Sim Bhullar to New Mexico St

The 7'4 center decommited from Xavier today and has now enrolled in New Mexico St University. The Cincinnati Enquirer first broke the news and got a statement as to why the four star recruit is no longer going to Xavier. "The whole time I was going to go to Xavier, I was really looking forward to it. The last few days I found out that i didn't qualify and I would have to regular tuition price this year. My family wasn't ready to pay that much. We were looking for other option that would be cheaper."

New Mexico St is almost $20,000 dollars a year than Xavier.

Bhullar reclassified and will now play this winter for the Aggies after originally being part of the 2012 class. Bhullar has been called the "Indian Yao Ming" while he and his younger brother, Tanveer, have been labeled as the face of Indian Basketball. Bhullar may have to sit out the first few games but come WAC conference play he should be allowed to play and should make an immediate impact.

Xavier's 2012 class is now down to only three members: three star point guard Semaj Christon, three star shooting guard Myles Davis and two star power forward James Farr.


Bearcats Outlook: Offense


Isaiah Pead last year vs UConn
The Bearcats boast the best backfield in the conference with preseason player of the year candidates Zach Collaros and Isaiah Pead. Collaros will look to improve on a very disappointing season last year. After going 4-0 in 2009 and having stats through the roof Collaros struggled last season. A struggling line in front of Collaros caused many problems and having to force the ball to try and get the Bearcats back in the game caused even more. Collaros' frustration was shown mightily when he threw 10 picks in the last four games.Heshould improve in 2011 with more mental preparation. Collaros will likely be backed up by junior Branden Kay after Chazz Anderson left school. Sophomore Munchie Legauex, who played receiver last season, should be the third string quarterback.
Rating: 8

Isaiah Pead comes into the year after rushing for over 1,000 yards in only ten starts. Pead had limited rushing attempts many times last season with the Bearcats having to air out the ball when the 3rd quarter came around as they tried to play catch up so many times. When they did hand Pead the ball he was very successful, averaging 6.6 yards a carry. The senior running back also rushed for 145+ yards four times last season and had a 200 yard, four touchdown performance vs Rutgers. Darrin Williams was Pead's back up going into the season last year but had injuries all season long so George Winn moved his way up the depth chart. Look for those two to battle for backup while freshman Jameel Poteat and Akise Teague will also be thrown into the mix.
Rating: 8

Receiving Core

Anthony McClug looks to be a major target
for Collaros in the upcoming season
Receivers Armon Binns and Marcus "Bones" Barnett have graduated so the #1 spot falls into the hands of senior D.J Woods. Woods had an outstanding season statistically but his fumble trouble cost the Bearcats big time. Woods fumbled twice in the Bearcats loss to Oklahoma and a win could have totally changed the season. Woods looks to be back with determination and he will be joined by junior College transfer and four star recruit Kenbrell Thompkins. Thompkins is a very athletic receiver who draws similarities to a Vidal Hazelton type player and he could also take over as the #1 receiver. The two will be likely be joined by Anthony McClug. The sophomore had 22 receptions for over 200 yards last season as a freshman and looks to be the third receiver in Cincy's offense. Freshman Shaq Washington and Dyjuan Lewis look like they are poised to play right away while senior Orion (OJ) Woodard looks to receive some playing time.
Rating: 7

Ben Guidugli has graduated and 6'5 TE Adrien Robinson looks to be the guy to take over his place. Robinson has improved his blocking abilities and he is a huge target for Collaros in the receiving game. Robinson had a better 2009 campaign then he did last year but still managed to score a diving touchdown vs Oklahoma. Robinson looks to be backed up by either Junior Travis Kelce or Sophomore Blake Annen. Kelce ran the wildcat offense for the Bearcats in 2009 but was suspended last season and looks to make a comeback while Black Annen is also a very viable option. Both are around huge targets at 6'6 250 and  have improved their blocking skills dramatically throughout the offseason.
Rating: 6

The Line

Captain Alex Hoffman looks to lead the line
The Cats ranked 97th in sacks allowed last season and lost their star and leader upfront in Jason Kelce. Senior Tackle Alex Hoffman looks to lead the Cats to an improved season and it starts with his unit upfront. Hoffman was an All Big East guard two season ago but has since moved to tackle to fill the need. He will be joined by 6'9, 300 pound tackle Sean Hooey on the other side. Hooey started a couple games last season and has bulked up and improved his footwork. Center Evan Davis looks to bounce back after being booted from the line up after an unimpressive opening game vs Fresno St and failed to start again all season long. Randy Martinez started the final eleven games of the season last year at guard and looks to provide leadership on the interior of the line. The other guard guard position has been a battle between sophomores Austen Bujoch and Andre Cureton and it may not be determined until the offense steps on the field at Nippert come September 3rd. The line struggled very mightily last season so many players got some experience as they tried to find the right overall group for the job. That experience should help this years team as they try and cut down the 33 sacks they gave up last season.

Grade: 5.5


Bengals Ranked....Last

A.J. Green has been a bright spot during
a disappointing offseason
ESPN released their first preseason Power Rankings and while the reigning Super Bowl Champs topped the list the lowly Bengals fell to the bottom. The positive for the Bengals is that they have no where to go but up for the 2011 season.  With the loss of veteran leadership on offense the Bengals aren't poised to make many waves in the upcoming season. Fans have been dropping like flies and it looks like Paul Brown's only sellout will be a College Football game between Cincinnati and West Virginia.

Head Coach Marvin Lewis and Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden have tapped rookie quarterback Andy Dalton as the starter for their first preseason game on August 12th vs the Lions. Dalton has taken over as the favorite to start the 2011 season since the retiring of Carson Palmer. His top target will be fellow rookie A.J. Green, who has showed off his amazing athleticism in practices so far.


