Tag Archives: Brian Kelly

The rise of Sam Griffin

(10:58 a.m.): When UC junior offensive tackle Sam Griffin first arrived at UC, he weighed between 210-220 pounds and the coaching staff wasn’t exactly sure where to play him.

The Bearcats could 1) put massive bulk on him and throw him on the offensive line; 2) slowly increase his weight and use him on the defensive line; or 3) keep him around the same weight and have him compete for a tight end spot.

They had signed Griffin because he was 6-foot-5 and he had the potential to play in a variety of positions. They liked his ability to grow. But before his freshman year, there was still a question as to what position group the coaches should assign him.

Read the rest here.

NEWS CONFERENCE!

(1:32 p.m.): Ah, the first weekly presser of the year, complete with upper administration in attendance (most likely to score free food), a bad BK joke and plenty of reporters.

One of the oft-discussed questions of the preseason was brought up again, but BK, proving once again that he’s a friend to the media, gave us a new, juicy quote. The discussion had to do with how he felt about having to open the season at Rutgers and whether he looked forward to it.

He talked about how if it was his decision he wouldn’t play the game, but that the decision was made above his pay grade (well, not his pay grade per say, but a little higher on the decision-making food chain, I suppose) and there wasn’t much he could do about it expect go play. Standard fare from BK.

Read the rest here.

Questions answered

(9:15 p.m.): WEST HARRISON, Ind. – With a week to play before UC kicks off its season with a jaunt northeast to face Rutgers, BK seems pretty pleased with how his squad has come together.

That’s what the past few weeks at Higher Ground have taught him.

“We feel we’ve developed the depth necessary to be Big East champs,” he said. “We had a lot of question marks coming in. We had some players that we thought could be Big East caliber, but we really didn’t know until we got the pads on and started to compete. Now, we can see we’ve got some pretty good depth over what we’ve done the past couple weeks.”

Read the rest here.

Revels a microcosm

(10:43 a.m.): WEST HARRISON, Ind. – That’s what I think anyway. The knock you no doubt have heard about UC’s football team – one of the major reasons the Bearcats aren’t ranked in either preseason poll – is because they lost 10 defensive starters from last season.

I don’t buy the premise that this will be a huge problem. The season before last, UC had to replace about half of its defensive starters – while adding a defensive end in Connor Barwin who had spent his college career playing tight end, a safety in Brandon Underwood who had flamed out at Ohio State and a linebacker in Torry Cornett who previously had played basketball at Prairie View A&M – and the Bearcats were just fine.

They were more than fine, in fact. In total defense and scoring defense, they ranked in the top quarter of the country’s squads, and they led the Big East in sacks.

Read the rest here.

Rutgers continues to weigh heavy

(1:38 p.m.): WEST HARRISON, Ind. – This year’s UC football camp has been just a bit different. It’s been a little faster, a little more frenetic with just a little more energy. That’s the way it’s had to be. The Bearcats, after all, aren’t opening the season against a Southeast Missouri State squad or an Eastern Kentucky team or some other Division I-AA opponent who’s looking for a nice paycheck.

No, Rutgers is first on the list in a nationally-televised game, and nobody here is underestimating the importance of the season-opener.

Read the rest here.

Carey continues to adjust

(11:18 a.m.): Sometimes, UC senior linebacker Craig Carey misses playing quarterback. He’ll look over to the other side of the field where the Bearcats signal-callers are working on their five-step drops and their throwing techniques, and he’ll wistfully remember his days lining up under center.

Those days, though, seem long ago.

To refresh: after playing as a tight end his junior year at Elder High, he was pretty good as quarterback his senior season, completing 55.6 percent of his passes, gaining 2,382 yards of total offense, setting the school record with 396 passing yards in a game, and tossing seven touchdowns.

Read the rest here.

Higher Ground or bust

(6:05 p.m.): In his first year as head coach, Brian Kelly was a little unsure of the Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center (or is it the Retreat and Conference Center? I’m always confused about that. Perhaps I should have looked it up.). He didn’t know if leaving campus for east Indiana was the right move. He didn’t know if going from the known to the unknown was good for the Bearcats.

You probably don’t remember reading this story from the Aug. 13, 2007 edition of the late, great Cincinnati Post. But the headline says it all: Retreat to Higher Ground could be Cats’ last.

Read the rest of the story here.