As the NFL's conference championship games loom this weekend and with the emergence of the Cincinnati Commandos pro indoor team that features a myriad of former UC football players, I figured today would be a good day to update you on how last year's Bearcats seniors fared in their first season in the NFL ranks.
Some, like Bengals punter Kevin Huber, you got to watch every week. Some, like Brandon Underwood, you saw every once in a while. Some, you didn't see at all.
Let's take a look at the Bearcats seniors who helped UC to the Orange Bowl and how their lives have changed post-college.
<b>P Kevin Huber: Bengals fifth-round draft pick: The Bengals thought so much of him that they cut longtime punter Kyle Larson before the season, and he rewarded them with a pretty decent years playing for his hometown team. He struggled with inconsistency, and after transforming himself into of the country's best collegiate punters his final two years at UC, he certainly wasn't one of the NFL's elite punters. But he was solid
He was 11th
in the league with a 43.2 average, though he drops to a tie for 30th
with a 36.7 net average. This is what
<b>DL Connor Barwin: Texans second-round pick: He didn't get much playing time at the beginning of the season - after all, he was still in only his second year of playing defense, and he still had much to learn, especially at the pro level - but you might remember him earning his first career sack at Paul Brown Stadium in a Houston victory against the Bengals.
By Week 12, he appeared more comfortable, recording 3 Â½ sacks and two passes defended in the final six games of the season. His 4 Â½ sacks on the season were third-best among all NFL rookies.
managed to draw the wrath of
"I think I was just frustrated that we didn't convert on third down and he happened to be the guy standing there next to me," Brady said afterward. "He pushed me down, then I said something and he said something. I was more frustrated that we didn't convert on third down than at him. That's the way it goes."
Adam Hoppel: undrafted, signed with
"I pretty much wasn't expecting (to be resigned) when it happened," Hoppel told the East Liverpool Review. "I wasn't really expecting to play football again."
A week later, he was cut again.
<b>CB Mike Mickens: Cowboys seventh-round pick: A topsy-turvy season for Mickens. He still wasn't fully recovered from his late-season knee injury as a senior Bearcat that caused his draft stock to fall. Then, he was afflicted with a few more dings this year and never saw any action on the field.
DeAngelo Smith: Cowboys fifth-round pick: Smith certainly got his tour of the
NFL. Drafted by the Cowboys, cut by
played the final seven games of the season in
<b>DB Brandon Underwood: Packers sixth-round pick: Of all the former UC defensive backs, Underwood had the most stability this season, playing in 11 games in one place. He and Huber also were the only Bearcats rookies to make the postseason.
interesting to see how Underwood's role with