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. 2:
Year: Junior (FSU transfer)
Weight: 248 pounds
2012 Stats: Sat out after transferring from Florida State .
The Opportunity: Rarely does the No. 1 recruit at his position fall into the lap of a program, but that's exactly what happened for UC and Tommy Tuberville. Such is not to say luring Jeff Luc from FSU to UC didn't take recruiting, but he's now set to play for the Bearcats after sitting out last year to transfer. He owns as much potential as any player to line up at the position in red and black. His hits sound different and his speed rare for a player his size. Yet, he's never consistently played Division I football before. He's definitely never started. How quick will his instincts transfer to the speed of the game? Can he immediately become a leader of the defense? Can avoid a history of injury issues? None of these questions can be answered until Purdue arrives Aug. 31. Luc doesn't know, nor does any member of the coaching staff.
Why development is crucial: A defense fighting depth in the secondary and inserting new pieces on the defensive line is expected to be anchored by one of the top linebacking groups in The American. Held down by Greg Blair in the middle and emerging OLB Nick Temple on the outside, Luc will need to be an impact player to represent the hammer of this physical unit. If Luc turns out to be the player he was as a five-star recruit out of Treasure Coast Florida the UC defense takes on a championship feel.
Luc's Take: "The main part is actually getting the scheme, actually know what I am doing and increasing my football IQ while knowing what the offense does. I really haven't had experience. If you actually look at my history and my career I've been out three years. That comes with time and getting in the playbook and learning, that's going to make me feel a lot more comfortable."
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