Last under under the guidance of Butch Jones, Cincinnati was able to regain the form they once had and become a well-respected college football program. Losing players like Isaiah Pead and Derek Wolfe, Cincy looks to rebuild and continue to build off of the successful year. Lead by talents like Walter Stewart, its very possible Cincy could very well be back in another bowl game this year.
Walter Stewart, DE- After watching guys like Derek Wolfe last year, I started to wonder if Cincy could produce another big time DE prospect and boy do they have a good one with Walter Stewart. With a relentless motor and impressive strength, Stewart will become one of the fastest risers in the 2012 draft class. Watching the film on Stewart you can tell right away that despite being less than 250 pounds, he plays with impressive strength against guys who are 50 pounds bigger than him. He needs to develop his pass rush moves more and become a more all around DE, but with his speed and talent, a team will want him to be apart of their DE or 3-4 OLB rotation. Stewart displays a good first step and is quick on his reaction time to whether it’s a run or pass play. He’s a raw player, but his tools are apparent and I believe he can become one of the better senior defensive ends in this class over time.
Drew Frey, S- Frey is a lanky looking prospect at safety who displays good ball skills. While watching Frey on film you can tell that he has the instincts and ball skills to be a player in the NFL, but with his lanky frame he wont be playing right away. In an NFL weight room Frey will fill out and become a more well rounded player. Some people will draw concern to his medical issues being that he is a 6th year player although his injuries were sustained early while in college.
Sean Hooey, OT- From the little film watched on Hooey since he’s been a disappointment at times for the Bearcats, you can see the potential being he’s 6’8 and weighs 298 pounds. He has moved to LT per Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com and will have a chance to become an NFL Prospect. He has talent, but is too raw for my liking right now, but will be given a draftable grade because of his potential.
Travis Kelce, TE- Kelce has NFL size for a tight end at 6’5”, 255 pounds and was on his way to being a go-to guy in Cincinnati’s offense before being suspended for the entire 2010 season for a violation of team rules. I haven’t been able to figure out what exactly the suspension was for (no one on the internet seems to have a clue) but he played last season and had 13 catches for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns last season despite being listed behind Adrien Robinson on the depth chart. Now he is the clear #1 and should receive more targets and have a chance to get drafted if he can keep himself on the field.
Dominique Battle, CB- The last defensive name I wanted to touch on is Dominique Battle. I always like to find those DB’s who possess the ball skills to make an impact. Battle might be one of the more raw DB’s I’ve watched, but with his ball skills teams will be interested him as either a 6th or 7th round selection or look to sign him as an UDFA. May never make it to the NFL because he’s not as good as other CB’s in college football, but again those ball skills will help his chances even if he’s not the most technically sound player.
Pat O’Donnell, P- O’Donnell may not seem like a normal fit for a prospect preview because he plays Punter, but Cincinnati Head Coach Butch Jones has mentioned him as one of the best athletes on the team, not only because of his prowess as a punter, but due to his size (6’4”, 218 pounds) and overall athleticism. He has a strong, accurate leg and even handles kick-offs for the Bearcats. He’s the best punter in the Big-East, and could very well end up at the East-West Shrine Game or even the Senior Bowl this year.