It is a bit unusual to have a gap in the middle of spring football, but this is the second year that the Bearcats have done the schedule this way. The questions that we all had about the team heading into the spring session are still there, though answers are starting to take shape.
Gunner Kiel came into spring ball as everyone's assumed starter, and he has done very little to change that view with his play. He can look at times like a guy who hasn't played a college game, but that's not uncommon. Its clear that all of the unexpected reps he got during bowl prep have payed off.
On the opposite side of the ball we have seen Eric Wilson slide into the third linebacker spot with Nick Temple and Jeff Luc and Wilson has looked fine as the weakside linebacker. Likewise Adrian Witty and Mike Tyson have emerged as starters in the secondary in replacing Deven Drane and Arryn Chenault.
The rest of the spring session is going to be about the lines. Three starters on the offensive line have been out for portions of spring practice. Darren Hiller probably knows what his starting group is going to be, Eric Lefeld at LT, Kevin Schloemer at LG, Deyshawn Bond at C, Parker Ehringer at RG and Cory Keebler at RT. Having those three starters out is a blessing in disguise because it's a chance to build depth. Hiller will want to have an 8 or 9 man rotation once again this year. The rest of the spring is about giving those second level guys like Justin Murray and Ryan Leahy the chance to stake their claim.
The flip side of that is defensive tackle where I don't think Robert Prunty has any clear idea what his rotation at defensive tackle is going to be. Brandon Mitchell and Cam Beard will have a role to play in it, as with Hakeem Allonce when he gets here in the summer. For now he needs to figure out if he can get reps from the likes of Alex Pace this season.
The spring game is going to be in 11 days, and between now and then the Bearcats will have 6 practices before the public will get their first good look at the 2014 Bearcats.