Jan. 9, 2008
CINCINNATI -- University of Cincinnati senior safety Haruki Nakamura has been invited to play in the 63rd annual Hula Bowl. One of the oldest football all-star games in the country, the Hula Bowl is set to kick off at 6 p.m. ET (1 p.m. HT) on Saturday, Jan. 12.
The 2008 Hula Bowl is played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, the same venue that annually hosts the NFL Pro Bowl. The game will be nationally televised by Versus.
The Elyria, OH, native was a 2007 first-team all-BIG EAST Conference performer and finished the year with a team-high 95 tackles, four interceptions and three forced fumbles.
A starter in his final 36 games wearing a Cincinnati uniform, Nakamura joins Digger Bujnoch, Angelo Craig, and Anthony Hoke on the roster. The four Bearcats make up the most from any school on the East (Aina) team. Oregon State, lists four players on the West (Kai) squad.
The Bearcats concluded the 2007 season 10-3 under heach coach Brian Kelly to earn a No. 17 ranking in the Associated Press Poll. UC shares the BIG EAST lead with three straight bowl games, dating back to the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl, after this year's Papajohns.com Bowl triumph over Southern Miss., 31-21.
Cincinnati returns 16 starters in 2008, including all-Americans Mike Mickens, Terrill Byrd, and Kevin Huber. UC paced the country with 26 interceptions and shared the national lead with 42 takeaways. Cincinnati ranked 13th in scoring defense (18.8 ppg) and 16th in scoring offense (36.3 ppg).
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