Five Areas Heading Into Spring

About a month away from the start of spring practice, Bearcat Insider starts its look at the Bearcats football program with five areas that may well represent the biggest questions many fans will have as Brian Kelly begins his first spring.

Tuesday will mark the one month mark before Brian Kelly and his staff will begin the process of turning the Bearcats football program from a power running game into one where the passing game will take center stage. 


While Bearcat fans are excited about the new beginning all eyes will remain on the same position we've been talking about for the past two springs.  Who will depart spring practice with an upper hand at earning the starting job when the season begins?  Or will the fact many things will change once camp opens in August keep the quarterback position open for much discussion?


What are the five areas that have the biggest questions heading into spring practice?  Let's take a look.


  1. Who will step to the front of the class at the quarterback position under Brian Kelly and Greg Forest?  The Bearcat coaches know they have a wide open competition on their hands and if players want to make a statement they better begin in the early sessions of the practice.  Will Dustin Grutza depart the Bearcats spring game as he's done over the past two seasons?  And if he does will Bearcat fans finally accept Dustin as a solid college quarterback?


  1. Player Movement will be one area to really look at in the spring.  With the change of offensive scheme a few former fullbacks will be looking to make moves to other positions on both sides of the ball.  One player who looks to be pushing to stay on the offensive side of the ball is Marcus Waugh.  Waugh has dropped much of the weight he gained to play the fullback position and looks to be in the best shape of his athletic career.  This will also be the time we'll see if any players have left the program or make the choice to leave the program during or after spring practice.  So what players will thrive and what players will be left scratching their heads? 


  1. O-Line in for a culture shock!  That's right, I've seen what new offensive line coach Jeff Quinn is like and I'm telling you the members of the offensive line better be ready to get after it once the whistle blows.  At the Notre Dame game I saw most if not all of the returning offensive linemen and I'll be the first to say they look different in appearance.  All looked to have dropped weight and looked fit and trimmed ready for action.  Look for the linemen to be doing a lot of running this spring.  Will the new blocking scheme benefit the type of offensive linemen on the current roster?


  1. How much of a difference will the Bearcats defense be as compared to the past couple of seasons?  New defensive coordinator Joe Tresey will have a nice group of players returning from the Bearcats defense with key losses being a middle linebacker and safety.  Leo Morgan will miss the spring sessions coming off a surgery but will be ready for camp in August.  How will the new scheme be as compared to the old?  For some fans this question could be as high as number two as many expect the Bearcats to have one of the best defenses in the Big East next fall. 


  1. Will Coach Kelly take off the kid gloves?  Brian Kelly had to keep order during the first few weeks of taking over the Bearcats so the team would be at its best for the International Bowl.  Now is the time to set the standards he'll use to build the program under his guidance.  Again this is a question that will have huge long term effects on the path of the program and shouldn't be considered a small meaningless question.  There's a new sheriff in town and his name is Brian Kelly. The players will quickly learn this in the opening days of spring camp.


Remember Bearcat Insider will provide the best Bearcats football coverage of spring practice for the third year in a row with in-depth practice reports, audio and video interviews plus a few other surprises leading up to the first Bearcat Bowl.

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