Tuesday, April 3-Practice #5

As week #2 of the spring got underway, there were some surprises, and Bearcat Insider was there to get the latest. If any fans are planning to attend a practice, there are some new rules that need to be followed. You are not permitted on the field, and it is requested that you come no closer to the field than the red chairbacked seats in the stands.

High school coaches are asked to call the SID office (556-5191) and get credentialed prior to attending a practice.

The rain held off, and the Bearcats were again in full gear.  There were a few personnel moves over the weekend.


-David Wess was with the receivers as the new staff tries to find the best position for this superb athlete.  I did not see David take any snaps with the quarterbacks.


-Khalil El-Amin was moved from left tackle to center.  That move also meant he moved to the #2 offensive unit.


-I have not seen Lance Jeter (WR) for several practices, and I'm not expecting the Pennsylvania native to return any time soon, if at all.


-Maybe the biggest move was Earnest Jackson to tight end from wide receiver.  I talked with Coach Elston about the move.  "Earnest Jackson fits exactly what we're looking for athletically.  He's a 6' 2" or 6' 3" guy that could play receiver, but fits the tight end mold for us because he blocks well.  He's a physical kid with athleticism and perfect for that position."  Coach Elston said Earnest was very receptive to the move and feels Jackson could even go to the next level as an H-back or flex tight end. 


-The move on Saturday of Marcus Waugh to tight end may become permanent, although I hesitate to use that adjective when talking about Marcus.  Waugh has become this year's bigger version of David Wess with multiple position changes.  Coach Elston talked about the return of Waugh to tight end.  "We gave him an opportunity to see the field at an offensive line position, and not that he didn't do a good job, it's just we lost some guys at the tight end position.  He fits right in as the H-back and motion fullback.  He does a great job, very physical and is a great addition."


-Ben Mauk was again at practice and will be here all week.  The scar on Ben's throwing arm/shoulder is long and ugly.  It has to be at least 12 inches in length.  I spoke to Ben about the recent article in the Enquirer that made Ben sound a bit arrogant, and I know some Bearcat football players were somewhat put off by a few of the quotes.  After talking with Ben a couple times now, he is not arrogant but just confident in his ability.  Ben did say that the Enquirer article left out a lot of what he said.  Some of those quotes were about his respect for what the Bearcat football team accomplished last season.  When asked to put a percentage on his chances of getting a 6th year of eligibility, Ben replied, "90%."


-Maybe the biggest surprise today was the fact that Curtis Young (DL) attended practice.  The Glenville grad was very jovial and upbeat.  He's been working out with Ted Ginn Jr. and attending a community college in the Cleveland area.  He was on campus to speak to counselors about enrolling at UC and getting eligible for football.  Curtis had not yet spoken to Coach Kelly about a possible return to the team but said everything he'd heard today from counselors was encouraging.  Curtis said S. Mississippi had courted him, but he's a "mamma's boy" and didn't want to be that far from home.  He also said Freddie Lenix might transfer to S. Mississippi.  The Bearcats would love to have Curtis back, but it's his job to get himself eligible.  We'll check back with Curtis periodically.


-Walk-on Torry Cornett (MLB) took reps with the #1 defense today.  Andre Revels said in last week's story that the competition would be tough at middle linebacker, and that looks to be the case.  Many Bearcat fans may not be familiar with Torry, but he transferred to Cincinnati two years ago after a year of playing basketball for Prairie View A & M.  Cornett is listed at 6' 2"/230 pounds, but he looks much bigger than that, and he is a hitter.  He's a legitimate contender to win the job vacated by Kevin McCullough.


-Brad Jones was playing some outside linebacker today.  Jones was a very big cornerback and physically doesn't look out of place at outside linebacker.


-Last week Coach Quinn worked with the same five starters across the offensive front.  Today that changed when El-Amin's switched positions.  Here's what the #1 group looked like today going from left to right: Digger Bujnoch, Ken Rodriquez, Chris Flores, Trevor Canfield, and Jeff Linkenbach.  Rodriquez had been injured for part of last week and sat out portions of some practices.


-Ben Guidugli picked up where he left off on Saturday.  I saw Ben make a few nice catches again today.  Coach Elston spoke about Ben's progress.  "Ben Guidugli has been an outstanding (I don't want to say surprise) help for us at the tight end position.  We have to develop one of those two young guys in either him or Reggie (Fugett), and Ben's coming along.  Ben's been running with the #1's since day two, and he's staying there.  He's doing a nice job."


-Reggie Fugett (TE) is no longer with the baseball team.  He's full time football.


-Kevin Huber had another good day punting the football.  He had several punts in the 55-60 yard category.  Huber is also holding for kicks.


-Here are the results from today's 7 on 7 drill.  The offense really should dominate this drill since there is no pass rush and no offensive or defensive linemen to hinder the quarterback's vision.  Plus, there is always a receiver underneath the coverage to hit.  Grutza got the majority of reps and was 8 of 15, but there were two drops.  Butler Benton and Jared Martin each dropped a catchable throws.  On the negative side, Dustin took a coverage sack when he held the ball so long the whistle blew and was lucky not to be intercepted when he threw into a crowd at the goal line.  Craig Carey is clearly #2.  Craig was 4 for 9 but also was the victim of two drops, one by Marcus Barnett and the other by John Goebel on a tougher throw.  Carey also threw into a crowd at the goal line once and was fortunate not to be intercepted twice.  Tony Pike was 1 for 2 in the drill.


-J. P. Simon (OL) has been on the field but has not practiced at all so far.


-There was quite a bit of work in the red zone today in both the 7 on 7 and the team drill.  Craig Carey again struggled in the team drill while I was watching.  He lost a snap that prompted Coach Kelly to say, "That's on you."  On the very next play, he tripped trying to hand off which set Coach Kelly off.  "Damn!  It's a comedy show out here!"  Adam Hoppel got a tackle for loss, and Dustin Grutza once again threw into a crowd in the end zone.  In all fairness to Dustin, He did complete two or three balls in the end zone too.


-We had a question last week about the #2 defensive line.  The back-up defensive line today was Angelo Craig, Ricardo Matthews, Jon Newton and LaMonte Nelms behind the same starters from the end of last season of Anderson, Byrd, Hoppel and Hoke.

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