The NCAA's rather arbitrary granting of medical hardships in the past has not always been the kindest to the Bearcats football team. The flash point was the Ben Maul saga, which ended with a denied appeal before the 2008 season. That narrative has shifted a bit of late as Shaq Washington and Munchie Legaux were both granted hardships and given another year of eligibility last spring. Bearcats everywhere we thanking the NCAA profusely as Munchie Legaux took full advantage of his sixth year and became the Bearcats closer as Gunner Kiel struggled to stay healthy.
The NCAA has once again smiled upon the Bearcats as they have granted Adrian Witty a sixth season of eligibility. That in and of itself is a huge boost for the Bearcats defense in 2015. There is no getting around the fact that having WItty miss the entire season had a huge impact on UC's struggles early in the year. UC was forced to turn to Grant Coleman, a walk on, in his stead. Coleman looked like, well, a walk on early in the year. By the end of it he became at the very least a passable corner back. With Witty back for his sixth season and a deep, young and talented group of red shirt freshman behind him Coleman is really going to have to fight for every bit of playing time he gets in 2015. The Witty news is obviously the biggest bit for the 2015 season, but he was not the only one to get good news.
Also, #UC fb players Cortez Broughton, Clemente Casseus, Tion Green, Kevin Mouhon and Hosey Williams received medical hardships for 2014— Tom Groeschen (@TomGroeschen) February 24, 2015
Hosey Williams getting a sixth year, and Tion Green getting to run back his junior season really changes the calculus for Eddie Gran in his running back room. Joshuwa Holloman was probably headed for a red shirt year regardless of what happened with Green and Williams. From a simple class balance perspective someone out of those two was probably heading for a red shirt. Taylor Boose was mentioned by Tommy Tuberville on signing day as a freshman who could contribute right away. That could happen, but Boose is going to have to be lights out from day one to make an impact in that group. Eddie Gran likes to play a lot of running backs and to really spread the carries around, but four back rotation seems indulgent, especially when everyone can see just how good Mike Boone the guy at the top of the pecking order is.
Long term the biggest news of the day might be Kevin Mouhon and Cortez Broughton being granted medical hardships and getting to run back their freshman seasons. We all know about the pedigree of Mouhon the Younger, four star recruit, Army All-American and one of the biggest hitters on the roster. Broughton was nowhere near as celebrated coming out of high school, but the coaching staff loves everything about him. He has prototypical defensive tackle size, but he is quick enough and polished enough as a pass rusher that the staff is going to take a really long look at him as a strong side end during the spring and summer. Mouhon and Broughton were going to be rotational pieces in 2015 regardless of this ruling from the NCAA, so getting to have four more years of these two Georgia natives is a major help to the Bearcats in 2015 and beyond.