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Cincinnati Bearcats Football Season in Review: Bruno Labelle

Labelle wasn’t the most productive pass-catcher at tight end, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t an important contributor on offense.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 04 UCF at Cincinnati Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Numbers

  • 2 receptions
  • 9 yards
  • 1 touchdown

Bruno Labelle set a career-low in receiving yards in 2019 and yet somehow, it was probably his most productive season as a member of the Cincinnati Bearcats. What the then junior tight end lacked in receiving production he made up for by being an important and frequently utilized contributor in blocking and on offense in general.

Labelle was one of the backup tight ends to Josiah Deguara, who was the preferred receiving threat on the entire roster. However, just because Deguara played like a future NFL superstar doesn’t mean Labelle sat on the sidelines all year. In fact, Labelle appeared in all 14 games and was a five-time starter during 2019. Those 14 games played were a career-high as was his start total. In fact, before last season, he had been featured in a starting role only twice. In addition, when LaBelle caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Desmond Ridder against Marshall, it marked the only touchdown catch of his career to this point.

The Best of the Best

Sept. 28, 2019 at Marshall

That Marshall game was where Labelle accumulated every one of his receiving stats for the 2019 season.

For Next Year

Although it is unclear when and if college football will be played again, Labelle will be in an excellent position for the Bearcats. The only bad thing about Deguara’s path to the NFL is that it means he will no longer be making plays for Cincinnati. That will open up a large amount of playing time and receptions to divvy up among the rest of UC’s pass-catchers, particularly at the tight end position. Labelle will seemingly be in a battle with former touted recruit Leonard Taylor and maybe Josh Whyle to be the primary replacement for Deguara, but even if Labelle loses out on that gig, he proved that he can still make a significant impact outside of catching passes.