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. 3:
Weight: 207 pounds
2012 Stats: Played in nine games as a freshman last year.
The Opportunity: The safety position sprawls wide open next to starter Arryn Chenault. Any number of players will be asked to fill the gap and assert themselves. This spot in the countdown should like read "safety" instead of Kevin Brown, but he tops the list of those with experience at the position. Tommy Tuberville recruited junior college transfers Darren Doston, Mike Tyson and Howard Wilder to help provide depth, but there is no proven Division I experience back there.
Why development is crucial: Kevin Brown was surprisingly thrust into action as a plethora of injuries befell the secondary last year. Brown performed adequately in his limited time, playing in nine games. That experience could help Brown in seizing the open spot and securing the back end of the secondary. Without it, this will be one of the biggest questions on the defense entering the season.
Tommy T's Take: "We need DBs, we got Mike Tyson coming in. Howard Wilder coming in. One (more) safety and one corner is the perfect scenario for us to have more experience."
I want to hear from you! Agree, disagree, befuddled? Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or hit me up on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr) with your thoughts on this list or anything else Bearcats football.