Coach Jones Interview | The Best Of Spring Sights & Sounds
The University of Cincinnati football team closed out spring practice with workout No. 15, Saturday under variable skies inside Nippert Stadium.
The Bearcats worked out for around two hours, focusing on a heavy amount of live special teams work as the coaching staff tries to fill out the post spring, pre-training camp depth chart. The last few periods of practice featured a scrimmage for UC's younger players.
Head coach Butch Jones was pleased with how the team finished out spring practice and he pointed out the players as the thing he was most impressed with coming out of the spring campaign.
"We have great individuals in our football family," Jones said. "I feel a renewed commitment. I enjoy coming to work every day. We have great leadership and these kids love playing the game. This is agreat group so far to coach and they want to be successful. When you have that mentaility, you can acomplish anything you put your mind to."
Three student-athletes, Collin McCafferty (Maineville, Ohio/Kings), J.K. Schaffer (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle), and Derek Wolfe (Lisbon, Ohio/Beaver Local) were award All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year honors from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) earlier this week. Read that story HERE.
Following a few weeks off, the team will begin their summer conditioning program that will lead up to the start of training camp during the first week in August.
The Bearcats kick off the 2011 season inside Nippert Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 1 against Austin Peay.
| WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011
Coach Bajakian Interview | Troy Vincent Interview
The University of Cincinnati football team returned to the field Wednesday for practice 13A, working out for just over an hour, finishing off the postponed workout from Tuesday inside Nippert Stadium.
NFL VP of Player Engagement Troy Vincent was back on campus today to meet with the Bearcats underclassmen. Vincent, a 13-year NFL veteran, spoke to the Bearcats in May of 2010, presenting a program called Pathway to the Pros.
To a captive audience, Vincent compared the average income level of someone with a high school diploma or someone with some college, a college degree or a post-college degree. Of the more than 1-million players who don a football uniform in high school, only 140 will play four or more years in the NFL.
One of Vincent's main points, made throughout the morning was the importance of getting a degree.
"Don't take your scholarship for granted," Vincent said. "You are here for one reason, to get an education first. A degree is the only thing that can produce options for you. Football is part of your life journey, not your final destination."
The players were warned about the potholes along the way -- things as seemingly harmless as social networking to serious issues such as texting while driving, violence, alcohol, and drugs.
Vincent took time out for an interview with GoBEARCATS.com. We also present a chat with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian.
The team will work out on Thursday before closing out spring practice Saturday inside Nippert Stadium.
| TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011
Rain Day Update | Coach Elder Interview | Collaros Feature | Defense Feature
The University of Cincinnati football team was chased inside due to storms in the Cincinnati area Tuesday, putting a hold on spring practice No. 13.
The team will work out Wednesday morning before closing spring practice out on Thursday and Saturday inside Nippert Stadium.
In addition to a rain update from Tommy G., GoBEARCATS.com brings you an update on the tight ends with Coach Mark Elder, and features on starting QB Zach Collaros and the defense that aired during the broadcast of Bearcat Bowl V on Saturday.
| SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2011
Bearcat Bowl V Replay
The University of Cincinnati football team held Bearcat Bowl V Saturday on a cold and rainy night at Nippert Stadium. Bearcat Bowl V was the team's 11th of 15 spring practice and the defense, wearing the black jerseys, came out on top 63-53.
The team held situational as well as competition sessions on the evening. The wide receivers took on the defensive backs and the offensive line went against the defensive line in 1-on-1 drills. Several scrimmage situations took place including the third string against the third string to close out the evening.
Danny Milligan finished the night with a pair of touchdowns and a 52-yard field goal. Walter Stewart had three sacks as he continues to transition to playing on the defensive line full time.
Stewart and Camerron Cheatham were both named as winners of the Iron Bearcat Award for the Winter/Spring of 2011. The award is earned by the UC football player who has demonstrated the most improvement in football performance through hard work and dedication in the weight room, as voted on by his teammates. Stewart represented the power group, while Cheatham represented the skill group.
Fans can watch a replay of Bearcat Bowl V on GoBEARCATS.com by clicking HERE. A tape-delayed program of the event will be shown on FOX Sports Ohio on April 21 at 8 p.m. and on April 22 at 11 p.m., following the Reds postgame show.
