By RANDY GREGORY
Parker Ehinger has had a memorable red shirt freshman season at the University of Cincinnati (UC). The 2011 Rockford graduate started every game but one for UC and was named as a member of the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American team in January as an offensive lineman.
The recognition seemingly just keeps rolling in for Ehinger, but this time it was as part of a group of Bearcats who were recognized by the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, February 13th. Joining Ehinger were fellow players Adam Dempsey, Tony Miliano, and Chris Williams. They were joined by UC athletic director Whit Babcock and several other members of the football staff and various dignitaries from the school.
State Representative Denise Driehaus, whose 31st House District includes the UC campus, recognized the Bearcats in the House chamber with a resolution honoring the 2012 BIG EAST Conference and Belk Bowl Champions. Babcock addressed the assembled group on behalf of the UC contingent.
The Senate was not actually in session Wednesday, but Senator Eric Kearney (UC grad), and Senate minority leader, welcomed the Bearcats party into his office. Kearney presented a Senate proclamation honoring the team and spent some time reminiscing with the group about the Bearcats 2012-13 season.
Cincinnati ended the campaign with a 10-3 mark and a number 22 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Formerly known as pretty much a strictly basketball school, the Bearcats have been ranked at the end of the football season in four of the last five years.
Former UC coach (and Saugatuck, Michigan native) Butch Jones has moved on and taken the head job at the University of Tennessee. So the Bearcats will open a new page in 2013, with head coach Tommy Tuberville taking charge. Tuberville, a 17-year head coaching veteran, was named UC’s head coach in mid-December.
The Bearcats are scheduled to begin spring football on March 5, 2013 with the 15-practice session closing out on April 13.