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Season in Review: Kimoni Fitz

Fitz was stuck on the second string, but he still played 12 games and made some plays. Sometimes the best ability is availability.

NCAA Football: Marshall at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

  • 24 tackles
  • 3.5 TFL
  • 2 QB hits
  • 12 games played

With his senior year looming, Kimoni Fitz has still yet to become a major impact player for the Cincinnati Bearcats. That’s not to say he’s been a bad player or one who has provided zero contributions. The opposite is true, in fact. Fitz has been a consistent force on the defensive side of the ball, playing in all 12 games in 2017, following 23 combined games in 2015 and 2016. The problem is, he needs to be a more effective and disruptive force.

Part of the problem is opportunity. Fitz was fighting for a starting spot all 2017 and never made much progress, with entrenched players like Cortez Broughton and Kevin Mouhon, as well as breakout performers like Marquise Copeland ahead of him in the rotation. He was listed as a backup defensive end on the last depth chart of the season and that was pretty much where he was in the 11 weeks prior.

But he still got play and with that chance he recorded 24 tackles, which was 13 fewer than he had in 2016. He also failed to record a sack after having 1.5 the year before. Of course, the whole lack of sacks thing was a team-wide epidemic so Fitz wasn’t alone. On the positive side, Fitz did have a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss, while throwing in a couple quarterback hits for good measure.

The Best of the Best

Aug. 31 vs. Austin Peay

A season-high six tackles got the year off on the right foot for Fitz. Of course, the very fact that his season-high came in the first game says something about the rest of the year.

Sept. 30 vs. Marshall

With 2.0 tackles for loss, Fitz had himself a nice game, even if the Bearcats lost.

For Next Year

Fitz will have a bit more of a clear lane to a permanent job since Broughton is gone. Well, that’s at least if experience wins out since guys like Malik Vann are going to compete for playing time right away. At the very least, if Fitz can continue to be a durable player and one who makes the most of whatever opportunities he gets, the senior will go out on a relatively high note.