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As the nation's sports focus turns to Augusta, Georgia and
The Masters for a week, many people don't realize that Tommy Tuberville played
college golf in addition to football.
With numerous Bearcat football lettermen in town April 11
for the annual Letterman's Golf Outing, Tuberville can talk about some of the
legendary holes he's played before. Among those, is the famous (or
infamous) Amen Corner at Augusta National.
The University of
Cincinnati offensive line has the luxury of an experienced center who is only a
sophomore. Deyshawn Bond out of Warren Central High School in Indianapolis
could potentially be a four-year starter; a rarity on a Division I offensive
When senior Dan Sprague went down prior to the start of the season, Bond
stepped in and played the majority of the season until tweaking an ankle late
in the year. The 6-foot-2, 287 pounder was originally a high school
guard, but was a quick study at center once arriving at UC.
Back for a second year, University of Cincinnati Eddie Gran
is revving up the Bearcat offense even more. When Munchie Legaux was injured
last year and Brendon Kay stepped in, the offense eventually reverted to what
Kay was familiar with, the hurry-up.
Based on that success, the hurry-up is trying to hurry even
more for 2014 with the likes of Gunner Kiel, Jarred Evans, Michael Colosimo,
Hayden Moore and possibly Leagaux again (he's thrown some in practice).
Coupled with outstanding receivers and running backs in
better condition, the Bearcats could be full throttle by September's opener.
Gran himself works quick, I had to chase him down outside of
the Sheakley Athletics Center by the Bearcat statue on this day.
With the move of Ralph
David Abernathy IV to receiver (although he'll still run some) UC looks like
their moving toward bigger backs.
Though last year's rushing leader was Hosey Williams, who does put 200 pounds
on a 5-foot-7 frame, the bigger back is No. 7, Tion Green.
Green's 409 yards were third behind Williams and Abernathy, but he did score
more rushing touchdowns with seven. A first look at Green in spring
practice had many thinking he had put on pounds.
In actuality, Green has dropped weight, but apparently but on muscle. At around
the 215 mark, Green looks primed to have an impact in the new, fast-paced
offense. Of all of the runners, he does appear to have a nose for the endzone
and a knack for running "downhill".
Here's the personable Mr. Green:
Like Eddie Gran, another member of the University of
Cincinnati football coach has returned to the Bearcats from an earlier stint.
Co-defensive coordinator Hank Hughes was on Tim Murphy's
staff in 1993 when the Bearcats broke a ten-season losing skid with an 8-3
effort. That season included what was then a rare stop by a bowl officer as the
"Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl" officer was here for a Bearcats' game
As some may recall, Cincinnati was treated to a rare, late
October snowstorm and the desired attendance for the game at Nippert was not
reached (even including the snowman someone had made in the Herschede-Shank
UC won that game and eventually finished with a win over
East Carolina for the 8-3 season that catapulted Murphy to Harvard and Boston
where he was from. Hughes went with Murphy to the Ivy League, then spent three
seasons at Memphis before spending the last 14 seasons at Connecticut.
He now returns to a team with a better identity, better
facilities and better players. Here's my chat with Coach Hughes at a
If you see a young man around campus wearing a Seahawks
jersey and looking like Russell Wilson, you're sadly mistaken.
You won't be too far off though as the person you're looking at is also a
football player and a quarterback.
Coming to Cincinnati from Queens, by way of Santa Barbara, Calif., Jarred Evans
is a dead ringer for the Super Bowl-winning quarterback. A dead ringer,
with a live arm.
Wearing No. 12 for the Bearcats, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound signal caller can
throw, run and throw on the run. Judging from the direction of Coach Tommy
Tuberville's Bearcat offense, he should fit in just fine.
Evans will compete for the job this spring with sophomore Gunner Kiel, senior
Michael Colosimo and true freshman Hayden Moore. Also, lurking around
practice and waiting to return this summer is Munchie Legaux.
In other words, Coach Tuberville and the 'Cats have some options and some
pretty darn good ones.
Here's a snippet of Mr. Evans from a recent practice at the Sheakley Athletic
I'm not sure where Midlothian, Virginia is, but anyone from
there likely marveled at Troy Caupain at Cosby High School.
I'm also not sure what Cosby High's nickname is. It
probably should be "Kids". Whatever it is, I'm sure Caupain did it proud
as he not only scored 26 points per game, but also averaged an astounding 15
rebounds from his 6-foot-3 frame.
He once hit for 48 in high school and plays with the
confidence of someone who wants the ball when a bucket is needed. Thus
far, his UC high is 15 points. With three years remaining, there's no
question he'll surpass that figure easily.
With a large amount of Bearcat memorabilia around my various
workplaces,my family noticed a few months ago that Caupain bore a slight resemblance
to former Bearcat great Danny Fortson.
As my wife would say, "He's a babyface!"
At 18-years-old, Caupain might not appreciate the reference,
but at some point he will. If UC were to get a portion of Fortson's
production out of No. 10, fans should be pretty satisfied. It's also
encouraging to think of the future backcourt of Caupain, Johnson and Deshaun
Morman, based on what we've seen thus far.
This is "Two Minutes With Troy" from UC's practice gym in
the Lindner Center.
UC's Mick Cronin owns wins over several noteworthy
coaches, including Hall of Famers Rick Pitino and most recently Larry Brown of
SMU. At a recent practice, the Bearcats' head basketball coach spoke about how
he got there, his experiences, his supporters and his influences.
If you see a huge group of UC No. 95's in Charlotte in and
around the Belk Bowl, it could be because junior defensive lineman Terrell
Hartsfield has a huge contingent of fans.
Hartsfield's from Raleigh, about 140 miles away and is
excited about play North Carolina (who also recruited him) Dec. 28. The lanky defensive lineman is looking
forward to introducing some Tar Heels to the turf to finish out the 2013 campaign.
Gunner Kiel has been working with the UC quarterbacks all
season long even though he's been unable to play as a transfer from Notre Dame.
The luxury of a bowl game is extra practices for players
like Kiel who are eyeing spring practice as their time to shine in preparation
Kiel and Bennie Coney have both been getting beneficial
extra reps during Belk Bowl practice.