March 6, 2012
Coach Manning Interview
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati football team was on the field in full pads Tuesday, working out for around two hours inside the bubble at the Sheakley Athletic Center.
It was the first time in pads for the Bearcats since the 2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 and much of the pre-practice chatter was filled with anticipation.
The coaching staff started things out early with the circle of life drill, pitting the players in 1-on-1 hitting situations. From there, the team worked through live periods in special teams, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.
One of the new faces on the coaching staff is Roy Manning. Manning was UC's defensive graduate assistant in 2010, before moving the his alma mater, the University of Michigan, as the offensive GA in 2011. For the 2012 season, Manning has returned to Cincinnati, joining the full-time staff and will coach the running backs.
The Bearcats will be looking to replace the production of 2011 BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Year Isaiah Pead who recently was named the MVP of the 2012 Senior Bowl. He lead the conference with 1,259 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 96.85 yards per contest, which ranked 27th best in the nation this season and added 319 receiving yards and three more scores for a total of 15 on the year. He capped off the year with an MVP performance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, going for 149 yards and a touchdown in the Bearcats' win over Vanderbilt.
Senior George Winn (Southfield, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) took full advantage of Pead's broken chinstrap during the second quarter of the Liberty Bowl, spelling Pead and scampering 69-yards down the sideline for a career-long touchdown which put UC on the board and tied up the game early. Winn played in all 13 games a year ago, starting on all of UC's special teams and averaged 5.5 yards per carry while running the ball.
A pair of sophomore's, Jameel Poteat
(Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) and Ralph David Abernathy IV
(Atlanta, Ga./Westminster School) are also in the mix. Both saw limited time at running back but Poteat showed flashes of the future against Akron, toting the ball 10 times for 55 yards and a touchdown. Abernathy has also showcased his ability to be a playmaker, doing most of his damage on the kickoff return team.
UC returns to the practice field Saturday as the coaching staff welcomes members of the Southwest Ohio Football Coaches Association to campus for the annual SWOFCA Clinic. Head Coach Butch Jones will serve as the event's keynote speaker on Friday evening.