Mickens - "We Should Win Every Game"

Coming off of a 2007 campaign which saw him earn a unanimous All-Big East Conference First Team selection, University of Cincinnati senior cornerback Mike Mickens expects big things to happen for him and his team come fall. We caught up with the veteran corner as he nears the end of his final spring in a Bearcat uniform.

Mike Mickens” will be a name not soon forgotten in the Cincinnati area.  A Huber Heights, Ohio native, Mickens has been a starter since he first arrived on Campus for the 2005 season.  His freshman and sophomore seasons saw him earn All-Big East Conference Second Team selections, while ’07 produced a first team selection for the Wayne High School graduate.  He has totaled 163 tackles and 10 interceptions in his three years in Clifton.  But for his senior season, the 6’-0”, 170 lb. back wants one last thing before hanging up the Bearcat uniform for the last time- a Big East championship and trip to a BCS bowl.


“To win the Big East,” said Mickens when asked what his team’s goal for the upcoming season was.  “That’s the only thing we have in mind right now is to win the Big East.”


Anything less is not an option for Mickens, playing in his final year for Cincinnati.


“Yes I would be disappointed,” said Mickens of the thought of not winning the Big East this season.  “I think we should win every game.  That’s the mindset.  Everybody thinks they should win every game.”


It is a popular mindset, but one that Mickens is holding steady to.


“I think we can win every game.  That’s what we have to do,” said Mickens.  “We just have to come out and compete, play hard for four quarters, and trust in our coaches to make the right decisions.”


Even with thoughts of BCS bowls, Big East titles and perfect seasons clouding his mind, Mickens has worked hard this spring in order to reach those goals.  A veteran to spring ball, Mickens used this spring as an opportunity to focus on a necessary defensive skill.


“I wanted to focus on tackling better,” admitted the corner.  “That’s what I’ve been trying to do every live drill we have, just tackle better and get my nose in more.”


“We’re just trying to get better this year,” he added.  “I think we’re progressing towards getting better, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”


Being a senior on the Bearcat’s defense has led to an additional area of focus for Mickens this spring.


“Just being more of a leader for my teammates.  I know they look up to me, so I’ve been trying to be more vocal and help everybody out,” said Mickens.


Many would argue however that Mickens has been a standout leader of the Bearcat defense for years now, since earning a share of UC’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year award after the 2005 season.  While that may seem like distant history to some, Mickens has found himself thinking back to that year and wondering, “Where has the time gone?”


“Time went by so fast since I first stepped on campus and had my first spring practice,” admitted the senior.


And while we won’t Mickens on the field again during next year’s spring ball, at least we still have those 13 regular season games to watch him play and – according to him – win.


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