The football season begins in two short days. I have been so busy with the critcially acclaimed, in my head, Bearcats Blog Countdown that I haven't done a proper football preview. For my sake, and the sake of all of you, let's get acquainted with the men wearing red and black. We start with the defensive backs.
We start with the DBs because when you click on pos on the Bearcats roster page, they are at the top. That's the kind of sound logic you've come to love and expect from me. The names are not in alphabetical order.
The freshman from Southfield, Michigan is listed as the back up to Cameron Cheatham at corner. There are not a lot of true freshman that see the field for the Cats. Only 4 are listed on the two deep. Payne has an awesome, awesome name. Here's to an awesome, awesome career.
Foster is a freshman from Troy, Ohio. I'm willing to be he will redshirt.
Witth is a redshirt sophomore. He made 15 tackles last season, along with breaking up a pass. He is listed as the back up free safety to Drew Frey.
Mapp is a junior transfer from Thomas More. He has all the symbols one could have by his name on the roster. He has a duplicate number, 48, has utilizied his redshirt year and he is a walk on. If he plays, he'll play special teams.
Battle is a much maligned senior cornerback. He played in 6 games last season, getting hurt against South Florida. He made 23 tackles, 3.5 for loss. He had a pair of interceptions, one of which went for a TD. He's coming off back to back seasons with knee injuries. He's being brought back slowly this season. After starting 5 games a year ago, he's listed 3rd at the corner spot he started.
Beal is a redshirt sophomore. He played in all 13 games last year on special teams. He made 3 tackles. He's not on the depth chart, but will be on the field Thursday night.
Pat is a redshirt senior. In 12 games last year, he made 14 tackles. He defended 1 pass. He is not listed on the depth chart. Expect to see him on special teams.
Murray is a senior JUCO transfer. He played in 1 game before suffering a knee injury in practice. He is listed as the back up free safety. He should see game action this season.
Orr is a redshirt freshman from Winter Garden, Florida. He's turned a lot of heads this offseason. He is listed as the back up to Deven Drane. Trenier is listed as the back up punt returner. Orr is going to get a chance to produce.
Brown is a freshman from Indianapolis. He's number 40. He's not listed on the depth chart. Redshirt candidate.
Jones comes from Colerain high school. He's a freshman. He's number 29. Another redshirt candidate.
The freshman from Highlands High is number 27. He's got a tricky name for a defensive back because Burns is a very easy pun.
Roberson saw part time action as a junior. He played in 11 games. He made 4 tackles. More importantly, he picked off a pass in the season opener against Austin Peay. The hard work is paying off for Aaron. He's the back up to Chris Williams at the nickel position.
The senior is the starting strong safety for the Bearcats. He was the second leading tackler a season ago. He made 73 stops. He had 2.5 tackles for loss. He picked off 2 passes. One of those INTs went for a score. He broke up 8 passes and defended 10 more. Frey was first team All Big East a year ago. He looks to build on that in his 16th year as a Bearcat. I'm joking, it's only been 6.
Williams is the primary nickel back. He played in all 13 games last season, starting 3. He made 46 tackles. 4.5 of those were for loss. He showed that he could get to the quarterback on blitzes, as he made 2 sacks. He broke up 1 pass. He recovered a fumble as well.
Drane played in all 13 games in 2011, starting the final 8. He returns as a starter this season. He made 42 tackles a year ago. 2 of those were for loss. More importantly, he tied for the Bearcats lead with 3 INTs. He led the team in passes broken up, 9, and passes defended, 12.
The freshman from Colerain is here, even though his dad is at Ohio State. You can look for him on the sidelines as number 35.
Cheatham started all 13 games a season ago, and is the other starting corner this season. He had 59 tackles last year. He had 3 INTs to tie for the team lead. He took one of his picks to the house. Cheatham broke up 7 attempts and defended 10.
Chenault is last but certainly not least, because he is your starting free safety. The junior played in 13 games last year, starting 1. He made 9 tackles, broke up 1 pass and defended 1 pass. He will be expected to do a lot more than that this season. Maybe he will even do all of that Thursday against Pittsburgh.