Fickell Pleased with Competition at Spring Scrimmage

zach stipe

Associate AD / Communications

CINCINNATI- Quarterbacks Evan Prater and Ben Bryant both threw touchdown passes and transfer kicker Ryan Coe made a pair of field goals as the Cincinnati football team held its annual spring scrimmage on Saturday.

The Bearcats’ practice was moved indoors to the Sheakley Athletic Complex “bubble” due to inclement weather.

“We want our guys to understand that it is about finishing,” head coach Luke Fickell said. “They came out and they competed today. They would have loved to have been outside in the live action the whole time, but none the less, all in all they were looking for a healthy competition. Right now, it is just about let’s compete Let’s find a way to do this together.”

Rising redshirt freshman tight end Chamon Metayer caught a pair of touchdowns – one each from Prater and Bryant, while the defense made big plays all afternoon.

“Chamon is going to have a chance to help us this year,” offensive coordinator Gino Guidugli said. “I am really happy with the way that our tight ends have been playing. I think that they are going to be a matchup problem once we get to the fall.”

Metayer will push returning starters leonard taylor and Josh Whyle in the tight end room.

defensive lineman Jah Mal Williams returned a fumble for a touchdown, while veteran defensive tackles jabari taylor, Jowon-Briggs and eric phillips made several plays.

wide receiver Tyler Scott scored the game’s first touchdown on a 40-yard pass from Prater.

Other than that long play, the defense gave up very few big plays and did not allow a touchdown until the sixth possession of the scrimmage. senior cornerback Archon Bush and classmate Ja’Von Hicks, a safety, return as starters to lead Cincinnati’s secondary.

“I loved the way that the defense played today,” Bush said. “We flew around and played hard. The most important part is for the team to get better, and have the team get closer together. We have to keep improving and get closer as a team for the upcoming season.”

Coe, who transferred from Delaware, made two field goals, including one from 48 yards to end the scrimmage. Kickers Christian Lowery also made a field goal during the scrimmage.

The Bearcats will practice two more times this coming week before ending spring practice.

Former UC stars, quarterback Desmond Ridder and cornerback Ahmad Gardner, were both on hand to watch the scrimmage. Both players are looking to be Cincinnati’s first NFL Draft first round picks since 1971.

FICKELL RECEIVES DODD TROPHY NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD

Fickell collected National Coach of the Year honors from eight different organizations following the historic 2021 season – none may have been more prestigious than the Bobby Dodd Trophy. The Dodd Foundation was on hand to present Fickell with the honor this weekend, presenting the award at a reception on Friday night and then again in front of the Bearcats at the end of the scrimmage. Fickell presented the trophy to Ridder, Gardner, Alec Pierce and Curtis Brooks, as senior leaders of the 2021 team. Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Foundation, and Homer Rice, former UC and Bengals head coach, were on hand for the presentation.

“I am not a big award guy,” Fickell said. “I am just glad that some of these older guys can be here today. We had a little reception and dinner last night. I told them that this is a team award. I think that more than anything, I want them guys to recognize that nobody did this by themselves. With what they have done, they brought a lot of recognition, not just to me but to our program, but to our community and city.”

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