Aug. 6, 2013
The University of Cincinnati football team opened up preparations for the 2013 season Monday, holding a 90-minute workout in helmets inside both the Sheakley Athletics Center and Nippert Stadium.
"What we are trying to do right now is get everyone on the same page and keep everyone healthy," Head Coach Tommy Tuberville said. "I told our guys before practice that I wanted them up off the ground. Football is played with everyone falling on everyone, so right now, we are teaching them what to do before we focus on the contact parts, which will come Friday when we put the pads on."
The Bearcats had 31 newcomers taking part in their first UC practice, including four FBS transfers and five former junior college players.
The transfer of LB Eric Wilson (Redford, Mich./Thurston/Northwestern) was announced earlier today, but DE Marques Aiken (Lauderhill, Fla./Boyd Anderson/Marshall), TE Jake Golic (W. Hartford, Conn./Northwest Catholic/Notre Dame) and QB Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind./East/Notre Dame) all donned the red and black for the first time.
The junior college contingent included: DE Terrell Hartsfield (Raleigh, N.C./Rolesville/Copiah-Lincoln CC), WR Johnny Holton (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables/College of Dupage), DE Jerrell Jordan (Alta Vista, Va./Alta Vista/Copiah-Lincoln CC), RB Rodriguez Moore (Bastrop, La./Bastrop/East Mississippi CC), DB Howard Wilder (Sea Pleasant, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/Pierce College) and RB Hosey Williams (Miami, Fla./Southridge/ASA College).
Hartsfield was on campus for spring workouts, but broke his foot on the second day of practice. He has healed fully and was full go Monday.
Two of the Bearcats senior leaders, LB Greg Blair (Pittsburgh, Pa./Schenley/Lackawanna CC) and QB Brendon Kay (Marine City, Mich./Marine City) started their final preseason training camp for UC.
Kay spent time this summer as a counselor at the Manning Quarterback Camp, held annually at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
"I just went out there and tried to take in as much as I could whether it was from Peyton, Eli, Blaine Gabbert or even the other college guys," Kay said. "I was a sponge at the camp and really just wanted to absorb as much as I could and then put it towards improving my game."
Blair was a first-team all-conference selection a year ago who will help lead a defense that is excited for the 2013 season.
"You start getting real excited, especially when you see your name on the helmet and everyone putting their jerseys on," Blair said. "In the first day, you really just try to work on technique, but we can't wait to put pads on and start hitting one another."
The Bearcats had a new look on the field as well, donning white helmets. The new practice helmets will be worn during training camp and the season to keep players cool and to save the wear and tear on UC's black game helmets which have a glossy finish that can be worn down by a season's worth of practice.
UC will return to the practice field Tuesday, holding its second of four NCAA-mandated acclimatization workouts. The Bearcats will don shells (helmets and shoulder pads) on Wednesday before progressing to full pads on Saturday.
"We know that we have many things to put together before our first game, but you have to start somewhere," Tuberville said. "So we will start with the basics the first three or four days and then we will start adding on as we go. We need to get everyone in the right position and then build from there."
UC will practice on campus through Thursday before moving to its preseason home at the Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center in West Harrison, Ind. The team will practice at Higher Ground for just over two weeks, returning to campus on Friday, Aug. 23.
The Bearcats open the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 against Purdue at noon inside Nippert Stadium. Tickets for that game and the entire 2013 campaign are on sale now. Call 1-877-CATS-TIX or click the tickets link at GoBEARCATS.com to get your seats today.