Big, Bad Wolfe Going From Beaver to Bearcat

Head coach Brian Kelly and the University of Cincinnati football program took just two offensive linemen and four defensive linemen in their 2008 recruiting class. But with three star two-way tackle Derek Wolfe headlining the group, the Bearcats know they've got some quality coming to Clifton. We caught up with Wolfe as he took in Bearcat Bowl II with his fellow class of 2008 teammates.

Wolfe made the trip to Clifton from his home in Lisbon, Ohio the Friday before Cincinnati’s spring game.  The Beaver Local High School senior is fortunate enough to have a man on the inside of the Bearcat’s program, senior defensive tackle Adam Hopple, a former Beaver from Lisbon himself.


“I got in yesterday,” said Wolfe.  “I’ve been spending a lot of time with Adam Hopple.  We went to the same high school together, so I came down Friday morning and just been hanging with him since Friday night.”


“It’s nice knowing Adam because that way I know all the other players,” he added.


Hopple has also been directly responsible for Wolfe’s excitement in becoming a Bearcat, filling Wolfe’s head with nothing but praises of coach Kelly and the Cincinnati program.


“Oh he’s excited,” Wolfe said of Hopple.  “He says he knows we’re going to be good.  We’re just a rising program and we’re just going to keep getting better and better.”


While not yet even enrolled at the university, Wolfe has made it a priority to visit the Cincinnati campus as often as possible before his life as a student starts here this fall.


“Oh I love it down here,” said Wolfe of the Clifton campus.  “I try to come down like once a month just to be around.”


Watching his future teammates perform during Bearcat Bowl II, one thing in particular stood out to Wolfe.


“The hitting, they love to hit,” said Wolfe of the team’s linemen and what impressed him about them.  “The toughness, they just love to hit people.  That’s the thing I love about it.  That’s how I am.”


UC coaches have told Wolfe that if he works hard enough he could be joining those linemen on the field during real game situations this fall.  His strength and speed will be two things Wolfe would like to work on before the fall season comes around.


“It’s up to me, basically,” he said of the situation.


“My size,” was the answer Wolfe gave when asked what would give him the greatest chance to see field action this season.  “My size and attitude.  You can be beating me, but I’m still going to think that I’m winning, that’s the thing.  You’ve got to just think that you’re going to win every time.”


With an attitude like that, Wolfe should be a welcome addition to the Bearcat’s offensive line unit, though some have said he may have a chance at playing sooner on the defensive side of the ball, where he also played defensive end in high school.


One thing is certain.  Wolfe will simply be excited to play, no matter where, when, or how.


“Oh I can’t wait,” said Wolfe of finally becoming a member of the Bearcats.  “I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.  I committed freaking end of junior year.  I’ve been waiting a whole year, so I’m good to go.”


Good to go, we’ll have an eye on the big, bad Wolfe as he joins the Cincinnati squad this summer.


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