CB Mike Mickens

2006 Statistics

Coach: Brian Kelly
1st year
2006 Record: 8-5
at Ohio State LOST 7-37
at Virginia Tech LOST 13-29
at Louisville LOST 17-23
at West Virginia LOST 24-42
at Connecticut WON 26-23
Western Michigan WON 27-24


2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

As Cincinnati found out, good coaches come and go. When one builds a good team, he is often lured away, hence what happened with Mike Dantonio & Co. was UC’s loss and Michigan State’s gain. But karmic reality means Central Michigan’s loss is now the Bearcat’s gain – Brian Kelly, who turned the Chippies from strugglers into MAC champs, bring his entire staff to help continue the winning ways Dantonio put in motion here. Last year marked only the sixth time in the school’s 52 year football history that they earned (a record) eight wins, so bringing back 15 of 22 starters from that International Bowl winning team should mean little drop off. The new chiefs have instilled their balanced version of the spread, and UC has the receivers, TBs and TEs/H-Backs to make it work. The QB situation sees national prep record-holder Ben Mauk transfer in from Wake Forest, and current starter Dustin Grutza stepping up to the challenge can only help the Bearcats iron out the wrinkles that Grutza’s limitations (had) impose(d). The offense, especially up front, had trouble this spring getting behind the defense (could only manage short gains), and though a great sign for the stoppers, work has to be done if Kelly’s heroes are to even compete for the vaunted conference crown. Scant quality depth amongst the secondary and a wet-behind-the-ears soph at MLB are the lone concerns on D – momentum from holding major foes like Rutgers to 11 points, South Florida to six (both were wins) and Louisville to 23 (six point loss) again has Cincy a feared sleeper that the big boys of the Big East had best respect, or else. The new kicking elements have to step up early for UC to stay in those tougher battles. Only Oregon State looks like a serious threat before the conference slate kicks in (at full power right away), but this team has to be careful against those other hungry non-cons who may exploit the new system’s early weakpoints, those that aren’t up to speed yet. The fact that front-runners Louisville and West Virginia are at home is the only solace in this ever-improving league. Expect another big upset of one of the conference favorites. But if they can’t also beat the Connecticuts and Syracuses in their way, this team will remain muddled around .500, coulda-woulda-shoulda-ing their way to another disappointing offseason. But if the refreshed attitudes seen this spring and summer were any indication, everyone associated with Bearcat football is excited to get past the new administration’s honeymoon and prove why this bunch of two-star recruits can keep up with anyone in this BCS-aligned conference, one that could easily produce one of this year’s two national championship qualifiers. Go, big red (and black) machine!!!

Projected 2007 record: 7-5
WR Dominick Goodman
QB - 3.5 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Dustin Grutza, 137-225-13, 1632 yds., 9 TD

Rushing: Greg Moore, 162 att., 709 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 40 rec., 452 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Dominick Goodman, 5 TD, 1 2 pt. conv., 32 pts.

Punting: Kevin Huber, 2 punts, 50.5 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Haruki Nakamura, 66 tot., 43 solo

Sacks: Trevor Anderson, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Mike Mickens, 3 for 2 yds.

Kickoff returns: Dominick Goodman, 21 ret., 25.8 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Derrick Stewart, 25 ret., 9.2 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Brent Celek-TE, Bill Poland-WR, Jeff Reinstatler-C, Frank Straub-OG, Kevin Lovell-K
DEFENSE: John Bowie-CB, Kevin McCullough-LB, Dominic Ross-SS, Brian Steel-P

