A View From Shankpavilion-Preseason

With practice starting for the 2007 season in one week, it seems the perfect time to give Bearcat Insiders a smattering of information about UC football. Bearcat football fans might find some of this information very interesting.

One week prior to football practice starting at the University of Cincinnati, the UC football staff is hosting two high school 7 on 7 passing tournaments and lineman camps.  Some of the schools in Wednesday's tournament were Trotwood Madison, Kenton High School, Leslie High School in Michigan, Walnut Hills, Woodard, Cincinnati Country Day, Anderson, Deer Park, Cathedral Prep in Pennsylvania, and Crestview High School.  The day ended when Kenton defeated Leslie for the championship, but Trotwood Madison was also undefeated on the field.  The Rams only loss was in the tie breaker to determine the teams in the finals.


-Ben Mauk was at Nippert on Wednesday to watch his alma mater (Kenton) play in the 7 on 7 passing tournament.  Ben really didn't want to say much about his recovery from shoulder surgery, but it was very obvious to me after a brief conversation that Ben feels very confident he will be ready to throw when practice begins on August 2nd.  In asking others about the situation, the answers varied, but there are still five weeks until the first game, and Bearcat Insider will be on hand to report on his progesss.


-Bearcat freshman quarterback Chazz Anderson is already earning the respect of his veteran teammates.  Haruki Nakamura had nothing put praise for the youngster from Pickerington Central.  The Bearcat safety said he is no stranger to hard work and is always willing to put in the extra time, and Haruki sees the same things from Anderson.  Haruki commented that every time he sees Chazz, the young QB is going to the practice field or going to watch film.  Near the conclusion of the 7 on 7 passing camp Wednesday afternoon, Anderson wandered onto the Nippert turf doing passing drills with a young receiver from Taft High School named Daniel Tye.  Chazz and Tye were still working when I left 45 minutes later.



-The man that I believe possesses the best hands on the Bearcat team is wanting to play both ways in 2007.  Cornerback DeAngelo Smith (no more braids) said he's trying to get the staff to look at him also as a receiver.  The Columbus kid has played some receiver at UC and reports a 4.4 second forty-yard-dash, but until the Bearcats can establish some depth at the cornerback position, I'd hate to see DeAngelo move to the offensive side of the ball.


-One guy looking forward to the safety battle that will take place between Cedric Tolbert and Aaron Webster is Haruki Nakamura.  Haruki expects to play on most, if not all, UC special teams in 2007, and he feels the safety tandem of Tolbert and Webster could give him some much needed rest.  Haruki also feels he could fill-in at cornerback if needed.    


-The return of Curtis Young to the Bearcats is still a possibility for the 2007 season.  Young is apparently in Cleveland trying to earn some credits.  I'm told he needs six.  He had to sit out an entire semester before he could return to school to get the needed credits.  Adding Young to the Bearcat roster would certainly ease the pain of losing Trevor Anderson at defensive end.  The Bearcats should know something definitive by August 5-th or 6-th.  Keep your fingers crossed.


-Tight end Kazeem Alli is trying to return from knee surgery.  Alli has already used a redshirt season but don't expect him to return until October at the earliest.


-Everyone always wants to know what freshmen might contribute this season.  The answer to that question depends on who you talk with.  Here's what I've heard, and keep in mind that no one has seen these kids participate in even one practice yet.  If any offensive linemen have to be rushed into playing, it might be Craig Parmenter or T. J. Franklin.  Adrien Robinson's name keeps coming up when I talk to people about the receiver position although the staff apparently really likes all four of its freshmen receivers (Woodard, Hilton and Binns).  Drew Frey's name surfaces on defense, but I keep telling anyone who will listen that I think he'd be much better on the offensive side of the ball.  A number of freshmen haven't been on campus yet but will report next week for practice, and the opinions will start to have some substance then.  Until then, this is pure speculation.


-Brent Celek was on campus today, but guess what hat he was wearing?  No, not Michigan State!  He was wearing an Anaheim Angels' cap.  He said he wasn't allowed to wear a Philadelphia Phillies cap since they are competitors for the entertainment dollar.  The Eagles' green wouldn't have matched his other clothes so the Angels won out.


-Domonick Britt looked good throwing the football in today's 7 on 7 camp, and Roy Roundtree looked good as a target.  These two kids have been together since they were small, but Roundtree didn't have a Cincinnati offer and committed to Purdue.  Britt told Bearcat Insider he is a "solid" commitment to UC.  I wonder what would happen if UC offered Roundtree?



-Mike Shaw also looked good today for Trotwood.  He said his top 10 schools are Cincinnati, Penn State, Michigan, West Virginia, Clemson, Maryland, Iowa, Tennessee, Nebraska, and North Carolina State.  He said the Bearcats are still in the mix and being on campus today certainly didn't hurt, but I was told Shaw will unofficially visit Penn State this weekend. 


-Bearcat sophomore running back Jacob Ramsey said he has only 4% body fat on his 218 pound frame.  He is absolutely chiseled.  Jacob and fellow sophomore  John Goebel will be competing for playing time on the field but are good friends otherwise.  Ramsey said Goebel actually outlifts Jacob on the bench.  Goebel can bench press 225 pounds 23 times while Jacob manages 19 presses, but Ramsey outperforms John in the lower body.  In preparing for the new offense, Jacob said he'll catch 200-300 balls a day from the Jugs machine.


-If any Bearcat football fans are planning any visits to area sports bars, don't be surprised if you run into Coach Kelly.  The Bearcat head coach rattled off a number of bars he'll be visiting in the next week or so to promote UC football.  This guy and his staff might be the best thing to happen to UC football since Sid Gillman.

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