El-Amin's Take

Football games are won and lost in the battles in the trenches. Controlling the line of scrimmage is of key importance. Bearcat fans should be excited for the coming year, then. One of four returning offensive line starters from last year's 10-win season, Khalil El-Amin shares his thoughts with Bearcat Insider.

After missing all but one game due to injuries in 2006, the 2007 season saw El-Amin start 11 games at the right tackle position.  However, for his fifth year in a Bearcat uniform El-Amin is set to line up on the left side of the ball, making a change and starting at the left tackle position.  Whoever ends up starting for Cincinnati under center shouldn’t have to worry about being hit from their blind side, as the 6’-4”, 312 lb. El-Amin will be out to protect them.


The collection of UC quarterbacks has looked well protected from opposing defensive linemen, and El-Amin has played an important role in that.  The Purcell Marian High School graduate had nothing but good things to say about the Bearcat’s defense, however.


“We’ve got a lot of good guys,” said El-Amin of the Cincinnati defense.  “We’ve got Ryan Manalac, we’ve got Connor Barwin now, we’ve got Andre Revels, we’ve got Delbert Furguson over there.  We’ve got a ton of good defensive players that we go against.”


After facing the newest member of the Bearcats D-line 1-on-1, El-Amin was more than impressed with fellow senior Connor Barwin.


“That guy’s got a motor.  He can go,” said El-Amin of Barwin.  “He can just go.  He’s one of those guys wherever you put him he’s going to make a difference on the team.”


El-Amin himself is hoping to make a difference on the offensive side of the ball.  His strength and large frame should suit him well against opposing team’s pass rushers.  And just because he has been a part of spring ball for a number of years now doesn’t mean he has nothing to work on this spring.


“I have a lot of flaws within my fundamentals that I feel like I need to work with as far as footwork and everything, keeping my feet up under me, and using my hands a lot better, and just moving a lot smoother out on the field,” said El-Amin.  El-Amin has looked smooth and consistent throughout most of this spring, especially for playing at the left tackle position for the first time in a long time.


“Khalil’s got work to do to be a dominating consistent blocker at that position, he’s played over there a little bit,” said offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jeff Quinn.  “This is his opportunity as a fifth year senior, a Cincinnati local athlete, to step in there and be the starting left tackle, which is a critical position on the offensive line.”


Being a fifth year senior, El-Amin will look to be an influential leader on the Bearcat’s offense.  Quinn has seen the signs of leadership in El-Amin already this spring, and continues to look for more.


“Oh, absolutely,” said the coach when asked if El-Amin is one of his leaders on the offensive line.  “Khalil along with Trevor Canfield are my two offensive senior leaders on the offensive line, and they provide the leadership,” said the coach.  “We’re looking for more, as we do out of every kid,” he added.


Watch for El-Amin to be a key ingredient of protecting the quarterback and creating running holes throughout the rest of spring and this coming fall season as well.


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