The new element for the seven returning starters in coordinator Jeff Quinn’s offense is the spread look to go with a marginal increase in passing. Quinn and Kelly ran a balanced approach with balanced results at CMU, which means big back Greg Moore could easily get 1,000 yards in his final campaign. Now without a traditional fullback to plow the way clear, Moore’s combination of size and speed should still work well, as will classmate Butler Benton’s similar qualities. Local Bradley Glatthaar is a bit bigger and should be chosen for two-back sets and/or goal line situations. Quinn/Kelly worked with a two-back rotation in Mount Pleasant, so we expect all three seniors to (somehow) see the field. Hey, speaking of running the rock, both quarterback candidates have decent sets of wheels to set up LBs for fakes on roll outs and to excel in plays outside the tackles. Incumbent junior dual-threat Dustin Grutza wasn’t given the starting job automatically; he separated himself, though, in the Bearcat Bowl (spring game) from wanna-be’s Craig Carey and Tony Pike to secure the start for now. Grutza’s decision making looked better, and he can throw well on the run, but at no point has he looked like the dominant leader needed to get this team to the next level. Enter transfer Ben Mauk, the state’s Mr. Football (2002) who set national prep career marks for yards (17,523) and TDs (178) before his struggles at Wake Forest. After breaking his arm in the opener last year, he’s chosen to transfer back home since he would have been second string (after sitting out while Wake won the ACC with QB Riley Skinner). For those of you wondering, NCAA rules say that a student completing his undergraduate work, as Mauk has, can transfer for graduate classes and can then play immediately at his new school if he has any eligibility left. In the new look, Mauk is a great fit, and he seems to have the inside track even before arriving. We expect him to win the job, or at least be inserted at the first sign of Grutza struggling. The receivers are a fleet bunch, led by a guy who isn’t afraid to go over the middle, sure-handed junior Dominick Goodman on the outside. The rising star is junior Derrick Stewart, a super quick deep threat who led the team in receiving yards as a backup last year. Soph Jared Martin was the state’s 300-meter hurdles champ, so he should also break out in these oft-seen multi-receiver sets. The depth at receiver is good enough that Earnest Jackson has been bumped to the more athletic TE/H-back spot, affording Stewart the slot position. Ex-FB Doug Jones, capable with the rock himself, is bigger than Jackson and will be seen more on run plays – foes should watch where he winds up after being put in motion to see which way UC will probably go. The line, Quinn’ specialty, has been the team’s slowest unit in adapting to the no-huddle. This was evident throughout spring – in “black zone” drills (ball on offense’s own one-yard line), they usually had trouble earning much breathing room. The tackles look good, especially Digger Bujnoch as he has been bumped over to the all-important left side along with All-Big East guard Trevor Canfield. We think this can only equal the most runs going their way. The rest of the starters look solid, especially with four seniors competing for the two openings. This line has the toughest adjustments for the new schemes, but we think they will be ready come fall for this more powerful Bearcat squad to do what Kelly’s offenses have done at all his stops – take their production up a notch or two from where it was (61st in total offense).


OG Trevor Canfield


Returning Starters in bold
QB Dustin Grutza-Jr (6-2, 195) Ben Mauk-Sr (6-1, 200)
RB Greg Moore-Sr (6-2, 218) Butler Benton-Sr (6-1, 200)
WR Dominick Goodman-Jr (6-1, 210) Antwuan Giddens-Sr (6-3, 190)
WR Earnest Jackson-Sr (6-3, 219) Derrick Stewart-Jr (5-11, 170)
WR Jared Martin-So (6-1, 183) ..
TE Doug Jones-Sr (6-4, 276) Connor Barwin-Jr (6-4, 235)
OT Jeff Linkenbach-So (6-6, 308) Toby Boeckman-Fr (6-7, 265)
OG Jeremy Bolton-Sr (6-5, 320) Mario Duenas-Sr (6-3, 280)
C Chris Flores-Sr (6-2, 270) Ken Rodriguez-Sr (6-3, 296)
OG Trevor Canfield-Jr (6-5, 320) C.J. Cobb-Fr (6-4, 300)
OT Digger Bujnoch-Sr (6-5, 280) Khalil El-Amin-Jr (6-5, 320)
K Jake Rogers-Fr (6-3, 195) ..



