Hungry Like The Wolfe

GOBEARCATSDOTCOM
GOBEARCATSDOTCOM

GOBEARCATSDOTCOM
Football |

Sept. 17, 2011

By Katie Baran

Every student-athlete has a story. Growing up, many 'dream big' with ambitious goals of becoming the next professional star. Often times, there are many unexpected hurdles to overcome along the way. But, to say that is an understatement for senior defensive lineman Derek Wolfe, whose road to Cincinnati was anything but ordinary.

Growing up in Lisbon, Ohio, Wolfe was the product of a broken home. After never meeting his father and eventually breaking ties with his mother, he developed a bond with his childhood best friend, Logan Hoppel. It was the Hoppel family who took Wolfe under their wing and ended up playing a hand in his future.

Having played football since the age of six, Wolfe continued to develop his skills on the gridiron through high school. It was then that he realized his potential to play at the next level, and it was Logan's cousin, Adam, who paved his way to UC.

"I started getting offers after my junior year," Wolfe said. "My final four were Ohio State, West Virginia, Michigan State and Cincinnati. A family that helped me out a lot actually had a relative that played here - Adam Hoppel. I just thought it would be a good idea to come down here to keep me out of trouble and go somewhere I knew somebody."

While staying out of trouble, Wolfe found his way into seven games as a backup defensive tackle for the Bearcats. As a freshman, he totaled three tackles and recorded his first career sack on the final play of the home finale against Syracuse to seal UC's BIG EAST Conference Championship fate. He upped the ante as a sophomore, earning 13 starts at defensive tackle, where he made 41 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry. Everything was going according to plan.

"I knew I was going to get a chance to play at UC early," Wolfe said. "But, when I got done with my sophomore year, I had higher expectations. Obviously the NFL has been my main goal, so I've just been taking it day by day."


 

 

Another unexpected obstacle Wolfe faced was adjusting to the change of a new head coach at the start of his junior season. Still, nothing could slow the 6-foot-5, 300-pound beast down.

"When (head) Coach (Butch) Jones got here, he pushed me to levels I didn't think I could be pushed to," Wolfe said. "He made me a better player. He taught me how to fight through when you get tired. He just made me an all-around better player. He changed me completely - got my hands and feet going. (Defensive line) Coach (Steve) Stripling has a lot to do with the player I've become."

Fast-forward two years later and Wolfe is still one of the most explosive players on defense for the Bearcats. After finishing third on the team in sacks in 2010, Wolfe showed no signs of letting up in UC's home opener against Austin Peay - ending the day with three solo tackles, one forced fumble and one sack as he continues to inch closer to his ultimate goal.

"This season, my first goal is to win," Wolfe said. "For us to win, I have to play great. If I play great, obviously I'll get drafted high and move on to the NFL."

As for his future outside the game of football, Wolfe hopes to make an impact the same way the Hoppels did for him.

"I'd like to help out," Wolfe said. "I had a lot of people help me when I was down on my luck, so I'd like to be able to do the same thing people did for me."

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Gunner Kiel impresses at UC football's spring game

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Youthful UC can make its own history next season

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's defense makes statement in latest scrimmage

    FanIQ.com

    Remember Gunner Kiel? He's Ready to Dominate

    SportsIllustrated.com

    Hank Hughes Q&A

    New York Times

    Growing as a Player, Beaming as a Father

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    NCAA Tournament is 'Cincinnati vs. the world'

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Kiel comes out strong in Bearcats' spring scrimmage

    Sporting News

    2013-14 Men's Basketball All-Americans

    Fox Sports

    Cincinnati made me a believer

    CBS Sports.com

    Former redshirt Sean Kilpatrick finishing out historic career

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Q&A with UC AD Mike Bohn

    ESPN

    Brennan's Wooden Watch: Week 14

    MLSSoccer.com

    Fit and healthy, Omar Cummings offering a new dynamic up top for Houston Dynamo

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Men's soccer signee Clark named Gatorade Ohio player of the year

    ESPN

    Munchie Legaux and Shaq Washington gain extra year

    Denver Post

    Mike Bohn eager to point Cincinnati Bearcats in right direction as AD

    The Washington Post

    No. 7 Bearcats have highest ranking in 10 years

    Yahoo! Sports

    How Sean Kilpatrick willed UC past Louisville and back into the nation's consciousness

    SI.com

    Cincinnati takes over AAC with win at Louisville

    ESPN.com

    Tough Bearcats don't get rattled

    ESPN.com

    UC staves off Temple to stay perfect in AAC

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC looks to 15-year sports admin vet Reed-Francois for interim AD

    CBS Sports

    No. 15 Cincinnati stomps UCF, wins 11th straight

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats take down USF 61-54, win 10th straight

    USA Today

    Why Cincinnati is not a team to sleep on

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Short-handed Bearcats cautious about ranking

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's goal: win them all at home

