When the Bearcats got Johnson this past winter I heard from a few of my East Coast contacts that Johnson would push for playing time the day he stepped on campus. Well after going through spring I was impressed with what I saw but felt he's still have some work to do. Now I see what everyone was talking about and on Saturday Johnson showed why so many are high on him when he broke on a pass and almost made the pick. It wasn't so much that he'd placed him self in the right position that turned my head but in the way he broke and the quickness he did it.
Camerron Cheatham – Defensive Back
Cheatham enjoyed a great spring and has followed it up early in camp. On Saturday he showed the ability to work the tip drill and put points on the board with a long return. He's now wearing #21 and is not afraid to be looking to fill the former player who wore that numbers shoes. Despite his height he's playing at a high level and turning some heads.
Jamar Howard – Wide Receiver
The one time Bearcat is back and is bigger than he was just a few years ago. Big frame with soft hands Howard is get his share of snaps this fall and has the potential to be a big threat in the end zone much like Dominick Goodman has been in the past. Built like a tight end Howard is still picking up the finer details but will get his share of catches and scores.
Darrin Williams – Running Back
The sparkplug sized Williams has been taking advantage of John Goebel being out of some of the more major drills. On Saturday he got plenty of reps and while the running was tough he held his own and showed he's not afraid to be between the tackles or bump it outside. Williams will get his share of snaps this season and should be a special player on special teams.
Pat Lambert – Safety
A lot was expected out of the Florida native when he signed with the Bearcats and he's starting to show why. With great size and a passion to play the game at full speed Lambert is pushing for more reps each and every day. He knows he has a chance to play a lot this fall and down the road. Big hitter willing to give up his body to make the play.
Malik James – Defensive Back
James has some experience and is looking like he'll be a very good fit in the Bearcats defense. James has had his great plays and then an average play but his overall ability is one to keep an eye on and he pushed for more reps and time on the field.
Wesley Richardson – Defensive Back
Richardson is entering his sophomore season and is starting to really look like a player who will find more time on the field. Physical and willing to lay a lick on a receiver (big hit on Mardy Gilyard in scrimmage). Richardson has been getting a lot of praise from Coach Kerry Coombs during drills in camp.
Randy Martinez – Offensive Guard
Martinez has shown he's willing to do what ever the coaches are looking for having moved from the defensive side of the ball to offensive line and working his tail off to learn how to snap the ball. Not only could the New Jersey native be a third back-up at center he's pushing to get starting reps at guard if others fail in front of him.
Brandon Mills – Defensive Line
The Cincinnati Colerain product is doing what Bearcat Insider has felt he would do in college. With a high motor Mills will push for time on the field as he uses leverage, strength and quickness to win battles against bigger offensive linemen.
Dan Giordano – Defensive Line
The Illinois product looks the part and is playing the part of major college football player as he continues to improve his overall game. While he's got a lot of players in front of him he continues to push for more reps and does well when he's given the chance.
Patrick O'Donnell – Punter
The Bearcats got O'Donnell late and this may prove to be a giant payoff in the years to come. O'Donnell has a long leg that acts like a whip when it strikes the football. While he's still missing on hitting the sweet spot on a consistent basis when he does hit it the ball booms off his leg and gives the Bearcats a weapon. Brian Kelly would love for the freshman to earn the job but will play it safe until he shows the ability to handle the job.
Romel Dismuke – Defensive Back
The first question everyone ask when they talk about Dismuke is his height. Well I've seen a lot of players who are as tall as Dismuke but don't have the physical skills he's showing early in camp. While he's got a ways to go this kid is a player and will be a solid college player if he continues on the pace he's on now.
Chris Williams – Defensive Back
A high school safety that is really learning the skills of being a corner in college is still showing what many saw that had him projected as a major talent. Yes he's got things he must improve upon but the talent is there and he'll push for time on the field early in his career.
Maalik Bomar – Linebacker
I really like what I've seen so far from Bomar and expect big things to come from the Winton Woods product. Speed and physical ability makes him a special player and a player that coaches will have to look at using in some manner.
There are more players who have shown well but these names are one's who could push for playing time this fall.