"If You're Not First, You're Last"

That was what University of Cincinnati fifth-year senior offensive lineman Trevor Canfield had to say about his team and their thoughts on the Big East title race this season. Just like the famous Ricky Bobby, Canfield says his team won't be happy with any finish other than first.

"We're not going to be happy with second or third, that's not our goal," said Canfield Wednesday. "Our goal is number one. Like Ricky Bobby said, ‘If you're not first you're last!'"

Bearcat fans should like hearing Canfield's confidence, as well as the news that his shoulder has fully recovered from its injury.

"I'm back, my shoulder's back from surgery, I mean I'm 100 percent I'm ready to go," he said.

Canfield, a 6-foot-5, 305 lb. product of Cincinnati's own Western Hills High School, has earned second-team all-Big East honors the past two seasons. Escaping that second-team stereotype is one of Canfield's many goals this season.

"Of course to win the Big East and go to the national championship, it's team first," says Canfield. "But personal goals would be to get off this second-team Big East, get to the first-team, get All-American honors, then just go from there, keep working."

Canfield has already been working on becoming as strong of a player as he can be, sticking to head strength and conditioning Coach Paul Longo's off-season plans.

"I just stay with what coach Longo has us do, you know, slow and steady wins the race, just keep improving," looking as strong as ever. "Just getting bigger, faster, stronger, that's all, just keep working hard."

It may be an understatement to say Cincinnati college football fans are looking forward to the start of the Bearcat's upcoming season. They aren't alone, however. Players such as Canfield are viewing the upcoming season with just as much excitement. This offensive lineman has one game in particular he's looking forward to playing in.

"It has to be Oklahoma," says Canfield. "Oklahoma, the Sooners, what are they ranked pre-season, like two or something? We'll head up there and play hard like we did against Oregon State, we'll get it going."

The sky would be the limit for Cincinnati fans' expectations for '08-‘09 if the final score in Norman the first weekend in September is similar to that of last season's Oregon State game.

Canfield was sporting an impressive accessory when I spoke with him Wednesday. His championship ring from last season's PapaJohns.com Bowl. While quite a nice ring, Canfield hopes for an even nicer one at the conclusion of this coming season.

"Hey, that's something to be proud of right there," he said when asked about the ring." "Number 17 in the country last year, won the PapaJohns(.com Bowl). It's no national championship but it's something, and we'll get that this year."

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