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Returning Player Refresher: Kevin Mouhon

Mouhon is poised to have a break out season ... again.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

There is not a single player I am more excited to watch play football this season for the Cincinnati Bearcats than Kevin Mouhon. Those are words that are nice to write considering Mouhon has been playing in the shadow of his brother Silverberry for a fair bit of his collegiate career.

A four-star recruit out of high school, Kevin followed his brother to UC, which obviously meant comparisons were going to fly from the jump. Considering Silverberry was one of the best players of the Tommy Tuberville era, Mouhon had a lot to live up to.

Well he finally broke free of that shadow and carved out a place in Bearcats lore for himself last season by being a wholly disruptive force on defense. After coming to UC as a linebacker, Mouhon shifted over to defensive end. It wasn’t the most difficult of transitions since he was used to lining up on the outside and rushing the passer as a backer. Now he was given more of a chance to pin his ears back and be aggressive.

The move to defensive end certainly paid off last season as the 6’1”, 244-pound native of Norcoss, Georgia was the most consistent player on the team when it came to creating negative yardage. In all, Mouhon accumulated 9.5 tackles for loss, which was not only the best mark on the team but the most by a Bearcat in two years. UC still finished near the bottom of the American Athletic Conference in tackles for loss. Imagining them without Mouhon’s contributions makes for an even dimmer picture of the 2016 season than we already have.

Of course, Mouhon didn’t just wrap up ball carriers behind the line and check out the rest of the time. He also was solid in pursuit of ball carriers, recording 50 tackles, and he hit hard and showed great awareness, forcing a fumble and deflecting more than one pass at the line.

Mouhon played one of his best games of the season in UC’s 45-20 loss to USF in October, as he came through to rack up 3.0 tackles for loss and four stops total. It was one of eight games that he had at least four tackles.

He also played in 12 games for the first time in his career in 2016, eclipsing the mark of 10 he had set the previous season, showing that with great opportunity comes great production.

Now Mouhon is a budding defensive star in an entirely new system and with a new coaching staff. Part of the hype surrounding him this season is the fact that he will be working with some talented defensive minds like Marcus Freeman and Luke Fickell. If Mouhon can turn their tutelage into even better production, the AAC won’t know what hit it.