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Voices of the Bearcats

By: Ryan Roberts

The start of the 2023 college football season is now 12 days away.

On Saturday September 2nd, the Scott Satterfield era will kick off as the Bearcats host Eastern Kentucky University.

A lot of questions have been answered over the past two weeks at Camp Higher Ground as the Bearcats begin their final preparation for the upcoming season.

The quarterback and wide receiver questions seem to have been answered and it appears that Cincinnati will be fine with Emory Jones leading the way with Brady Lichtenberg and Brady Drogosh backing him up. The wide receiver room was depleted due to graduation and the transfer portal but Satterfield and his staff re-stocked the room with Louisville transfers Braden Smith and Dee Wiggins, as well as Florida transfer Xzavier Henderson and Washington State transfer Donovan Ollie. With Evan Prater making the transition from quarterback to wide receiver, offensive coordinator Brad Glenn should have plenty of options available in the passing game.

At running back, the duo of Corey Kiner and Myles Montgomery should get the majority of the carries. Both Ethan Wright and Ryan Montgomery add to an extremely talented room and should provide depth in that room as the Bearcats transition to the Big 12.

The defense should again be strong with one of the best defensive lines in the county, led by All American Dontay Corleone. Veteran defensive tackles Malik Vann, Eric Phillips, Jowon Briggs, and Justin Wodtly, all return along with sophomore Derrick Shephard. Walt Stewart will have plenty of depth and talent at his expense.

The secondary and linebacker positions have progressed nicely under new defensive coordinator Bryan Brown. In the secondary, Sammy Anderson Jr, Taj Ward, and Bryon Threats seem to have solidified themselves as go to options along with Florida transfer Jordan Young. Linebackers Daniel Grzesiak and Deshawn Pace provide versatility on the outside of Brown's 3-4 scheme and Jack Dingle brings a big, physical presence in the middle.

If there is one question mark, it seems to be the offensive line as redhsirt junior Gavin Gerhardt is the lone returning starter from last season's team that finished 9-4. Louisville transfer Luke Kandra and Kentucky transfer Deondre Buford bring experience from the P5 level and Penn transfer Trevor Radosevich is a guy that can play both guard positions, as well as center. If Nic Cardwell can mesh this group in to a unit that can be consistent in both the run and pass game, Cincinnati has the chance to surprise folks who have given them little chance to finish in the upper half of the conference.

Gobearcats on the recent conclusion of Camp Higher Ground:


WEST HARRISON, Ind. -- The Cincinnati football team finished its two-week stay at the famous Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center with a 75-play scrimmage on a balmy Friday morning.

It marked the silver anniversary of the Bearcats utilizing the grounds for fall camp.

Brady Drogosh and Brady Lichtenberg split first-and-second team reps at quarterback as Emory Jones remained limited.

Lichtenberg boasted the first exciting play of the practice by connecting with a leaping Donovan Ollie on third-and-long, where Ollie stole away the 50-50 pass from his defender along the sideline. He later completed a fourth-down pass to Xzavier Henderson before Carter Brown hit a 25-yard field goal.

Drogosh's first series included two completions to fellow freshman Barry Jackson Jr., followed by a long first-down scramble.

The defense followed with a Daniel Grzesiak sack and Mason Fletcher's 50-plus-yard punt, downed inside the five-yard line to again showcase his Ray Guy Award finalist credentials.

Stephan Byrd later unleashed a 70-yard touchdown run, while Brown added a 52-yard field goal to his day.

UC followed with some situational sets. Ryan Montgomery had a big run up the middle, while Bryon Threats and Sammy Anderson each had interceptions. Freshman Manny Covey had a 20-yard outside rush, while Byrd had two more big plays, the latter a pile-mover in the red zone to get inside the 5.

Drogosh and Lichtenberg later had open, play-action touchdown passes to Michael McCalmont and Chamon Metayer, respectively, while Kalen Carroll had a goal-line interception to end the day.


"It was certainly a successful camp. Take away the football side of it, it was so valuable to be out here and have that comradery, chemistry and players getting to know each other. I think in that aspect it was a 100 percent success. This experience, I have never been a part of anything like this. I can see why all the coaches before loved it and why the players love it. They will tell you that it is a grind and tough, but they love what it does for the team. We obviously achieved a lot and got a lot of work done offensively, defensively and on special teams. We put everything we needed to in place and now it is time to fine tune it when we get back to campus. This was the perfect time to be out here for two weeks and we got a lot accomplished as a team."

We spoke with Hall of Fame inductee and UC broadcaster Jim Kelly and ESPN 1530's Mo Egger after Big 12 Media Day a month ago. Check out the interviews below as we get closer to the start of the upcoming season.

At Large Bid will continue to bring Cincinnati football coverage as we get closer to the first kick off.

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