Friday, March 30-Practice #3

It was a beautiful afternoon for spring football practice, and the Bearcats hit the field in full gear. There were also a lot of area high school coaches in attendance as part of Cincinnati's football clinic this weekend.

The Bearcats were in full gear, and it was a very spirited practice.

-Ricardo Thompson (LB) and Bryant Thomas (ATH.) of Withrow High School were in attendance as was Chazz Anderson (QB) of Pickerington Central High School. Chazz plans to enroll for summer school. Bryant still doesn't know where he'll be used by the Bearcats.

-Kevin Huber looked awfully good punting the ball today. He was routinely hitting 50 yarders.

-The receivers get quite a workout when they have all four quarterbacks throwing to receivers running different routes. The receivers run a route, hustle back to watch a route and then run another route. I imagine it'll be similar in game situations.

-Reggie Fugett (TE) wasn't able to do much right today. Coach Elston was chewing on him pretty good throughout practice.

-One of the young men attending every practice is Alex Liggens, a cornerback from Dominican High School in Milwaukee. He sat out last year and is expecting to join the team at some point. Tyler Campbell from Pickerington North High School also attended practice and was closely watching the safeties. He's hoping to walk-on. There is no shortage of players wanting to walk-on. Coach Elston told me the other day that he's been looking at over 50 candidates for the few available spots.

-Jon Tobin (OG) is out for spring practice as he rehabs an injury.

-One of the recruits at today's practice was Ryan Barnes, a 6' 7"/300 pound offensive lineman from Carmel High School in Indiana. Carmel lost to Adrien Robinson's Warren Central High School in the state finals. Robinson is a winter signee at UC. Barnes broke his wrist last season and missed multiple games so his recruitment has started out somewhat slowly.

-There were a number of interceptions today. In the 7 on 7 drill, Tory Cornett (LB) intercepted Craig Carey. Nick DeFlippo (LB) later intercepted Tony Pike. In the controlled scrimmage today, Andre Revels (MLB) intercepted Dustin Grutza, and Haruki Nakamura (S) got Grutza for a second pick only minutes later. Haruki's as tough as they come, and to prove that point, the hard hitting safety told me today after practice that he played the entire season last year with a stress fracture in his leg. I'll miss seeing the rivalry between Haruki and Brent Celek in practice. Those two used to go after each other like pit bulls. It was always interesting.

-Coach Kelly talked earlier in the week about players having the right demeanor. Today after Mike Mickens made a nice play to break-up a pass to Dominick Goodman, Mike got up strutting and bobbing his head in triumph. Coach Coombs immediately told Mike to stop. Coombs explained that the entire stadium would see the great play that he made and there was no need for him to act that way. I have to admit that I love this philosophy.

-Khalil El-Amin jumped offside early in the scrimmage and was sent running a lap around the field. Toby Boeckman took El-Amin's spot and was immediately bull rushed by Adam Hoppel. Another little wrinkle is some of the defensive coaches have players doing push-ups after the player makes a mistake. Defensive coordinator, Joe Tresey, was using that motivator today.

-The defense was not allowed to hit the quarterbacks, but Trevor Anderson would surely have had a sack if the play weren't blow dead.

-I really didn't think any of the quarterbacks played well today, and I felt the receivers dropped too many balls too.

-This staff apparently doesn't believe in hurt players wearing the yellow jerseys. There have been no yellow jerseys seen.

-The staff seems to be working really hard on the timing between the quarterbacks and receivers. Too often in the past, I thought our quarterbacks waited too long to throw the ball to receivers. There seems to be more of an emphasis to throw the ball before the receivers make their final cut.

I'll have stories about middle linebacker Andre Revels and placekicker Jake Rogers in the next few days.

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