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Several Former UC Bearcats Players Hope to Build NFL Draft in Window Displays


If you need to fix a Cincinnati Bearcat football game, you can get a snippet of it over the next two weekends. Several players who left the program to apply for the NFL Draft will take part in stellar showcases that professional scouts will see this weekend and next. On a professional level, some of your favorite former Bearcats will play for the Super Bowl slot.

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Here is your scorecard for detecting some helmets with C-Paws:

When: Saturday, January 28 at 6:00 pm EST.

Where: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California

TV SET: NFL network

Jeremy Cooper

The 6-foot-2, 326-pound quarterback is slated to wear number 74 and play for the national team coached by Eddie George, a former Ohio State and Tennessee Titan running back and current Tennessee State coach. For the past four years, offensive lineman Bearcat has been viewed by scouts as an undrafted free agent.

When: Thursday, February 2, 8:30 AM EST.

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada

TV set: NFL Network

Leonard Taylor

At 6ft 5in and weighing 255lbs, Taylor will wear number 86 for the East team coached by the staff of the Atlanta Falcons, the same team that drafted former Bearcat quarterback Desmond Ridder last April. Taylor had 18 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns. NFLdraftbuzz.com recently ranked Taylor 22nd in the tight end. NFLmockdraftdatabase.com lists him as an undrafted free agent based on where he ended up in the election (between 282-393). There are 260 picks in the draft.

When: Saturday, February 4 at 12:30 pm EST

Where: University of South Alabama, Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

TV SET: NFL network

Ivan Pace Jr.

The 6-foot, 239-pound linebacker will play for the national team coached by Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. The defensive coordinator is Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coach Grady Brown. Pace had 63 tackles, 10 sacks, and two forced fumbles in a single season with the Bearcats since transferring from the University of Miami. According to NFLmockdraftdatabase.com, he is predicted to be a third or fourth round pick.

Tre Tucker

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound receiver with a 4.29 rush speed for 40 yards had 52 tackles for 672 yards and three touchdowns for UC. NFLmockdraftdatabase.com considers Tucker a seventh-round pick or an undrafted free agent, depending on where he ranks among other available players.

Josh Wyle

Wile, 6’6″ and 250 pounds with a 4.65 speed in the 40th, is considered the No. 14 tight end by NFLdraftbuzz.com. He caught 32 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. Wyle is also on the national team along with Pace and Tucker. NFLmockdraftdatabase.com considers Wile a possible third, fourth, or fifth round player based on current picks.

Others to watch?

Ja’Von Hicks 6ft 2in Safety 210 lbs: He’s projected as an undrafted free agent or possibly in the seventh round.

Tyler Scott, 5’11, 185 lb wide receiver: He ran 4.29 40 and had 54 catches for 899 yards and nine touchdowns. Predicted as a 6th-7th round pick or an undrafted free agent.

Lorenz Metz, 6’9″ 330 lbs, forward: Predicted undrafted free agent.

Charles McClelland, running backwards, 5’1″, 200 lbs.: Played at the Hula Bowl in Orlando. Ran for 849 yards and scored seven touchdowns. 14 traps at 116 yards. Predicted undrafted free agent.

Ty Van Fossen, linebacker, 6’2, 225 lbs.: Proposed undrafted free agent.

Jabari Taylor, 6ft 1m, 280lbs, guard: Predicted undrafted free agent.

Arquon Bush, 6-foot, 198-pound cornerback: There were 34 tackles, two interceptions for 15 yards and one forced fumble. Predicted rounds six through seven or an undrafted free agent.

Wilson Huber, linebacker, 6’3, 250 pounds: Predicted undrafted free agent.

About cats

Three former Bearcats will play for a date at Super Bowl 57 this weekend. Jason Kelsey, Travis Kelsey and Brian Cook intend to compete in the NFL Conference Championship on Sunday.

Jason Kelsey is the starting center for the NFC No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles and will host the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field in the NFC Championship game at 3:00 pm ET Sunday on Fox.

His younger brother Travis Kelsey, an All-Pro tight end, and Cook, a rookie at safety, both play for the Kansas City Chiefs, who are No. 1 in the AFC. The Chiefs host the Bengals at 6:30 pm ET at Arrowhead Stadium on CBS Sunday.

The Bengals also have UCLA graduate Kevin Huber on their practice team. Last year, Huber and Los Angeles Rams defenseman Marquise Copeland became the 19th and 20th different Bearcats to play in the Super Bowl.

Bearcat has competed in 25 Super Bowls in total. Receiver/kicker Jim O’Brien won Super Bowl V in 1971 with a 32-yard split to give the then-Baltimore Colts a victory over Dallas.

Jason Kelsey won the Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2017. A former UCLA linebacker, Kelsey played for the Bearcats from 2007 to 2010, earning All-BIG EAST honors twice. The Eagles swept the Giants 38-7 last Saturday in the NFC Divisional Round.

Travis Kelsey is the best tight end in football and a four-time All-Pro winner, including this fall. He had 14 receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in last Saturday’s AFC Divisional Round game. His 14 receptions were the most in a tight end playoff game. He played at UCLA from 2009 to 2012 and recently founded the Eighty-Seven & Running Foundation. This donation will fund the Cincinnati Department of Sports Psychology and Counseling, directly impacting and helping all 450 student athletes.

Cook had one tackle against the Jaguars. The Cincinnati native played 25 games for the Bearcats since moving from Howard. He had 96 tackles and earned All-AAC First Team honors during a breakout 2021 campaign.

Super Bowl LVII will take place on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

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