The opening of the Tommy Tuberville era is less than three months away when the Bearcats host Purdue on Aug. 31. An influx of recruits and return of familiar stars leave an excitement of what UC can accomplish in The American.
With mass change in coaching staff comes unknown quantities up and down the roster. After holding a long conversation with Tommy Tuberville I churned out a list of the 10 players whose development will be most crucial to crossing the 10-win mark for the sixth time in seven years.
This won't be about pointing out the top players on the roster, though some stars will make the list, this will be about pointing out those who must take a step forward and spike production in order for this team to be successful. We'll run one player a day every day for the next two work weeks, counting down to No. 1.
Today at No. 10:
Position: Defensive End
Year: Redshirt Sophomore
2012 Stats: One sack (vs. USF), 19 tackles
The Opportunity: Spent last year primarily buried behind Dan Giordano, Brandon Mills and other now departed defensive ends. Will be among a list of players attempting to apply pressure off the edge. That's been a strength of this team in recent years, but with an unproven group now filing into the position somebody must step up. Silverberry enjoyed one of the better springs on the team and should be a primary contender to lead the team in sacks.
Why development is crucial: If the Bearcats can't find consistent pressure off the edge, it could be a long year for a team with inexperience in spots of the secondary. Defensive line play has been a calling card of this team in recent years and will need to be again. Few on the roster own Mouhon's combination of size and explosiveness.
Tommy T's Take: "He's grown up. It's time for him. He likes what we are teaching him. Previously, everything was working lateral down the line of scrimmage. We are more gap control and we're vertical. Attack the line of scrimmage. These kids are loving it. We want you that way; we want you to hit the guy in the mouth, play aggressive. Took them about a week to be keying the ball, moving. That fits Silverberry. He's more of an explosive guy instead of the sit back."
I want to hear from you! Agree, disagree, befuddled? Shoot me an email (email@example.com) or hit me up on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr) with your thoughts on this list or anything else Bearcats football.