Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
October 13, 2011Moving the football in November requires creative play-calling and fantastic athleticism. Opposing coaches now have large caches of film to pore over. Coaches love to outwit peers and solving an opposing offense certainly qualifies.
Combating this intensified defensive clamp down UC needs to diversify. More options mean more problems for Defensive Coordinators to worry about. A couple Bearcats are poised to make big second half splashes.
WR Stock Report
DAMON JULIAN (Junior)
Last winter Coach Jones activelyu pursued WR help from the junior college ranks. His solution wound up being Damon Julian from Pierce Community College. Julian has decent size (6'3" 209) but his quickness lags behind his peers.
Former JuCo transfer and current teammate Kenbrell Thompkins talked about the drastic transition from junior college to BCS football. Though Thompkins has made the leap remember he sat out an entire season whereas Julian jumped right in and looked overmatched.
Damon gets to see the field with the second unit in four receiver sets. If possible he looks slower, more lethargic than he did in the spring. The only heavier receiver is Orion and Woodard carries much more muscle. Julian's lone hope for D1 football shine is fall 2012, his final year of eligibility.
BRUCE HORNER (RS Junior)
Former DB Bruce Horner accepted a shift to wide receiver at the coaches' request. His route-running has been sparkling. Refreshingly crisp. Unfortunately, Horner was unable to crack the two deep out of fall camp.
He has performed steadily in practice with no noteworthy blunders or catches. Horner wears #10 now, former jersey of RB Darrin Williams.
Though Horner challenges starting cornerbacks from time to time it will take a substantial bump for Horner to see the field on offense this season.
TOMAZ HILTON (RS Senior)
The upperclassman Tomaz Hilton is truly a journeyman by college football standards. Joining UC as a member of the Class of 2007 Hilton is what he will be. He blocks well and ruffles feathers on special teams.
After earning All-Conference honors his final two years of high school football Hilton had an outside shot at catching passes for the Bearcats.
Truthfully Woodard was closer to claiming a starting position than Hilton this fall. Hilton's apex occurred last fall shortly after Vidal Hazelton suffered a college career-ending knee injury.
DYJUAN LEWIS (RS Freshman)
After being especially hard on Dyjuan Lewis throughout fall camp, I am starting to see growth. Lewis is still not in game shape. His imposing figure means little if he can't run up and down the field.
In the last two weeks Lewis has started to get more efficient with routes. His big strides are getting more precise. The wasted motion of 2010 is slowly evaporating from his game. The Pike-graduate still has a long way to go, but recently began showing signs of that four-star talent.
ANTHONY MCCLUNG (Sophomore)
The following statistics may surprise you. Get a firm grip on the chair's arm.
Anthony McClung caught more passes than D.J. Woods against Miami and outgained Woods by 72 yards against the Wolfpack. The sophomore everyone overlooked in high school leads Cincinnati in receptions, touchdowns receiving, and yards.
By all statistical measures McClung is the best WR on the team. Of course the case can be made that Woods absorbs more defenders, left the field sooner in non-conference blowouts, and has a better track record.
Regardless McClung has soared into the starting lineup on the shoulders of his mad dash abilities. If he stays healthy Anthony will challenge for team lead in every WR stat column.
CHRIS MOORE (Freshman)
Seeing a previously-injured Chris Moore return to full pads brought a smile to at least this reporter's face. With the help of a sensible mother Moore five years ago changed his entire attitude towards school and life.
It could take another month for Moore to adapt to the multi-faceted Bearcat offense and he will probably remain on the Scout Team until winter. However, Moore's future should be bright in a speedy offense that emphasizes vertical passing. He can leap with the best of them.
MAX MORRISON (Freshman)
Former high school teammate of Maty Mauk Morrison shattered all kinds of high school records at Kenton High School. His fall camp turned a few heads and he obviously understands the importance of each stride. A little undersized Morrison has an uphill battle for playing time next season.
KENBRELL THOMPKINS (Junior)
WR Coach T.J. Weist believes this offense needs three productive receivers to thrive. McClung and Woods are bankable now. Once UC gets KT on board the formula will be complete.
Thompkins has trimmed down after a summer of injuries. His speed is back and the impeccable hands never left. The last link will be QB Zach Collaros developing that needed trust with Kenbrell. Earnestly Thompkins was the best practice performer in early April, prior to injury.
SHAQ WASHINGTON (Freshman)
The first impression made by Shaquille Washington was not good. Despite his sterling high school career and splendid combine showings Washington looked lost in practice and sadly stumbled his way into a walking boot. Early enrollment plan backfire.
Well Washington used fall camp to re-train his body and acclimate his mind. Becoming a productive college receiver means Washington must be faster, quicker than every DB on the field. He is too short to overpower anyone. He must be lightning.
Now that Washington gets the plays and knows where to be when great things are expected. Rightfully so. Washington runs like an antelope and turns like a lynx.
O.J. WOODARD (RS Senior)
A coach favorite Orion Woodard was given a fair shot at the starting receiver position this spring. He fought his heart out and performed well.
In the end Woodard just isn't the explosive sprinter Anthony McClung is. He fell back to special teams where he has been a valuable commodity. Woodard mixes speed with power on the kick team.
D.J. WOODS (Senior)
Woods is the most dynamic Bearcat not named Pead. He can outrun or outwork anyone. Number 3 has been battling some nagging injuries lately which likely slowed production at Miami. After a strong week of practices Woods ascends back to primary passing target against Louisville.
A few program records are within reach for the steady, tough wideout as long as he stays on the field.
DANNY MILLIGAN (RS Junior)
The preeminent practice player junior St. Xavier graduate Danny Milligan lives on the cusp. Like a bar beverage filled to the brink Milligan's game-readiness perpetually teases seemingly poised for increased live action Milligan battles on.
As freshman Shaq Washington grows more familiar with the playbook his advanced agility resumes. Playing instinctively Washington can challenge any Bearcat for quickness. Milligan has one of the best pair of hands and a startling change of direction. For now he continues to nudge the tipping point.
Receiver of two touchdown passes Wednesday Milligan remains at a single career reception.
ALEX CHISUM (Freshman)
After breaking Sandy Creek High School records set by NFL superstar Calvin Johnson, Alex Chisum arrived with a substantial amount of hype. In his fifth practice the 6'2" Chisum caught two TD passes. Only halfway through his first college season AC has four receptions.
He wedged his way into playing time amongst a deep WR unit. Elder statesmen like Orion, Tomaz, and Damon Julian battled hard for the spot Chisum now holds.
In the last month Chisum has maintained his progress while assimilating even further. It will be difficult for the Atlanta-native to slip into the starting lineup without an injury elsewhere. Regardless Chisum is a lively target with honed routes.