The smoke has settled as Ben Mauk is no longer a Bearcat and Dustin Grutza is back as the starting quarterback as the Bearcats get ready for their season opener against Eastern Kentucky in just over a week.
How has the Maysville, Kentucky native handled the craziness of the past few weeks?
"That was kind of a crazy situation with all that happened with Ben, but we've got to keep working and finish up strong as we head forward toward the season opener against Eastern Kentucky."
Since the day he arrived on campus, Dustin has seen the quarterback position be one of constant battle with him coming out on top two of the past three seasons.
"There is always going to be competition no matter what the position on this team. I was down a couple of days with the rib injury and Tony did a great job stepping in and taking over the team. You know you've got to be ready everyday because others also want to be a starter. We need someone to be ready to step in and go because you never know what is going to happen and we've got a big season ahead of us."
One thing Bearcat fans know about Dustin Grutza is that he's a team player. Not once can anyone say Dustin didn't place the team first as he sat and watched the Bearcats have a magical season with Ben Mauk as the starter. Instead he used the time to make sure he'd be ready when it was his turn.
"I just worked hard each day in practice as if I was starting every game last year. That allowed me to be ready to go if I was called upon and is helping me now that I'm preparing to be the starter this season."
While it may seem Dustin has been around for a long time, the fact remains this is his final season as a Bearcat. Has he had much time to reflect on this one last season?
"It's hard to believe that this is my last camp and last time to go out to Camp Higher Ground. But it's been a lot of fun hanging out with your friend's everyday. You try to cherish this as much as you possibly can since you know this is it, but we're also getting ready to have a big season and that kind of takes over."
The program has seen a lot of changes since Dustin arrived on campus. What would he tell a high school prospect about why Cincinnati should be the place for him to continue his education and football career?
"The program is becoming a great program. We have great facilities on campus and not many teams have a place like Camp Higher Ground to go and prepare for their season. This is a great time and to be in the program as we've got great coaches and a program on the rise. You also have to look at the community of Cincinnati and how great it is to be a part of it and know things are only going to get better here in the future."
With how his career has gone, Dustin has been thinking about this fall like no other since arriving on campus.
"All summer I've been thinking about this is my final time doing this. I know I want to give my all just as the other seniors on this team want to give their all and make this a special season."
No matter what the outcome on the field has been Dustin Grutza has proven to be a leader and champion for the Bearcats during each step of his career.
Grutza's Wait Almost Over
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