-I was glad to see Jon Carpenter (LB) at today's practice. He wasn't there yesterday so I suspect he had a class. Not only was Jon at practice, but his father Rob and brother Bobby were also on hand. Rob played at Miami of Ohio and in the NFL. Now he's the head football coach at Lancaster High School. Bobby is a linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys, and whenever Bobby attends a practice, he spends considerable time tutoring his younger brother. That was the case again today.
-Bearcat signee Ricardo Thompson (LB) was on hand today. Ricardo was in shirt and tie and carrying school work under his arm. The Withrow Tiger said he's weighing 230 pounds right now and looking forward to becoming a Bearcat in August.
-Brent Celek, John Bowie and Nick Davila all attended practice today after yesterday's pro day. A lot of young men in Davila's shoes would be quick to condemn the previous staff for not playing him more, but Nick wants no part of that thinking. He said he has no regrets and was happy his career ended with such a bang. Nick had a scholarship offer from Dennis Erickson and Oregon State as a high school junior, but a shoulder injury and problems on the SAT derailed that opportunity. Nick is ready to graduate with a degree in History. If opportunities in pro football don't materialize, Nick would like to be a teacher and coach. He'd be good at both. Both Nick and Patrick Farfsing (LS) have the same agent. Don't expect Nick to live in Cincinnati after college. The California kid has had enough of Midwestern weather.
-Tyjuan Jones (LB) and his once promising career at UC are now over. Tyjuan is no longer with the squad after having chronic grade problems.
-Fullback Brad Bury's playing career is also over. Brad's situation is a little different since he's been medically disqualified. Brad is supposed to continue on scholarship and work as a student coach much like Hank Davis did last year.
-Walk-on wideout Darran Powell from Dayton Dunbar is also no longer with the Bearcats.
-Walk-on Taylor Porter has been moved from tight end to offensive tackle.
-Brandon Yingling (K) from Mason High School is not with the team at this point. That really opens the door of opportunity for Jacob Rogers from Warsaw, Indiana. Special teams' coordinator, Mike Elston, is ecstatic about having Rogers. Elston thinks Rogers will routinely put kickoffs into the end zone next year despite the NCAA's new rule of moving kickoffs back to the 30-yard-line.
Elston also likes Kevin Huber. There is no doubt Huber has a big time leg. It's just a matter of his being more sonsistent. His gaining more experience last year should help. -The staff wants a full roster for the spring so there are a number of walk-ons auditioning for more permanent jobs. Justin Moore, a sophomore from Colerain High School, has joined the team as a walk-on cornerback. Justin attended UC last year but did not play football. Another local kid making a return to football is defensive back John Brown of Indian Hill High School. John is also a sophomore eligibilitywise and started his college career playing at Muskingum College. A third walk-on defensive back that came to Cincinnati from Virginia is Feca-tunde Ogun. Feca-tunde is a strong safety and played at Division IAA South Carolina State last season.
-There is apparently tremendous competition for the 20 preferred walk-on spots. Preferred walk-ons are guaranteed only a spot on the 105 man roster. From what we know, Tom DeTemple of Moeller, Joey Thomas of Indian Hill, Bryant Thomas of Withrow and Mike Latessa of Sycamore High School are four of the newest preferred walk-ons. Another local player, J. C. Casper from Lakota West, also appears to have a spot. Casper is a 6'/193 pound safety who attended Ohio Northern last year.
-There were also some recruits at today's practice. Doug Reynolds (QB) of Colerain was on hand with fellow Cardinal Brad Dagnillo, a defensive back.
-From Beavercreek High School, Zach Domicone, a quarterback/athlete attended with his father along with teammate J. D. Bales and his father. Bales is a 6' 5"/310 pound offensive lineman. J. D.'s older sister is Allison Bales, who is a standout basketball player at Duke University.
-Because I spent so much time tracking down personnel and recruits, I didn't watch practice like I usually do, but I did see a few things. The only interception I saw came on a Dustin Grutza throw into the flat. Corey Smith batted the ball right to Cedric Tolbert who got the pick.
-Craig Carey seems to be starting to make his push for playing time. Craig had a nice day and was the last player to leave the practice field after throwing extra to receivers John Goebel and Marcus Barnett.
-As you might expect, Jacob Ramsey couldn't be happier about his return to running back. I thought both he and Goebel looked good last August.
-Two big differences other than practices being much shorter, Brian Kelly is very involved in practice, especially with the quarterbacks, and there is very little time between plays. The staff does a good job of simulating the no huddle in practice by wasting no time between plays.
No practice tomorrow (Thursday) so the helmets won't return until Friday, but Bearcat Insider will again be on hand as your eyes and ears.