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Tracking The True Freshman

So far this season the Bearcats have seen three true freshman play this season. Coach Tuberville even made the decision to burn the red shirt of two of his freshmen last week against Northwestern State.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Edwards

Edwards has been a revelation in the defensive backfield. For the first two weeks of the season he played in the nickle package at safety. One of the Bearcats more unique personnel wrinkles is that when the Bearcats go to nickle starting safety Adrian Witty moves to the nickle and Edwards comes in at safety.

For the last two weeks UC has been basically a base nickle defense against the multi receiver sets of Illinois and Northwestern State. As such Edwards has gotten a lot of run, even a start last week. Its not hard to see why he has gotten on the field so early, he has a nose for the football. He has 11 tackles to his name, a forced fumble and an interception. The future is bright.

Travis Johnson

Johnson burned his red shirt last week against Northwestern State and responded with 3 catches for 18 yards, and his playing time is only going to increase.

"He’s going to have to perform well for us this year. We have to play more tight ends. Travis really brings you a great pair of hands. He can catch the football. He gives us a three tight end situation that we need to have."

There is no doubt that Johnson can play. He stepped on campus at 6'4" 240 and has added what looks like 10 pounds of solid muscle to his frame. Johnson will become a larger and larger part of the offense as this year moves along. But this move is as much about next year as this one. Blake Annen is moving on at the end of the year and this offense will be in better shape with two experienced TE's coming back in Johnson and D.J. Dowdy than just Dowdy

Mike Tyson

Tyson is another safety who has seen time this year, but doesn't look to feature as much in the coming weeks as Johnson and Edwards. He primarily played special teams and in garbage time against the demons. He can make an impact on special teams, which would be great. The Bearcats haven't had a special teams ace since O.J. Woodard moved on.