When Cincinnati faced Florida in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, New Orleans resident Munchie Legaux was in the Louisiana Superdome watching his future school.
But he was rooting for UC's opponent.
"I didn't have the Bearcats on my mind at the time,"
said Legaux. "I was just there enjoying
the game because I was a big Florida fan at the time. Shortly after that - I'd say about a week
later - Coach Jones gave me a phone call.
I was like, 'Wow, that's the team that just played in the Sugar
Bowl.' I was interested and took a visit
and here I am today."
As he enters his junior year at Cincinnati, Legaux is battling senior Brendon Kay in training camp to be named the Bearcats starting quarterback. Munchie is the likely front-runner after starting the final three games of the regular season last year for the injured Zach Collaros. After losing in his first start at Rutgers, Legaux led UC to wins over Syracuse and UConn that gave the 'Cats a share of the Big East title.
"He grew a lot," said offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian. "He became more comfortable, saw things better, and played within the offense. Just understanding that the key to this offense is completions and keeping the ball moving. I think early on, he tried to do too much. As time has progressed, I think he understands that we have to let our playmakers make the plays and it's our responsibility to get the ball in their hands."
"(My teammates) have some trust in me now because I stepped up for a guy like Zach Collaros who was a leader," said Legaux. "I feel like those guys trust me because of last year, but I can't dwell on the past. That was last year and this is a new year."
Head coach Butch Jones has made it clear that he would like to name his starting quarterback early in training camp and says he's looking for one thing in particular in making the choice.
"Consistency," said Jones. "Just getting better each and every day and managing our offense. Knowing when to throw the ball away, knowing where your playmakers are, understanding down and distance situations, and everything that goes into playing quarterback."
"They're looking for a guy who can come out here and be consistent on a daily basis in everything that he does," said Legaux.
The coaches are also looking for Legaux to display the leadership qualities that are essential at the quarterback position.
"I see him getting more and more comfortable in that role and getting more assertive," said Jones.
"It's a process," said Bajakian. "Sure there is an inclination on the part of some people to have that presence, but we talk a lot about leadership being a skill. Just like the skill of a three-step drop, just like the skill of throwing the deep ball, it's something that you have to work on and improve upon. No matter how good or bad that you are, you can always improve upon it."
After getting his introduction to Bearcat football
as a Sugar Bowl spectator, Legaux is looking to be front and center in 2012.
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