Angelo Craig Looking To Start

Angelo Craig has put himself into position to become a starter in his final season as a Bearcat. Bearcat Insider spoke to Angelo after Friday's first practice of 2007.

The Bearcat football squad will be looking to replace a two year starter (Trevor Anderson) who suddenly made the decision to leave the program after going through spring practice, but there are some attractive alternatives already on the roster.


One of those alternatives wears #82 and is currently the frontrunner to start the season as Anderson's replacement.  Senior Angelo Craig couldn't have envisioned he'd be in this spot when he came to Cincinnati five years ago.  "I weighed 193 pounds when I got here. Now I'm weighing about 246 or 247."


The Glenville High School product began his Cincinnati career as a lanky linebacker, but the talented 6' 5" athlete (who was a Bearcat basketball player for one season) developed into an excellent pass rusher last year.  As a sophomore linebacker, Craig had 19 tackles but only 1.5 were made behind the line of scrimmage.  Last season playing primarily as a pass rushing specialist at defensive end, Angelo recorded 16 tackles, but of those 16 stops, Craig recorded 7.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.  So 11.5 of his 16 tackles were made behind the line of scrimmage.  Now, as a senior, Angelo needs to make similar gains defending the run. 


In 2006, Trevor Anderson made 44 tackles by starting 13 games.  He had 13 tackles for loss and was the team leader with 6 sacks.  By contrast, Craig started only one game and should easily duplicate or surpass Anderson's sack total.  Stopping the run could prove to be another matter although the added 11-12 pounds of muscle on Craig's sizable frame should help Angelo in this category.  A man of few words, Angelo spoke briefly about how he planned to improve against the run.  "I need to use my hands and be more aggressive.  That's about it."


When seeing Angelo without his pads, anyone can't help but notice the multitude of tattoos down both arms.  Most have a meaning, and one on his right arm deals specifically with football.  It's a rather large tattoo of a sizable jaw flashing a mouthful of sharp teeth.  He explained the symbolism.  "That is how I feel when I'm rushing the passer."


Craig will graduate in December with a degree in organizational leadership, and he hopes to start his own small business in real estate.  Meanwhille, Bearcat football fans are hoping he limits the real estate of UC opponents in 2007.

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