Oct. 25, 2007
CINCINNATI--University of Cincinnati seniors Digger Bujnoch, Angelo Craig and Anthony Hoke have been chosen to play in the 2008 Hula Bowl. One of the most prestigious college football all-star events, the trio marks the first time UC will be represented in the event.
"The recognition for these three individuals comes at a time when the program's profile has more eyes focused on it," said head coach Brian Kelly. "With eight players drafted over the past four years and 16 in NFL camps this summer, there is a great deal of respect for Bearcats football advancing to the next level."
The group is the largest set to play in a postseason showcase event since members of the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl championship squad -- Jason Fabini, Artrell Hawkins, Brad Jackson and Derrick Ransom -- all played in the 1997 Senior Bowl. Highlighted by Fabini, who is in his 11th year as a professional, all four Bearcats went on to play in the NFL.
Bujnoch, a 6-5, 285-pound offensive tackle from Cincinnati, has started 30 games during his four seasons, including 22 consecutive for the Bearcats. The Cincinnati native moved from right to left tackle prior to his senior campaign and has been instrumental in the Bearcats' 6-2 start.
The duo of defensive ends, Craig and Hoke has provided a steady presence for Kelly's defensive front. The tandem has been an key part of a unit that has yielded 16.0 points per game to be the nation's eighth rated scoring defense.
In his first season as a full-time starter, the 6-5, 245-pound Craig boasts 26 tackles, including seven for loss, and three sacks to his credit. A starter in seven games this season, the Cleveland, Ohio product has 17 tackles for loss and seven sacks in his career. Craig adds to a lengthy list of professional prospects produced by Glenville High School.
At 6-1, 255 pounds, Hoke has started 21 games for the Red and Black as a linebacker before moving to defensive end. A talented athlete, the Warren, Ohio product has amassed 30 total stops this season, including a team-leading five sacks. His 14 career sacks lists him tied for eighth on UC's career chart.
The 62nd annual Hula Bowl utilizes coaches from the NCAA Bowl Sudivision. The game pits squads of NFL draft-eligible seniors against each other in a Kai (East) vs. Aina (West) format. With aspirations for playing in the NFL, 27 participants from last year's game were selected in the 2007 NFL Draft.
The 2008 Hula Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, the same venue that annually hosts the NFL Pro Bowl. The game will be nationally televised by Versus.