to split time at the other spot.
-The #1 offense didn't look as set. As mentioned, Davila and Grutza split time at quarterback. There were a number of players rotating at fullback, tailback, and receiver. The offensive line still looks to have a great deal of competition. Here's what I saw from left to right on that line. Jeff Linkenbach and Jeremy Bolton both got reps at left tackle with Link having the edge in reps. Jeff Reinstatler was the guy I saw the most at left guard. Mario Duenas and Chris Flores are very close at center. Trevor Canfield and Frank Straub alternated at right guard. Straub might have a slight lead right now as Canfield returned from an injury only recently. Digger Bujnoch was the right tackle. Of course, Brent Celek is the #1 tight end.
-Butler Benton made the first TD run of the night when he bounced outside and went 25 yards over the right side for the score. Butler would be my starting tailback from what I've seen this summer.
-I did not see Freddie Lenix at all.
-I thought Nick Davila had the better day throwing the football. His bigger plays were the following: 20 yards to Derrick Stewart for a score, 17 yards to Celek, 15 yards to Goodman on a nice catch by Dominick. Dustin also made some nice throws: 17 yards to Celek, and 15 yards to Jamar Howard. I also need to explain that I missed several plays early in the scrimmage due to a conversation with Mike Waddell. I'll explain more about that later.
-There were plenty of punt returners. DeAngelo Smith and Derrick Stewart looked good, and Haruki Nakamura was healthy enough to take his turn back there as well, which was extremely good news since Haruki's been nicked up lately.
-As usual, John Goebel had a nice 30 yard run with very limited carries. The fuzzy faced freshman from Michigan always seems to impress me during practice.
-Ryan Manalac made a nice play breaking up a middle screen.
-David Wess got the bulk of reps with the #2 offense and didn't fare too well. People have to remember that David hasn't played quarterback for two years, and he's going to need more time to really compete for that starting spot.
-It was great to see Andre Revels fully healthy again. Andre should be a mainstay on the special teams this year until he can work his way back up the depth chart.
As mentioned earlier, I got the opportunity to talk to Mike Waddell about Coach Dantonio's television show being moved to 12:30 a.m. on Friday. Mike wanted to make it clear that WXIX is a supportive partner with UC and Bearcat football, and this time change wasn‘t done out of disrespect to the program. In the limited time I've known Mike, I know this guy is a "think outside the box" person, and NOTHING is done without considerable thought and research. People on this board know I'm a passionate Bearcat football fan, and I feel a lot better about this situation now that I've had the chance to discuss it with Mike. The long term plan for giving UC football the television exposure it needs, not only locally but throughout the state, is being hatched. I hope people will just trust me when I say that.
Bearcat Insider got the chance to interview Chris Flores and will have a story about Chris in the next couple days. He's a class act. Also, we'll have an "In The Bleachers" piece with Marvin Gentry, Tim Crowell, and Marcus Sikes.
FACES IN THE CROWD MEET THE TEAM
Bearcats VanBoard tells the story
|Pamela Waugh ?, Mike Martin (Jared's father), Becky Dantonio, Kim Martin (Jared's mother)|
If I'm wrong on Pamela please let me know...
UC Dance Team Member
Bob Arkeilpane and Mike Thomas
UC Band getting the crowd in the Bearcats Spirit
Jerry & Connie Yingling parents of Brandon Yingling
Steve & Debbie Celek parents of Brent Celek
Karl & Kristin Goebel parents of John Goebel
Coach Dantonio signing a poster for a fan
Fan's formed a long line to meet the Cats...