Bearcats Add Elder Punter

Some recent defections have opened up some roster spots for the Bearcat football team. Michael Cooke of Elder is apparently the beneficiary of one of those positions.

As Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported earlier (Monday), Michael Cooke of Elder High School will be joining the 2007 Bearcat football team as a preferred walk-on. Preferred walk-ons are guaranteed a roster spot but receive no scholarship money.

Cooke had attended a UC spring practice with the hopes of getting an invitation at that time, but things didn't work out. Michael explained the recent developments, "It all happened about two weeks ago. I went down there and talked to Coach Coombs and Coach Elston. They told me to go out and practice as they watched me. Then they told me they wanted me to walk-on. Now I just need to do orientation in a couple weeks." Michael said he averaged 41.7 yards a punt in 2006.

At Elder, Cooke also played some tight end but said he didn't get a lot of opportunities playing behind Notre Dame recruit Kyle Rudolph. Cooke said he stands about 6' 2" and weights 200 pounds.

Louisville, Ohio University and Cincinnati were the three schools Cooke targeted. "I was planning to go to Louisville and try to walk-on. I went down there and talked to the coaches and gave them tape, but they never responded. I sent out one last letter to Ohio and Cincinnati, and Cincinnati responded."

Cooke's primary competition for the punting job will come from Kevin Huber, a Cincinnati junior and graduate from McNick High School.

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