--Junior LB Jeff Luc has transferred to UC from Florida State. Luc, who will redshirt this season leaving him two years of eligibility with the Bearcats, had become frustrated by a lack of playing time and injuries at FSU. Luc's decision to transfer to UC largely was due to his strong ties to John Jancek, Bearcats defensive coordinator/linebackers coach. Jancek recruited Luc while he was linebackers coach at the University of Georgia. One of the nation's most highly-recruited players coming out of Treasure Coast High School in Florida, Luc was named first-team USA Today All-American and rated by Rivals as the top middle linebacker recruit in the country. He has enrolled at UC and is taking part in summer workouts.
--Junior P Pat O'Donnell was named to the preseason watch list for the 2012 Ray Guy Award, awarded annually to the nation's top punter. O'Donnell, a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award last season, averaged 43.8 yards per punt, including 26 inside the 20. He led the Big East Conference with 17 punts of 50 yards or more. O'Donnell already was named an All-American Athlete by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
SPOTLIGHT ON SEPTEMBER
Cincinnati hits the ground running in its defense of its Big East Conference title when the Bearcats host league rival Pittsburgh in a nationally-televised season opener on Sept. 6 at Nippert Stadium. Following a home game against Delaware State, UC travels to Landover, M.d. for a marquee non-conference matchup against Virginia Tech at FedEx Field.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
The Bearcats pass rush was the key to their defensive success last season. Derek Wolfe is gone, but UC brings back its second and third-leading pass rushers in Walter Stewart and Dan Giordano. A consistent pass rush will help take the pressure of the secondary and create turnovers, giving new starting QB Munchie Legaux and the offense good field position.
AREAS OF CONCERN
The Bearcats have just two returning starters on the offensive line: junior Austen Bujnoch and sophomore Eric Lefeld. This won't help junior QB Munchie Legaux adjust to being a full-time starter for the first time. There is depth in numbers at receiver and running back, but mostly unproven youth. Also gone are starting QB Zach Collaros, top rusher Isaiah Pead, and defensive captain JK Schaffer. The Bearcats largely are an unproven commodity on offense.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We have lot of young players who will have to grow up quick, particularly at quarterback" -- UC head coach Butch Jones on the upcoming season.
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