Earlier in the day, the Glenn Sample Captains' Breakfast was held. Former Bearcats team captains from all eras of the team's history, ranging from Dean Giacometti (1940-41) to Collin McCafferty (2007-10) were present along with the 2011 senior class. Selected captains from each decade spoke to the seniors, sharing knowledge, advice, and stories.
The Bearcats also welcomed several hundred local youths to Nippert Stadium for a youth clinic prior to the spring workout. The youths were put through drills by the Bearcats and coaching staff and even had the thrill of running out of the tunnel like the Bearcats do on gamedays.
UC will close out spring practice next week, working out Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday before closing out the spring session on Saturday.
| TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2011
Coach Mahoney Interview | T. Kelce Interview
The University of Cincinnati football team returned to the practice field Tuesday, working out for 24 periods in full pads on a cold day inside Nippert Stadium.
UC will practice outside for the rest of spring football as the Sheakley Athletics Center bubble began to come down Monday. Workers were on hand to uninstal lights and prepare the bubble for deflation on Tuesday morning. Fans can view a webcam of the progress HERE.
Today's post-practice interviews include an update on the offensive line from assistant coach Don Mahoney and a word with tight end Travis Kelce.
The offensive line returns starters RT Alex Hoffman (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) and LG Randy Martinez (Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck) and must replace center Jason Kelce, guard C.J. Cobb and tackle Samuel Griffin. Sean Hooey (Litchfield, Mich./Hillsdale) made a pair of starts in 2010 and looks to claim the left tackle slot. Evan Davis (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) started one game last year and leads the group at center, and sophomores Austen Bujnoch (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) and Andre Cureton (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) are having a battle at right guard for the starting spot.
Kelce returns to the team this season after sitting out all of 2010 due to a violation of team rules. He scored a pair of touchdowns out of the 'Bearcat' package in 2009 as a redshirt freshman.
The Cincinnati Enquirer ran a story titled '10 Facts About Butch Jones' on Tuesday HERE. Regarding item 1, the 'Hold the Rope' phrase used by the Bearcats since Coach Jones' arrival did not come from his time at West Virginia University under head coach Rich Rodriguez. Jones actually learned the saying from his father, who was chief of police in Saugatuck, Mich. The elder Jones also used the slogan to emphasize the importance of teamwork to his men.
UC returns to the practice field Thursday for workout No. 10, ahead of Bearcats Bowl V, which is scheduled to run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
| SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011
The University of Cincinnati football team held an 18-period workout in shells Sunday, traveling to downtown Cincinnati to Paul Brown Stadium where UC will play two home games during the 2011 campaign.
One-hundred eighty-eight days was mentioned throughout the day by the coaching staff. For those who are counting, UC's matchup against Louisivlle for the Keg Of Nails will take place on Oct. 15, 2011, just 188 days away.
In other countdowns, there are 13 days remaining in the spring practice, 112 days until BIG EAST Conference Media Day, 117 days until the start of fall training camp, and 144 days until the 2011 opener against Austin Peay.
The workout, No. 8 of 15 alloted during the spring session, took place under warm, windy, sunny skies and focused mainly on special teams.
The Bearcats worked on all phases of special teams with the wind adding a new element to the kicking game.
UC returns to the practice field Tuesday for practice No. 9. UC will also workout on Thursday ahead of Bearcats Bowl V, which is scheduled to run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
| SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 2011
Coach Jones Interview | Family Day Photo (Full Size)
The University of Cincinnati football team was back on the field Saturday as the Bearcats celebrated Family Day in conjunction with their seventh workout of the spring.
Practice started outside at Nippert Stadium, but the Bearcats were chased into the Sheakley Athletics Center by storms in the area with about 45 minutes left in the workout.
Around 400 family members of UC student-athletes and staff were on hand to view practice, take a group pictures afterwards, and then have lunch at the Myers Alumni Center.
"We had great participation today from our football family," head coach Butch Jones said. "Everything that we do within our football program is family. Together we are a family. I don't like to use the term football program I prefer calling it a football family. I know a lot of individuals preach family, but we live it each and every day."
The team participated in a situational scrimmage for part of practice with the No. 1 offense taking on the No. 1 defense, and so on. The offense worked against the defense on a short field, long field, and then overtime situations.
