Five Bearcat Sophomores Who Will Become Household Names in 2010
The Cincinnati Bearcats burst onto the scene last season going 12-0 and advancing to the Sugar Bowl.
Big names like Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard have moved on to the NFL. Other stars such as Armon Binns, D.J. Woods, Isaiah Pead, and Zach Collaros return for another season.
For Cincinnati it will take more than those stars returning to make a return trip to a BCS bowl game. They will need contributions from some younger players.
Those younger players will play a pivotal role in Cincinnati's quest for a third straight Big East Championship.
Here are five sophomores who will have huge years for the 2010 Cincinnati Bearcats.
After redshirting in 2008, Stewart saw considerable action last season, starting nearly every game.
The sophomore from Ashville, Ohio, is certain to be a big contributor in 2010 for the Bearcats.
Stewart has bulked up considerably in the offseason and has the potential to develop into a pass rushing defensive end, which Cincinnati has produced a lot of over the years.
At 6'5" and 226 pounds, Stewart has the size needed to switch to defensive end. For the time being he will shine at outside linebacker for the 2010 Cincinnati Bearcats.
Running back Darrin Williams is as explosive a weapon on special teams as Cincinnati has.
Williams spent most of last season in a backup role, but did have the opportunity to return kicks alongside Mardy Gilyard and showed a wealth of potential.
With senior Jacob Ramsey now departed, Williams will see considerable action at the running back position behind Isaiah Pead.
He shined in the spring game and at 5'7" and 180 pounds he has the elusiveness few backs are able to possess.
Defensive end Dan Giordano is the third sophomore on the list who is certain to make a huge impact for Cincinnati in 2010.
Giordano saw considerable action last season rotating in behind seniors Ricardo Mathews and Alex Daniels.
With both having moved on to the NFL, Giordano is poised to step into the starting role.
He is as good as anybody at getting to the quarterback and another year of seasoning will only help this blooming star reach new heights.
Brandon Mills saw limited action last season at defensive tackle and entering 2010, he is the leading candidate for the starting nod.
Mills rotated in last season, but the 3-4 defense limited his minutes with star Derek Wolfe seeing most of the action.
With the new 4-3 scheme, Mills' playing time and production will certainly increase 10 fold.
He is undersized at 5'10" and 266 pounds, but he is not afraid to hit somebody and has the potential to develop into a big time run stopper for Cincinnati.
Drew Frey is certainly the most experienced player on this list, having started every game last season and even a few the year before, prior to a season-ending injury.
Frey is already the leader of a young secondary. The free safety from Wilmington, Ohio, has the height at 6'4" and at 205 pounds is the perfect build for a free safety.
Frey is likely to be one of the team leaders in interceptions and tackles in 2010 and is the anchor in the secondary for the Bearcats.