Bearcats Breakfast 4.5.12

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No other place to start today than with the Bearcats highlight video from last night's banquet. Big ups to Tommy G for producing the piece. Great stuff. I don't know what it is, but I could watch season highlight videos all day. Even bad teams. Give me the 2002 Bengals highlight video and block me off two minutes, please (no way it's longer than that).

This one was particularly special considering the accomplishments of this group. In case it hasn't been said enough in this space this year: Great season, Cats.

Watch the video.

And let's eat...

--- Yesterday, I placed
my vote behind Cashmere Wright for team MVP. Inevitably, the award went to two deserving seniors in Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon. Can't argue with that. As I said in the blog yesterday, so many players played a significant role in the development of this group. You can't criticize what Dion and Yancy did for the season and the program.

One of the biggest reasons I supported Cash for MVP was because of the leadership and character he showed in the face of adversity this season. UC gave him the Character and Leadership award recognizing that.

As expected, JaQuon Parker received the Most Improved Player award and Justin Jackson with his 61 blocks was named Defensive Player of the Year.

--- An interesting piece of information came out yesterday regarding UC DT Derek Wolfe. His Hairness himself, Mel Kiper, placed Wolfe as the 31st overall pick in the first round to the New England Patriots in his latest mock draft.

This might be surprising to some, but Wolfe told me at Pro Day most scouts/coaches he was talking to were saying late first early second would be his time. Kiper's the first official projection I have seen with him this high but shouldn't come as a shock.

Wolfe is a perfect 3-4 defensive end fit for his size and coaches love his attitude and production (as did the UC fan base).

Teams running a 4-3 would be less interested in Wolfe because his body type/skill set don't fit the tackle or end position well. However, there were 13 teams utilizing the 3-4 at the open of the 2012 season.

Here's the list to watch there: Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets, Pittsbugh, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington.

Let's just say if Wolfe was drafted by The Hoodie, he couldn't ask for a better place. Plus, he could follow in the footsteps of previous productive Bearcats DL Mike Wright (just released).

--- Should Kiper's prediction come to fruition Wolfe would become the first UC first-round pick since Bob Bell in 1971 and just the third all-time (Greg Cook, 1969).

--- More draft news, for the Bearcats/Bengals fans among us you aren't going to like this: Isaiah Pead met with the Steelers yesterday.

If you are Pead fan, this is great news. Running backs thrive in that system and Pittsburgh hopes to go back to a more run-heavy offense. If you are a Cincinnati fan, the last thing you want is that guy tearing you up for the next five-plus years.

Wherever Pead is selected, he will become the first UC running back picked since Reggie Harrison was taken in 1974 by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th round. Wow.

Of course, I won't miss an opportunity to post some Pead highlights.

--- As for the man responsible for replenishing those left in Pead's wake -- meet new RBs coach Roy Manning in this interview over at

--- Teaser: Came across an incredible UC football success story this week involving a key member of the defense. Can't wait to write it and it will be up on the site tomorrow. Trust me, you'll want to read this so be sure to check back and follow me on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr) for when it posts.

--- Andrea Adelson caught up
with Munchie Legaux for this Q and A. Nothing groundbreaking, but more reasons to be excited about the future.

--- Hard to believe with UC finishing the basketball season ranked 18th and the football season finishing 25th this was the first time in their history they ended the year ranked in both polls.

This really is a new level of UC Athletics.

--- Randomness...

--- Nothing random about this today. For those that don't know, I also work in season as a member of the Reds scoreboard crew (no, I cannot divulge the winner of the Reds Race to you in advance of games, that is confidential information), so Opening Day means a little extra for me. Having been removed from the city working at different newspapers for more than half a decade one of my biggest thrills coming back home was being a part of this day. Nobody does it like this city and nobody cares about it more than this city.

That said, enjoy it, because I sure as heck know I will.

Hopefully today's game ends just like last year's.

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