The Kansas City Chiefs will play in the Super Bowl on Sunday February 2nd, which means for the third time in five years, a Cincinnati Bearcats football alum, will play in the big game. In 2016, it was Derek Wolfe, who won with the Broncos. In 2018, it was Jason Kelce, who won with the Eagles. And now in 2020, it is Travis Kelce, who looks to win with the Chiefs.
Kelce is considered by many to be the best tight end in the NFL. Kelce has exceed 1,000 yards receiving in each of the last 4 seasons and since his second season in 2014, he has at least 860 yards and 4 touchdowns in all 6 seasons. He never had less than 67 receptions in a season (2014).
Not bad for someone who, in three seasons as a Bearcat, caught 59 passes total, for 875 yards and 10 touchdowns. Total.
Travis Kelce played 3 years at tight end for Cincinnati in 2009 and 2011-2012. He sat out the 2010 season due to reasons unknown at the time, but were later revealed as a failed drug test.
His impact was limited on the 2009 and 2011 teams, but he broke out in a big way in 2012.
- 2009 - 1 catch, 3 yards; 8 carries, 47 yards, 2 rush TD
- 2011 - 13 catches, 150 yards, 2 TD
- 2012 - 45 catches, 722 yards, 8 TD
In the three years that Kelce played, the Bearcats were a combined 32-7 and went 2-1 in bowl games.
Three most memorable plays
First career touchdown - wildcat
The 2009 season is obviously well-known for what Cincinnati accomplished, going 12-0. To start the season, they opened up at Rutgers on Labor Day. Up 10-7 halfway through the second quarter, little-known backup Travis Kelce took a wildcat snap from the shotgun position and ran the ball 4 yards into the endzone for Cincinnati. This was the start of a 3-TD second quarter.
Cincinnati led 31-7 at halftime. Bearcats ran the same play to start the second half, capping off an 11 play, 92 yard drive with a 2 yard Travis Kelce touchdown run.
Trick play vs Syracuse
In 2011, in a game against Syracuse, Kelce caught 4 passes for 77 yards and 2 TDs. One of those TDs, came on a trick play where RB George Winn took the snap and threw a jump pass to a streaking Kelce, for a 37 yard touchdown.
2012 Belk Bowl
The 2012 Belk Bowl was Kelce’s final game as a Bearcat. And he certainly made the best of it. Kelce caught 5 passes and exceed 100 yards for just the second time in his career, going for a career-high 123 yards. More than half of those yards came on an 83 yard TD that broke a 34-34 tie, giving Cincinnati the lead that they would never relinquish.
This was the final catch of Kelce’s career. I’d say that’s a strong way to go out.
Kelce was go on to be the first pick of the third round in the 2013 NFL Draft, going 63rd overall to the KC Chiefs.