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Cronin: Not easy, but Cats got through fatigue

    The News Record

    What you missed in UC sports during break

    FB Schedules

    Boise State, Cincinnati Schedules 2019, 20 Home-and-Home Series

    Forbes

    The Best and Worst College Football Teams for the Money

    USA Today

    Report: Colleges doing poorly at hiring women coaches

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Randolph named AAC Player of the Week

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC women's basketball knocks off Ohio State

    Bleacher Report

    Belk Bowl 2013: Cincinnati-North Carolina

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Belk Bowl: UC vs. UNC

    ESPN

    Belk Bowl Breakdown

    BelkBowl.com

    The Showdown is Set

    ESPN

    Cards, Bearcats set for defensive battle

    CBS Sports

    Louisville-Cincinnati Preview

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Thursday is UC's fight for perception

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Don't let UC's next opponent fool you

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC jumps to No. 23 in USA Today football poll

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats break into USA Today Top 25

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    McKay turns in monster game against Rutgers

    ESPN

    Kay throws for 408 yards, 4 TDs as Cincinnati routs Rutgers

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats won't lessen the pressure

    News & Record

    Pressure takes toll on NC State against Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats face variety of bowl scenarios

    The News Record

    UC weary of SMU's aerial attack ahead of AAC clash

    Bleacher Report

    Best College Football Moments in Cincinnati History

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Mark Barr returns to UC, gets ovation

    HoustonDynamo.com

    After frustrating year, Omar Cummings puts Houston Dynamo on his back with clutch playoff goal

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's Shaq Thomas 'our version of Herb Jones'

    USA Today

    Cincinnati holds off Memphis for third straight

    ESPN

    Cincinnati's Mark Barr out of hospital

    TopDrawer Soccer

    Furman and Cincinnati men go nose-for-nose in College Goal of the Week

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Green seizing his moment for the Bearcats

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Jermaine Lawrence is new breed of forward

    UC Magazine

    Hostility to Hope: Feature on Men's Soccer Player John Manga

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Jermiah Davis III fights to be remembered

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Justin Jackson goes from energizer to example

    The News Record

    Cronin excited for new group

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC Bearcats' Sean Kilpatrick: 'It's the season now'

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats basketball will have fresh look

    The News Record

    UC Looks to RetainVictory Bell for Eighth Consecutive Season

    Miami Herald

    Kay Ready to Lead Bearcats into Rivalry Game

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Former Bearcat Thompkins making most of shot in NFL

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    New practice setup could benefit UC basketball

    ESPN.com

    Munchie Legaux out for season

    ESPN.com

    Cincinnati Rolls Past Purdue

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats defense puts up dominant effort

    American Athletic Conference

    2013 Team Previews: Cincinnati Bearcats

    Sports Illustrated

    Bowl projections: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl

    Cincinnati Business Courier

    Bearcats sell out football opener against Purdue

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Depth at defensive line still strong for Bearcats

    Bleacher Report

    Cincinnati Bearcats Football 2013 Team Preview

    UC Voted 2nd

    Coach Tuberville and his players discuss their reactions to being voted to finish 2nd in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference

    QB Timetable

    Coach Tuberville discusses his timetable to choose a starting QB with The Cincinnati Enquirer

    Thompkins at Patriots' Training Camp

    Former UC wide receiver, Kenbrell Thompkins, impressed many at Patriots' training camp 

    World University Games

    Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas

    World University Games

    Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas 

    Nippert Renovation Plan

    The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at the Nippert Stadium Project

    Cincinnati football's 'Crocodile Dundee'

    A former professional rugby player from Australia joins the Bearcat football team

    2013 Preseason 'Watch List' 

    Several Cincinnati Bearcats make 2013 national 'watch list'

    Sports Insider Today

    Young Cincinnati Team Looks to Improve in 2013 Amidst New Conference Setting

    ESPN Blog

    Cincinnati to play Pitt in December

    GoBEARCATS.com

    Former Bearcat Herman Qualifies for U.S. Open

    USA Today

    BearcatsTV Gets National Attention from USA Today's For the Win

    SportingNews.com

    Cincinnati Bearcats Baseball Earns Top Honors in Videobombing

    The Washington Post

    Cincinnati Bearcats Do the Best Postgame Interviews

    Fox Sports

    Bearcats Rock Postgame Interviews

    Philly.com

    Cincinnati Bearcats Revolutionize the Post Game Interview

    YardBarker

    You'll love this Cincinnati Bearcats Post Game Funny Business Compilation

    Philly.com

    Those guys having all the fun: An oral history of the Cincinnati baseball team's videobombs

    MSN Now

    This college baseball team wins the 'best interview' award

    ESPN.com

    Winn, Cincinnati run over Pittsburgh

    Cincinnati.com Bearcats Blog

    Cincinnati looks to sophomore RB Ralph Abernathy to increase production