UC returns to the practice field Sunday for spring workout No. 8 of 15. In a bit of a change, the Bearcats will practice at Paul Brown Stadium tomorrow. Bearcats Bowl V is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
| TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2011
Coach Addae Interview | Coach Jancek Interview
The University of Cincinnati football team returned to the Sheakley Athletics Center turf Tuesday for a 26-period to open the second week of spring football.
The team moved outside to close out today's workout, with the focus on the PAT and field goal units. UC has to replace stalwart kicker Jacob Rogers who completed his eligibility in 2010.
Rogers closed out a strong four-year career and became the school's all-time scoring leader with 339 points, passing former Lou Groza Award winner Jonathan Ruffin (315 points/1999-2002) for the top spot.
Rogers also holds the school marks for extra points made (186), extra points attempted (195), points scored by kicking (339), and is tied for consecutive field goals made (13) with Ruffin. He is second in field goals made (62), field goals attempted (75), and has three of the five longest field goals in school history. He made a 55 yarder against Oregon State in 2007, and a 54 yarder at Connecticut (2008) and a 53-yard kick at Hawai'i in 2008.
The kicking battle this spring has a GCL flavor with a pair of Cincinnati natives, Tony Miliano (Elder HS) and Danny Milligan (St. Xavier HS), trying to earn the placekicking role for 2011.
Miliano redshirted a year ago while Milligan saw some time at wide receiver.
UC head coach Butch Jones has said that this kicking battle will go deep into fall camp with a starter not being decided until game week against Austin Peay. Jones also said more players could be added to the battle through the late spring and summer.
UC returns to the practice field Thursday for the sixth of 15 spring workouts. Bearcats Bowl V is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
| SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2011
Coach Jones Interview
The University of Cincinnati football team held a 26-period workout Saturday, venturing outside for the first time this spring on the Nippert Stadium turf.
Head Coach Butch Jones has today's post-practice interview. The second-year head coach talks about what he has been pleased with thus far through camp and the hot-button items the team will continue to work on through the final 11 workouts of the spring.
Jones called Saturday's work 'very valuable.' He is pleased with UC's mentality and work ethic and has stressed to the team that every drill counts, every rep counts, and that the Bearcats have to get better every day.
To the untrained eye, it would appear that some members of the team are out of uniform at practice. But it's just another sign of the strong relationship between UC and its official outfitter adidas. UC is testing prototypes of adidas' next-generation football pants, jerseys, shoes, and football this spring.
Various student-athletes will wear/use the prototypes and then give feedback to equipment assistant Andy Frigge who will in turn provide the feedback to adidas.
The Bearcats also played host to numerous high school coaches who were attending the Southwest Ohio Football Coaches Association Clinic on UC's campus this weekend.
UC returns to the practice field Tuesday, marking the first third of spring practice with the fifth of 15 spring workouts. Bearcats Bowl V is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
HOT OFF THE PRESSES ...
- Don Hohler from the Norwalk Reflector has a story about former Bearcats LB Marcus Waugh who is getting a professional football shot with the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League. Read the full story HERE.
| THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 2011
Coach Stripling Interview | Hoffman Interview
The University of Cincinnati football team donned full pads Thursday for the third of 15 spring practices inside the Sheakley Athletics Center.
The intensity was ramped up as the Bearcats had some full contact for the first time since the 2010 regular season ended in December.
One of head coach Butch Jones' points of emphasis this spring is team toughness. Several new 1-on-1 tackling and situational drills have sprung up in practice. Jones and his staff have all donned shirts that feature a C-PAW with the word TOUGH next to it.
One new drill is called the Cat Drill. A defensive back and wide receiver will line up a few yards apart and each player has to try to physically get past their opponent inside a coned-off area.
Tommy G. was on the scene Thursday with a pair of interviews, talking with assistant head coach/defensive line Steve Stripling as well as senior offensive tackle Alex Hoffman. Click the links above to view.
UC will not practice Friday, but will meet in the morning and go through a lifting session before returning to the field Saturday for the fourth of 15 spring workouts. Bearcats Bowl V is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
HOT OFF THE PRESSES ...
- Bill Koch has a story on the return of UC tight end Travis Kelce HERE.
- ESPN.com's Brian Bennett has a few more Cincinnati updates in his blog, including a new moniker for the UC defense HERE and an interview with linebacker JK Schaffer HERE.
