College football is officially back and where there is college football, professional football cannot be far behind. The NFL will begin its season on Sept. 8 with a Super Bowl rematch between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. With that in mind, its time we check in with former Bearcats who are now making a living on Sundays. In this edition, we’ll take a look at the AFC North.
Chris Moore, Baltimore Ravens
Moore is in his first season in the NFL after a solid career with the Bearcats. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Ravens following a senior season in which he turned 40 receptions into 870 yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns. He could be a deep threat for Joe Flacco, but he’ll be fighting for playing time with Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman and Steve Smith Sr., who is still coming back from an Achilles injury.
Kevin Huber, Cincinnati Bengals
Huber, a Cincinnati native and former All-American, does his professional punting not far from where he played in college, strapping on the orange and black for the Bengals. Huber has been with Bengals for seven years and has been one of the more reliable punters in the NFL during that time, even earning a Pro Bowl invite in 2014. Last season, he averaged 45.8 yards per punt, which was just a bit more than his career average (44.8).
John Hughes III, Cleveland Browns
Hughes played in 16 games last season and started in three. He recorded 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks in that time, playing at defensive end for the 3-13 Browns. Hughes is a four-year NFL veteran and has accumulated 5.5 sacks in his career, although he has not managed to match his rookie output (3.0 sacks) in the last three seasons. He could be set for a career year if only because of opportunity, as he is currently listed as a starter on the Browns’ depth chart.
Ricardo Mathews, Pittsburgh Steelers
Mathews is a second-stringer at defensive end for the Steelers, with whom he signed in March. He played the previous two seasons with the San Diego Chargers after starting his career with the Indianapolis Colts, who drafted him in the seventh round. He played in only eight games last season and has a total of 4.0 sacks in six seasons.