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Walter

Cincinnati Football 2021 Updates

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With this being a free year for all college athletes, figured I'd start a thread on what UC will return and lose heading in to what could be another huge year for the Bearcats program. 

The Defense/ST had the most senior starters and question marks, so I'll start there.

Gone: 2nd Team AA Safety James Wiggins, 1st Team All AAC DE Elijah Ponder, 2nd Team P James Smith, Safety Darrick Forrest

Seniors Returning: 1st Team All AAC CB Coby Bryant, 2nd Team All AAC LB Darian Beavers

Seniors Expected to Leave: 1st Team All AAC LB Jarell White, 2nd Team All AAC DL Marcus Brown

Seniors Still Deciding: LB Joel Dublanko

Junior DE Myjai Sanders is projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round on multiple draft sites so he's another starter that will have a big decision to make in the next few days.

The positive: 

Secondary: Jr Bryan Cook filled in for Wiggins in the Peach Bowl and showed he is capable of making that loss a smooth transition. Getting Coby Bryant back means they are once again loaded at CB with him, Arquon Bush, and 2nd Team AA Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner all returning. The Forrest safety position should likely be filled by Ja'Von Hicks who was all conference last year as a Soph when Wiggins was out the whole year with an injury.

Overall:

Defense will lose some dudes that contributed to a lot of UC wins over the past three years but should return enough to make them very good again in 2021. Former Top 100 4* Virginia Transfer Jowon Briggs will likely slide in as a starter on the DL along with Malik Vann, who saw a lot of action this year. Regardless of what Myjai and Dublanko do, there's a lot of young talent in the program to fill the other open spots.

I'll get to offense next in a separate post.

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Offense is a little easier. They return ALOT on that side of the ball.

Gone: 1st Team All AAC RB Gerrid Doaks, TE Bruno Labelle

Expected to Leave: RT Darius Harper

Decisions To Make: JR 1st Team All AAC LT James Hudson, AAC OPOY QB Des Ridder

Returning: Arkansas WR Jordan Jones 

Positives:

The Bearcats return all of their receivers, Jerome Ford at RB, top two TE's in Josh Whyle and Leonard Taylor, as well as 3 of 5 starters on the OL (potentially 4 if Hudson returns). This group can be just as good next year if Des comes back. Both tackle positions are definitely a concern though. 

Backup QB Ben Bryant is currently in the transfer portal but I assume he'd come back if Des leaves. That would make for a smooth transition at QB. If he leaves, the Evan Prater era begins. 

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James Hudson is entering the draft.  Was hoping he’d change his mind at the last second.

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1 hour ago, John Anthony said:

James Hudson is entering the draft.  Was hoping he’d change his mind at the last second.

Probably the biggest loss of the off-season. UC can replace Harper at RT with a younger guy and be fine. 

Hopefully the transfer portal provides UC a better option than Metz. He has struggled a lot during his 2 years at UC.

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2021 Schedule

9/4 v Miami (OH)

9/11 v Murray State

9/18 @ Indiana

10/2 @ Notre Dame

Conference Schedule Dates TBA

Home - Temple, Tulsa, UCF, SMU

Away - ECU, Navy, Tulane, USF

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Can't blame him for not passing up a potential 2nd round payday.

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Darrian Beavers officially announced he's coming back....

 

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UC filled one of their OT tackle positions today... James Tunstall was an FCS 1st Team All American last year and joins UC with two years of eligibility. Was originally at UConn in 2017 before transferring to Stony Brook. 

 

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Please don’t leave Marcus Freeman, please don’t!  This guy is a STAR!

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Starting MLB Joel Dublanko announced he's coming back today.

 

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Backup QB Ben Bryant announced he's transferring to Eastern Michigan... I think that's a good indicator that Des is returning for his senior year. Last piece of the puzzle is Myjai Sanders. 

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1 hour ago, John Anthony said:

Please don’t leave Marcus Freeman, please don’t!  This guy is a STAR!

He's a head coach in 2022 regardless of where he's at in 2021. The question is does he want to wait one more year for that big payday and finish what he started with Fick. 

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