- Sam Elliott from the News Record has a practice report up HERE.
| WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2011
Coach Weist Interview
The University of Cincinnati football team held its second of 15 spring practices Wednesday, a 26-periord affair inside the Sheakley Athletics Center.
The team worked out in helmets again Wednesday and are scheduled to be in pads for Thursday's practice.
Wednesday's interview from Tommy G. is with wide receivers coach T.J. Weist. The wide receiving corps returns senior starter D.J. Woods and must replace the production of former standout Armon Binns.
Binns was a First-Team All-BIG EAST honoree in 2010 that led the league in both receptions per game (6.2) and receiving yards per game (91.8). He caught 75 balls for 1,101 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. Binns became just the seventh UC receiver to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.
Woods, a Second-Team All-BIG EAST selection in 2010, was second on the team with 57 receptions for 898 yards and eight TDs. He was second in the BIG EAST in receiving yards (74.8 ypg) and third in receptions (5.3 rpg).
Kenbrell Thompkins, a junior-college transfer from El Camino CC, will get his shot to play this season after sitting out the 2010 campaign due to an NCAA ruling. Thompkins exploded onto the scene after two strong seasons at El Camino where he had 111 receptions for 1,766 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Sophomore Anthony McClung looks to build upon his 22 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns from 2010 as a true freshman.
Orion Woodard, a senior who has been an ace special teams player in his first three seasons, local product Danny Milligan (St. Xavier HS), and true freshman Shaq Washington are all in the battle for playing time at receiver.
UC returns to the field Thursday donning pads for the third of 15 spring workouts. Bearcats Bowl V is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
HOT OFF THE PRESSES ...
- GoBEARCATS.com's own blogger, Paul Dehner has a story on offensive lineman Alex Hoffman HERE. Dehner's daily Bearcats Breakfast column should be required reading for all UC fans. Check out Wednesday morning's offering HERE.
- ESPN.com's Brian Bennett was at practice Tuesday. Read his practice report HERE and his thoughts on the Bearcats this spring HERE.
- Bill Koch from the Cincinnati Enquirer has a spring football preview HERE and a story on UC signal caller Zach Collaros HERE.
- David Fox from Rivals.com offers up his spring preview for UC HERE.
- WCPO's John Popovich and Mark Slaughter have a report from Tuesday's practice HERE.
| TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011
Coach Jones Interview | Stewart Interview | Sights & Sounds
The University of Cincinnati football team held a 26-period workout Tuesday on the opening day of spring football inside the Sheakley Athletics Center.
Head coach Butch Jones enters his second season at the helm of the program and returns his entire coaching staff in 2011, the first time in the past three seasons there has been no staff turnover among the full-time assistant coaches.
The Bearcats return 18 starters, including all 11 on defense, and 51 letterwinners from the 2010 squad.
Among the returners are First-Team All-BIG EAST signal caller Zach Collaros and Second-Team All-BIG EAST selections: RB Isaiah Pead, LB JK Schaffer, and WR D.J. Woods.
Five members of UC's 2011 signing class, LB Dwight Jackson, DB Malcolm Murray, LB Nick Temple, WR Shaq Washington, and QB Stephen Weatherford, are enrolled in classes participating in spring football. Murray and Washington enrolled in January, while the other three joined the team this week.
Former UC standout Connor Barwin was on the sidelines at practice today. The Houston Texans outside linebacker continues his rehabilitation with UC football athletic trainer Bob Mangine and physical therapist Joe Rauch from a broken ankle suffered last season.
UC returns to the field Wednesday for the second of 15 spring workouts. Bearcats Bowl V is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 16, 2011 inside Nippert Stadium.
| SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011
The University of Cincinnati football team reported back from spring break Sunday, holding a team meeting ahead of the start of spring football on Tuesday. In addition to starting the spring quarter Monday, the team will workout in the morning and observe the 2011 senior class go through its NFL Pro Day.
Bearcats fans, be sure to set your DVRs on Sunday as head Coach Butch Jones will make appearences on three Sunday-night sports shows in the Tri-State Area. Jones will appear on Channel 5's Sports Rock with George Vogel at 11:30, Channel 12's Sports Authority with Zach Wells at 11:30, and Channel 9's Sports of All Sorts with John Popovich at midnight.