Friday night against South Florida will mark the final home game of the season for the Cincinnati Bearcats as the team will honor the 24 seniors on the roster.
The group includes some key players who have helped develop Cincinnati into a perennial top-25 program.
There are names on the roster who have spent extended time in Cincinnati. While there are 24 who will be saying goodbye, most of that talent is on the defensive side of the ball.
Sixth-year senior Drew Frey has been a starter at free safety for the better part of the past four seasons, despite missing two years with injuries.
Fifth-year defensive back Dominique Battle has been through more in his Cincinnati career than anybody on the roster. He saw action in every game during the 2008 Orange Bowl season as a true freshman and also was a starter the following year on the Sugar Bowl team.
Battle has been through multiple knee injuries. Just seeing him on the field this season is nothing short of miraculous after three knee surgeries, including a torn ACL as recently as spring practice.
The defensive line also features a lot of experience. Three fifth-year seniors, including Brandon Mills, Dan Giordano and Walter Stewart will be playing their final game. Stewart has been out since Week 5 because of a neck injury.
Linebacker Maalik Bomar and cornerbacks Camerron Cheatham and Chris Williams are also playing their final home game in the red and black.
On offense, quarterback Brendon Kay along with running back George Winn, tight end Travis Kelce, wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Danny Milligan and Damion Julian, and offensive lineman Sean Hooey will be honored.
This group may not be quite as talented as last year's seniors, but it is a much deeper class and will likely be missed more than those from a year ago.
Winning the final home game of the season is not only a must for bowl purposes, but will be the perfect way to send off a senior class that has won multiple conference championships and played in two BCS bowl games.
Most of these players have had a significant impact on the program, helping boost Cincinnati to the top of the Big East and putting it in the national spotlight. A place it would love to stay.
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