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Returning Player Refresher: Idarius Ray

A California JUCO transfer from Texas, Ray was running with the first team on the Bearcats' offensive line right away in 2015. Nothing will change this year.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati doesn't do a whole lot of recruiting in California, or at least doesn't make many additions from the Golden State. There are currently three players on the roster that hail from Cali. Idarius Ray isn't a native son of the world's sixth-largest economy, but he played junior college out at LA Valley in Van Nuys, California.

Originally from Amarillo, Texas, Ray was impressive enough in his time at LA Valley to visit Louisville and Cincinnati before eventually choosing the Bearcats. He enrolled in February of 2015 and immediately jumped into the fray.

The former two-star recruit, who was listed among the top 25 junior college offensive tackles for the 2015 class, was a consistent starter for the Bearcats' offensive line. He started in all nine games he played in. That included starts in the final three games of the season against USF, East Carolina and the Hawaii Bowl against San Diego State. He sat out against Miami-Ohio, UCF, Houston and Tulsa as he dealt with some injury issues during the course of the season. For what its worth, the Bearcats allowed 1.5 sacks per game when Ray sat out and two sacks a game when he didn't. That is a largely negligible difference, especially considering that second average includes the eight-sack debacle against BYU.

Standing at 6'6" and weighing in at an impressive 312 pounds, Ray has an exceptional build. Moving him off the line is far from an easy task. He has the ability to play at guard and tackle, but is likely going to get most of his snaps at his natural position, which is tackle. Assuming he remains healthy, he has a starting job all but sewn up.