Time To Pluralize "Next Man In"

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By now, all UC fans should be familiar with the phrase "Next Man In."  When the Bearcats used five different quarterbacks to win the Big East title last year, that expression became such an important rallying cry that it was engraved on the side of their Orange Bowl rings.

Next Man In on ring re.JPG 

Perhaps this year it should be changed to "Next Men In."


While sophomore quarterback Zach Collaros (pronounced kuh-lahr-iss by the way) has earned rave reviews while subbing for an injured Tony Pike, he's hardly the only backup who has helped Cincinnati to its 8-0 start.


Starters Sam Griffin, Drew Frey, Dominique Battle, Curtis Young, and Demetrius Jones have also missed games this season.  C.J. Cobb, Alex Hoffman, Cam Cheatham, Brad Jones, Marcus Barnett, and Walter Stewart have either moved into the starting lineup or changed positions to make sure that the 'Cats haven't missed a beat.


"When a guy does down, the next man has to be ready to go - that's just the way it is," offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn told me.  "We always talk about how in a lot of great battles in history, the best soldiers sometimes perish first.  It's the guy who picks up the rifle who has to help win the war."


Quinn has been part of Brian Kelly's coaching staff in all 19 seasons that Kelly has been a head coach and says the "Next Man In" philosophy didn't start when they got to Cincinnati.


"When we came from Central Michigan, I think he really put a phrase to it:  'Next Man In,' but that's always been part of his coaching philosophy," Quinn said.  "Every kid is important - don't ever ignore the responsibility of coaching all of the players that are out there every day.  That's always been a cornerstone of his coaching - embrace all of the players and get them to compete at a high level every day.  Don't just focus on the first team but look at all of the players and build a relationship with them every single day."


And not only during the season.


"There is no first team, second team, or third team in the weight room or off-season conditioning," Quinn said.  "We stay away from that and want all of our kids to develop and improve.  I think it really hits home with our kids that there's more to a good football team than one guy.  The sum of all of the parts is the strength of your football team."


It's added up to a 30-6 record since Brian Kelly and his staff arrived at Cincinnati.


* * * * *


You may have noticed that the Bearcats are wearing red, white, and blue wristbands this year in honor of Mitch Stone, the 12-year-old cancer patient whom the team adopted through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.



(If you're not familiar with Mitch's story and what he means to the team, I strongly encourage you to read this profile from the New York Times a few weeks ago.)


Now the UC football team and Student Government have joined forces to support Mitch by making those wristbands available to fans for a $3 donation which will help Mitch's family tackle medical costs.


"I hope that the Mitch's Mission Bearcat Wristbands will be worn proudly throughout our community and have even a fraction of the impact that the LiveStrong bracelets do," said Student Government Public Relations Director Sean Huff."


The wristbands will go on sale tomorrow (Thursday, November 5th) at the University Pavilion's One Stop Center, the Tangeman University Center (TUC) bookstore, the Academic Health Center's bookstore, and TUC's MainStreet Connection Office.


For more information or to leave Mitch a message, please visit the Mitch's Mission website at mitchsmission.com.


I'd love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com.


And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard


Enjoy this week's photo of the handsome lad in search of candy (instead of a fire) on Halloween.


Fireman seeks candy re.JPG

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You continue to inspire through your words. Great post and I enjoy reading all of them.

Good to see the lad as a fireman. This year our crew went as scooby, ironman, a dragon/alligator, and bumblebee (not shown).