DE: Ricardo Mathews (starter) / Alex Daniels (back-up)
Both players will get major reps in the new defensive scheme. Bot Mathews and Daniels have plenty of experience between them and bring strength, speed and explosion to the defensive end position.
DE: John Hughes (starter) / Dan Giordana (back-up) Hughes will be looked to be an even bigger part of the Bearcats defense this fall. He gave the team good solid minutes last season and now will be a player to help hold down the front of the Bearcats defense. Big things are expected out of the sophomore.
Giordana enjoyed a great spring and carried it over to camp this summer. He's green as they come but will find his role increased this fall. You could also see Robb Trigg lineup at either end spot.
Wolfe will have a chance to be an All-Big East performer this fall and much is expected out of the sophomore who will anchor the defensive line. At 6-foot-5, 302-pounds, Wolfe is a force to be reckoned with and a star in the making.
Mills is doing what many expected him to do since leaving Colerain High School. He's got strength, burst and leverage. While he's not the physical stature of Wolfe he'll cause problems for offensive linemen with his high motor and low center or gravity to go with a quick first step.
OLB: Curtis Young (starter) / Walter Stewart (back-up)
Look for a giant season out of Young as he knows this is it and there is no looking back. Curtis has fought to be in this position and it showed during practices with his hard hits that caught the coach's eye. While they would preferred them come against non-teammates, they know Young has a chance to really have a big season.
Stewart is green but showed well last fall and in the spring. He carried it over to the summer camp and is looking to get his turn to show why many programs missed on signing him. While he's a different type of player than Young, he does have great speed and can cause offenses problems.
This position could see any of the three listed tossed in as a starter. Armstrong has continued to show improvement and the move to the 3-4 has helped him take his game to a new level. But Carey and Jones are the two fighting it out for the role of starter. Carey may get or may not get the nod depending upon that weeks practice.
Look for the Bearcats to shift around on this position a lot during a game. Waugh and Revels get the starters tag but Schaffer will get his share of reps. All three of these guys are capable of having big games. Davis is listed and should be considering he's a transfer from an SEC program.
Both players can play and Jones knows he's got a player on his tail. He's a senior and has waited for his turn behind some of the best players in school history. But Cheatham has worked his tail off and continued to show in summer camp he was capable of making plays.
Battle is a star in the making and Johnson is right behind him. Both guys are big-time players and if there is any failure from the other side one could be moved over to fill the gap. Battle has some snaps under his belt but is still learning. Good for the Bearcats he's a fast read.
Frey has seen injury slow his career but the talent is there. Richardson had a big camp and is pushing for reps each and every day. This could be an interesting battle the rest of the season or if Frey would again suffer an injury.
FS: Aaron Webster (starter) / Pat Lambert (back-up)
Bearcat Insider has said Webster is an NFL prospect and still stands by that statement. Pat Lambert is a hard hitter who reminds some Bearcat fans of another #13 from a few years ago. Webster gets the call but the staff feels good about the development of Lambert and will not be afraid to toss him into the action.