Your Cincinnati Bearcats have five games remaining on the regular season slate. Here’s a quick breakdown of the five best players Cincinnati will be facing on the rest of its journey.
5. Tyler Coyle, Safety (Jr.), UConn: Tyler Coyle is a linebacker in a safety’s body. The 200-pound junior has been UConn’s leading tackler in each of the past two seasons and has kept things from getting a whole lot worse on the Huskies defense. The Huskies move Coyle around a great deal in their defense looks to maximize his effectiveness in their (frequently shifting) schemes.
4. Kendall Futrell, OLB (Sr.), East Carolina: It is impossible not to cheer for this guy. He’s undersized (225 pounds) and has struggled through a series of injuries. Futrell, though, has emerged as one of the AAC’s top pass rushers in 2019 and is considered by draft experts to be worthy of a mid-round pick. Futrell has recorded an AAC-high 8 sacks so far this season and is a continuous presence in opponent’s backfield.
3. Patrick Macon, ILB (Grad.), USF: A graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, Macon has been the heart of the Bulls’ defense in 2019. A prototypical middle linebacker, Macon is an assertive presence in USF’s run defense and has played a major role in keeping this largely disappointing team in many of their games this season.
2. Anthony Russo, QB (Jr.), Temple: Anthony Russo is the most NFL ready quarterback in the AAC. He is a steady performer who has been the leader of this Temple team for 2 seasons. Russo is a big, strong armed, pocket passer. He is only fifth in the AAC in passing yardage and sixth in passing efficiency but I have never seen him play a bad game. Russo is the primary architect of Temple’s upset win over Maryland earlier this year. If we aren’t careful, we could be on the losing end of one of his creations later this season.
- Kenneth Gainwell, RB (Fr.), Memphis: Hailing from Yazoo City, Mississippi, Gainwell has one of the best names in college football and is a pocket rocket of a tailback. This sub-six foot, sub-200 pound back is the most elusive runner in the AAC. He combines both home run hitting ability and consistency, a rare combination in running backs. If you need a big play, Gainwell will make it. If it’s third and 3, Gainwell will get your three yards. Through seven games, this freshman phenom is averaging nearly 120 yards rushing per contest.