There is no better way to learn about the 2012 Bearcats football team than to look at the official roster and talk about every player. That seems like a method that would take a lot of time and energy. Luckily for you, I have a lot of time and energy to give. I'm a man of the people. You are my people. I can't let you down.
Previously covered: Defensive Backs
The defensive line includes both ends and tackles. Why wouldn't it, they are all part of the same line. The list is not in alphabetical order. If I omit a player, it's probably because they aren't listed at the right position on the roster page and not on the two deep depth chart.
Pace is a freshman from Cleveland. He is number 50. He could play special teams. He could redshirt. He can't be listed on the depth chart for the Pitt game because that was released and he is not on it. He has a bright future, but the future does not appear to be now.
West is a redshirt freshman. He's 6-6, 255 pounds. If he were a wrestler, you would say that's a big dude. Compared to the other guys on the line, you would say he is very tall. You would also say he is not that big. Only 7 players on the line weigh less than he does. One of them is also 6-6. Another is 6-5. They are all ends and rely on speed. West will show off his speed in some capacity this season.
Roney is a redshirt sophomore from Miami. He has 3 mentions in the game notes. Two are for his listing in the numerical and alphabetical roster. The third is for the pronunciation of his name. To impress your friends Thursday, it's row-NEY luh-ZAH-no. Or pretty much how you would have said it.
Meador is a redshirt junior. He saw action in all 13 games last year. He made 5 tackles and assisted on a tackle for loss. He is listed on the depth chart as the 3rd nose tackle. If you were wondering, it's MEH-door. That's also what the coaches call him when he doesn't play terribly, but doesn't impress.
Stewart is a senior starter. He plays L. Stewart is an end. He got off to a slow start in his adjustment to the defensive line after playing linebacker, but once he got the hang of things, he tore it up. He had 11 tackles for loss. He made 6 sacks of the quaterback. He broke up and defended 8 passes. He forced 4 fumbles. He recovered 3 of them. He got credit for 5 QB hurries. Stewart scored a TD in the UConn game on a sack, forced fumble and recovered fumble. He is expected to have a big season.
Dempsey is a senior. He was buried on the depth chart last season, playing in the Austin Peay and Akron games. His bio says "Saw action as a defensive lineman in two matches." I'm sorry that is your profile, Adam. Dempsey will not be buried on the depth chart this season. He's listed as the back up tackle.
Donnini is number 65. He's a big guy, 5-10, 284 pounds. If you don't read his last name with a faux Italian accent, you are not doing it right and you should try again.
Stepp is a redshirt junior. He played in every game last season, starting 1. He made 33 tackles. 2 of those were for loss. He assisted on a sack. Stepp is moving from an understudy to a start. He's the starting nose tackle. He has shown the ability to blow up a play. If he can carry his motor from the reserve role over, he could turn some heads. The unfortunate thing is that if he makes a huge play to win a game, we will see a lot of "Bearcats Stepp It Up," headlines. All of them from me.
Jonathan is a freshman from Warren Central in Indianapolis. He is one of 4 freshman the Bearcats have from Warren Central. Nick Temple played there as well. If you watched Warren Cental in 2010, you saw a lot of future Bearcats, even if they didn't play much. Probably like Burt this year. No truth to the rumor he names things Ernie.
Shuler is a junior college transfer from Pierce CC. He is a very recent addition to the roster, joining this summer. He had modest numbers, 51 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, during his time at Pierce.
Mills is a pass rusher. The senior has sacked 6 and 5.5 the last two seasons. Mills has 15 total sacks, UC's leader. Also the active leader in the Big East. He has the ability to go sack happy. If you remember, 5 of his 6 sacks as a sophomore came in 2 games. He had 2.5 of his 5.5 sacks in the NC State game. The other 3 sacks game in back to back games where he had half a sack followed by a full sack. Mills is listed as the back up to Walter Stewart.
Williams comes to Cincinnati as a transfer from Central Michigan. He is listed as the back up to Jordan Stepp. He's playing the same role that Stepp played a season ago. Hopefully Williams will be a major contributor to the Bearcats defense.
Giordano is a redshirt senior. The past couple of seasons, he's been a very good rusher. In 2009, he had 7 tackles for a loss. In 2010, 8 tackles for loss. Last season, he had 9. This season he should have 10. That's how math works. Giordano started all 13 games last season. He had 5 sacks. He will start once again. He's a very good player.
If you haven't heard of Brandon Mitchell, it's because last season he was a redshirt and he didn't do anything outrageous to get himself into trouble. He is a big guy, 285 pounds. He is tied for the 12th biggest player on the team. In researching this, I clicked the weight part of the roster page. When I clicked back, the names were scrambled. This is not good. It's unlike Brandon Mitchell.
Phillips comes to Cincinnati from Miami. He is one of two Bearcats to have their height listed with .5 in it. He's 6-3.5. He's also 225 pounds. He will probalby redshirt and gain weight. Some people who are 225 pounds are trying to lose weight.
Silverberry Mouhon is one of the most talked about Bearcats. It doesn't take much of a guess to deduct why. His name is Silverberry. To say his name is rather unusual is an unusual comment to make because his name is incredibly unusual. Silverberry wouldn't draw attention to his name if he wasn't a good football player. He's listed as Dan Giordano's back up. That means the coaching staff thinks he has what it takes to rush the passer. We can only hope Silverberry Mouhon is a name we hear a lot over the next 4 years.
Posely is another one of the 4 Warren Central freshman. He is the only one of the Warren Central 4 that is listed on the depth chart. He is 3rd behind Stewart and Mills at end. If Butch Jones is going 3 names deep, that means that the 3rd name is going to see a lot of time. Posley and Mouhon are the only freshmen listed in the 2 deep at defensive line. The coaching staff has a lot of confidence in them. If they don't, then depth is a gigantic issue. I'm banking on the confidence.
Harrah is a sophomore. In 5 games last year, he made 2 tackles. One of those was for a loss. A one yard loss. Both of those tackles were in the season opener against Austin Peay. After the first 5 games, Harrah didn't play. Harrah should expect to earn more playing time with great practices and film study. As fans, we should probably expect the same as last year in terms of playing time.
Beard and Harrah have something in common. Well, they have a lot of things in common. They both go to Cincinnati. They are both on the football team. They are both on the defensive line. Last season, they both played in 5 games and they both made 2 solo tackles against Austin Peay. That's where they stop having things in common. Beard had 2 assisted tackles and played in the Rutgers game. Another thing they have a difference in is that Beard is starting. He's playing the same position Derek Wolfe did last year. Suffice to say, he can't be comparable to Brad Harrah this year. Otherwise, things have gone poorly. Unless Harrah turns into Derek Wolfe and they both have amazing years. That is probably not going happen. What I'm getting at is this. Camaron Beard is a starter. I hope he plays better than Brad Harrah, no matter how good Brad Harrah plays.
Chad Hannah redshirted last season. He's a freshman. He's 6-6, 245 pounds. He's number 97. If he is a dominant player like he was his senior year of high school, he will probably get the nickname 'Bad' Chad. That nickname already belongs to Chad Dawson, who is a boxer. But nicknames are stolen all the time. Just ask LT.