Recap of some of the top Cincinnati Bearcats stories from the past week.
Bearcats received good news with three incoming transfers receiving immediate eligible waivers - WR Blue Smith (Ohio State), LB Darrian Beavers (UConn), and Safety Kyriq McDonald (Alabama),
Smith was the 39th ranked player (according to Rivals) in 2018 and the #3 player in Ohio. For a group of WRs without many proven commodities, Smith will have a chance to make an immediate impact.
Beavers played 10 games for the Huskies in 2018, recording 23 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and 4 sacks (team high)
McDonald was the #45 CB in the 2017 recruiting class and was later moved to Safety at Alabama. He was mostly a backup and special teams guy and will have a chance to carve out a role in Cincinnati’s secondary.
Meanwhile, OL James Hudson’s waiver for immediate eligiblity was denied a few weeks ago and has been the talk of the pre-season for Cincinnati. Luke Fickell took a subtle shot at Michigan when he thanked Ohio State for their part in Blue Smith’s waiver being accepted. The NCAA has been extremely inconsistent with no rhyme or reason for why players are deemed immediately eligible or not.
For The Brand
Former West Virginia and Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee visited Cincinnati practice last week. McAfee is preparing to work for ESPN as part of the Thursday Night football crew, meaning his debut comes week 1 when the Bearcats host UCLA.
While McAfee promised not to play favorites, he was clearly impressed that Cincinnati reached out via social media, to invite him to training camp, and UCLA did not. He seemed like he had a blast talking to and working out with the players.
Confirmed yesterday:— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) August 9, 2019
▪️@CoachFick isn’t great with directions.
▪️Always respond to your color analyst on Twitter.
▪️Camp food is the best food.
▪️@PatMcAfeeShow is pulling for the #Bearcats. pic.twitter.com/Nnx0v22XWj
Punter James Smith is on the pre-season Ray Guy watch list, after being a finalist in 2018. They two of them spent a lot of time together at practice.
Bearcats in the NFL
Last week, we shared a preview for the Bearcats in the NFL in 2019. During week 1 of the pre-season, a few players really impressed and others reunited.
Mike Boone is hoping to not only make the Minnesota Vikings, but to have an impact as a backup running back.
Johnny Holton spent the first few years of his career in Oakland, and is now looking to make the team as a WR and special teams ace for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
From left to right - Park Ehringer, Marquise Copeland, and Korey Cunningham.
Bearcats Basketball Alumni
On the subject of professional Bearcats, Lance Stephenson signed a free agent contract with Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association. In his 9 year NBA career, Stephenson has averaged 8.6 ppg.
Former UC center Yancy Gates, who spent time playing professional in several countries in 2018, has signed a new contract in Poland to play with Stali Ostrow.
Recruit Meets Champ
Mike Saunders, the #33 ranked PG in the 2020 class, who has already committed to John Brannen and Cincinnati, got to meet Steph Curry at an Under Armour camp he held over the weekend..
In other current basketball news, new Cincinnati coach John Brannen threw out the first pitch at the Reds game on Sunday.