Aug. 8, 2012
WEST HARRISON, Ind. - The University of Cincinnati football team opened up preparations for the 2012 season with a workout in helmets under steamy conditions at the Higher Ground Conference & Retreat Center in West Harrison, Ind.
UC returns 13 starters and 43 letterwinners from the 2011 squad that won its third BIG EAST Conference title in four years and will have to replace seven offensive starters and four defensive starters in the lead up to the 2012 season.
Head Coach Butch Jones, the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year, enters his third season with the Bearcats and his sixth as a collegiate head coach.
The Bearcats will return to the practice field Thursday for the second of its preseason practice at Camp Higher Ground.
The Bearcats will remain at their off-campus training site until Aug. 22 before returning to campus. Cincinnati opens the season with a bye week and will play its first game against Pittsburgh on Thursday, Sept. 6 inside historic Nippert Stadium.
LATE ADDITIONS ADD DEPTH TO ROSTER
- UC added four student-athletes, wide receiver Braxton Lane (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek HS), linebacker Jeff Luc (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast/Florida State), defensive lineman Elijah Shuler (North Brandford, Conn./North Brandford/Pierce CC) and defensive lineman John Williams (Miami, Fla./Central/Central Michigan) to its 2012 roster entering training camp.
- Lane is a freshman who spent the last three years playing professional baseball, Luc is a junior transfer from Florida State who will sit out the 2012 season due to NCAA regulations and Shuler is a junior-college transfer from Pierce College in Los Angeles, Calif.
- Lane is a 5-11, 192 pound speedster out of Sandy Creek HS in Georgia, the same high school that produced another current UC wideout, sophomore Alex Chisum. Lane, a high school All-America baseball player, spent the past three seasons (2009-2011) in the Texas Rangers’ minor league system playing in the Arizona League and for the Spokane Indians and Hickory Crawdads. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft by the Rangers with the 214th overall selection.
- Luc played in 19 career games at Florida State, tallying 23 career tackles and three tackles for loss. In 2011, he played in 11 games and recorded 15 tackles and two tackles for loss. He was a highly-touted prospect out of Treasure Coast HS, ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the country by Rivals.
- Shuler joins the Bearcats after a year at Pierce College and another at Mt. Ida College. He saw time in 15 junior-college games, earning five starts and totaling 51 tackles, including 30 solo stops, 4.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks along with a QB hurry and a fumble recovery.
- Williams comes to UC after spending four seasons, three as a starter, at Central Michigan where he earned a degree in child development. He was a co-captain for the Chippewas in 2011, limited to just four games due to injury. In 37 career games with 30 starts, Williams has 94 tackles, including 13 for a loss and nine sacks.
- When UC Head Coach Butch Jones has been making reference to being a young football team entering 2012, he’s not making it up.
- Sixty-four student athletes are at a sophomore level or below with only 40 upperclassmen.
- The freshmen class of 28 individuals makes up the largest group, which grows to 43 players including redshirts.
- DB Reuben Johnson will not play this season due to injury. He will stay with the team and serve as a student assistant coach.
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