Big Friday in Michigan for Bearcats

Norfleet chose the Cats over instate
favorite Michigan St
The Bearcats picked up three new recruits for their 2012 football class in under 15 minutes on Friday afternoon. The headliner of the class was four star running back Dennis Norfleet who passed up the likes of Michigan St, Tennessee, and Indiana to come to Cincinnati. Norfleet stands only 5'7 but is very very speedy running back hails from Detroit, Michigan. The running back situation over the last two recruiting season has been stacked with four star Jameel Poteat and Mr Ohio Akise Teague last season. Norfleet should add to the loaded talent in the backfield.

The Cats also picked up two more three star recruits in Leviticus Payne and Lester Liston. Payne is a short corner, only 5'9, but can jump through the roof and hails from Southfield, Michigan. Payne chose to head down south to cincy after passing up the likes of Iowa and multiple Non BCS schools. Payne hopes to come in and be the new generation of an improved secondary for the Cats. Liston is a 6'1, 220 pound linebacker from Grand Blanc, Michigan who will also be heading south next summer.

These three capped off a great recruiting week for the Bearcats in which they also added four star quarterback Bennie Coney. Look for the recruits to keep coming as we inch closer to the upcoming season.


Week one of Off-season

-Picked up free agent and former Raiders/Buc's Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski 
-Picked up Cornerback Nate Clements after he was released by the 49ers
-Signed 28 year old and former Oakland Raiders Linebacker Thomas Howard 
- Agreed to terms with running back Cedric Benson and 3rd down running back Brian Leonard
-Signed draft picks WR A.J. Green, QB Andy Dalton, LB/DE Dontay Moch, OG Clint Boling, S Robert Sands and RB Jay Finley. 
- Resigned C Kyle Cook, G Nate Livings, OT Dennis Roland, PR/WR Quan Cosby, QB Jordan Palmer, S Tom Nelson, RB Cedric Peerman, S Gabril Wilson and TE Clark Harris. 
-Former first round draft pick Jonathon Joseph got picked up by the Texans
-Chad Ochocinco was traded to the Patriots in exchange for a fifth and a sixth round draft picks, in 2008 the Redskins wanted to trade two first round draft picks in exchange for the All Pro wide receiver. 
-Carson Palmer retired after the Bengals refused to trade him
-Bengals released for sack phenom DE Antwan Odom after several injury plagued seasons

This has so far been a very disappointing off-season for the Bengals. They lost an elite young corner in Jonathon Joseph, lost star WR Chad Ochocinco, and failed to trade Carson Palmer. They salvaged it a little when they resigned Cedric Benson and picked up corner Nate Clements but overall it has been a disappointing a frusterating off-season for Bengals fans, especially considering they have over 40 million dollars to spend. 


Bengals offseason

With the lockout officially over I take a look at some major things that the Bengals need to do before the season get under way.

Andy Dalton: The Bengals need to work non stop with the rookie quarterback during the off season so he is NFL ready by their week one game vs the Browns. The former TCU quarterback will likely be the quarterback of the future for the Bengals when they trade away Carson Palmer. Jay Gruden's success in his first season will be based on Andy Dalton and how he performs as a rookie. 

Trade Carson Palmer: Palmer has wanted to get out of Cincinnati since January and has been very vocal about this demand, threatening to retire if he doesn't get traded. The Pro Bowl quarterback is needed and teams would be willing to give up some very good players for an experienced quarterback. The Bengals need a safety and would love get an elite one in the trade for Palmer. 

Free Agency: Cedric Benson and Jonathon Joseph are the biggest needs on the free agency market this season.

Joseph is one of the best young corners in the league while he and Leon Hall make one of the best cornerback tandems. They will have to dish out significantly more dough to keep Joseph around but they have almost 50 million to spend in the off season and should sign him to a 4+ year contract. 

The resigning of Cedric Benson is the other major move on the agenda for the Bengals. Benson has been an elite running back in the last two seasons, over 1100 yards both seasons, and looks to keep it that way for the next couple. Benson will likely have a ton of carries this season with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton leading the offense.

If the Bengals also fail to pick up a safety when they trade Carson Palmer they may need to pick one up in free agency market. The Eagles' Quintin Mikell, Bills' Donte Whitner and Ravens' Dawan Landry are the best in the market but they could also go with Darren Shaper for a veteran presence on a very young but talented defensive unit.


Stubbs Walk off Homer carries Reds

Drew Stubbs walked up to the plate  in the bottom of the 9th and on the first pitch from Scott Linebrink he blasted a solo homer to right to carry the Reds to a 4-3 win over the Braves. The win gives the Reds a much needed momentum boost as they just won a series against one of the best teams in the baseball.

The scoring got started off in the first inning when Brandon Phillips hit a two run shot over the right field wall to take a 2-0 lead. Veteran third baseman Miguel Cairo then blasted another homer and the lead was now up to three. The Braves then came roaring back in the 4th when catcher Brian McCann hit a solo shot to right and Wilkin Ramirez brought home Freddie Freeman on a fielders choice. Pinch hitter Julio Lugo brought in Nate McLouth in the 7th to tie it all up before Stubbs' solo shot.

Reds pitcher Dontrelle Willis had another quality start on the mound for the Redlegs. He gave up only six hits and three runs in six and a third innings pitched.

The Reds are now only one game under .500 and only three games out of first in the NL Central. They will face Jose Reyes and Mets starting tomorrow with Mike Leake on the mound.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...