We’ve come quite a ways since we started the Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Football Player Since 1997 Tournament. After whittling down the contenders from every player that appeared for the Bearcats over the last 20 years to 64, we had weeks of voting that finally brought us to today, where we have a Final Four ready to compete for the ultimate title in Bearcat football. Based on all that voting, the last four standing are quarterback Zach Carollaros, wide receiver/kick return specialist Mardy Gilyard, punter Kevin Huber and quarterback/wide receiver Chad Plummer. Now its time to reveal the matchups for the Final Four.
We’ll start wit— HOLD ON JUST ONE SECOND. While all four of the players we just mentioned are worthy of entering the tournament’s semifinals, a new challenger has appeared. Who is it? Why none other than the program’s all-time leader in sacks and tackles for loss, Antwan Peek.
Due to a clerical error, Peek was not included in the original 64, but he was voted into the tournament via the amazing technology of Twitter dot com.
Special satellite event in the Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Football Player Since 1997 Tournament. Antwan Peek vs. Andre Frazier. Winner gets a chance to make the Final Four. Pick your favorite player.— Down the Drive (@downthedrive) May 16, 2018
Now we have five players with only four spots available, so its time to vote once more. This time, you must vote for your top four of the five players remaining. Whichever four get the most votes will advance to the real Final Four. Voting is open until Friday at 7 a.m. Before you vote, here is a refresher on each of the five contestants.
Peek played from 1998 to 2002 and amassed 27.0 sacks in that time. He is one of only three players in program history to have at least 20 career sacks. He also accumulated 56 tackles for loss in his career and was drafted in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
From 2005 to 2009, Gilyard managed to produce 3,003 and 25 touchdowns as a receiver. On top of that, he had 2,657 yards and four scores via kick return. The two-time All-Big East first teamer’s name appears 72 times in UC’s 2017 media guide, as he is all over the record book.
Somehow defeating Gino Guidugli in the Elite Eight, Collaros did complete a higher percentage of passes than many (but not all) of his fellow Bearcats (.619), while throwing nearly twice as many touchdowns (51) as interceptions (26) during his career from 2008 to 2011.
We’re cheating a little bit here since Plummer played from 1995 to 1998, meaning only half of his career technically qualifies for this tournament, but after he had 3,246 yards as a quarterback and then 856 as a wide receiver, we’re going to include it all.
A 2008 finalist for the Ray Guy Award, Huber is the best punter in program history, with the record for punting average (45.47 yards per punt).
Now that you’ve become reacquainted with our challengers, its time to vote. Editor’s note: Only ballots that select four players will be counted. One vote per person.