With the exception of four opponents that went over 28 points (all losses), Cincy returns eight starters that were 8-1 against the rest of their foes, and even held five of those to 11 or less. The carryover for those five juniors and three seniors will be huge for coordinator Joe Tresey, who only spent one year with coach Kelly at CMU (after he really honed his craft at I-AA powerhouse Georgia Southern). The DL (ranked 25th in run stopping) back en mass is a great way to start the new era. All-American Terrill Byrd and fellow junior tackle Adam Hoppel play light for a BCS-aligned team, but who can argue with their clogging results. The team leader in sacks (six) and QB hurries (13), Trevor Anderson is a tough assignment off the corner and should be all-conference by season’s end. Senior Anthony Hoke is a great compliment, and Angelo Craig can also effectively speed rush whenever needed. Depth is adequate up front, but many injuries here would eventually affect the win total. Like the tackles, the linebackers’ quickness works for them against today’s more innovative offenses. OLB Corey Smith is equally tough against both the run and pass; Leo Morgan’s JUCO successes highlight his ability to recover well in misdirection and/or play-action. The biggest dice roll is with sophomore Andre Revels filling the MLB slot – he definitely seems like the best fit of all the possible candidates, but his inexperience at such a volatile position could be an early weak spot in the front seven. The corps’ backups are all experienced upperclassmen, though, they are role players more than they are viable starters. The LBs only need Revels to step up for UC to again have a group that knows how to tie the two elements of defense together for optimal results. The secondary starts with blanketing corner Mike Mickens. This lanky junior can effectively take down those ball carriers lucky enough to catch one on him, allowing him to be left on an island much of the time against foe’s top snarler(s). Opportunistic DeAngelo Smith’s INT return for a score against Rutgers (in his first career start) proves what will happen if foes too often throw away from Mickens. Depth exists on the outside, but it is pretty green. Nakamura is surprisingly effective for his size at free safety, while heady Xenia product Cedric Tolbert has been groomed well for the start at the strong slot. Senior grand legacy Evan Sparks buoys the safety rotation, but besides Aaron Webster, the DBs have little worthy depth upon which to bank. The new administration has a solid foundation of players, ones who know how to play together well enough to hold foes to a 33% conversion rate in third-down situations.


DT Terrill Byrd


Returning Starters in bold
DE Trevor Anderson-Jr (6-2, 255) Lamonte Nelms-Jr (6-3, 233)
DT Terrill Byrd-Jr (6-1, 270) Jon Newton-Sr (6-3, 275)
DT Adam Hoppel-Jr (6-2, 276) Ricardo Mathews-So (6-3, 268)
DE Anthony Hoke-Sr (6-1, 230) Angelo Craig-Sr (6-5, 230)
LB Leo Morgan-Sr (6-1, 204) Ryan Manalac-Jr (6-0, 221)
LB Andre Revels-So (6-0, 216) Delbert Ferguson-Jr (6-1, 225)
LB Corey Smith-Jr (6-1, 208) Jon Carpenter-Sr (6-0, 220)
CB Mike Mickens-Jr (6-0, 166) Martez Williams-Fr (5-8, 172)
CB DeAngelo Smith-Jr (6-0, 186) Brad Jones-So (6-2, 196)
SS Cedric Tolbert-Jr (6-0, 187) Aaron Webster-So (6-3, 195)
FS Haruki Nakamura-Sr (5-10, 181) Evan Sparks-Sr (6-0, 200)
P Kevin Huber-Jr (6-1, 212) ..




Big-footed junior Kevin Huber has to be careful not to out-kick his coverage unit, but he has the control to also place his efforts where/when needed. Jake Rogers looks like an adequate replacement for Kevin Lovell’s consistency at placekicker. Receivers Dominick Goodman (kicks) and Derrick Stewart (punts) are as good of a tandem of returners as can be found in the Big East.