The UC football team has won or shared the Big East title in three of the last four seasons, but when it comes to gorging themselves on lobster, the Bearcats have some work to do.
On Monday night at annual lobster-fest that kicks off Big East media days, the Cincinnati trio of Maalik Bomar, Austen Bujnoch, and Walter Stewart combined to eat five lobsters while a pair of Syracuse players ate seven and a half apiece.
“I had two lobsters and Bujnoch had three,” said Bomar. “They ran out on us so we didn’t really get to attack it the way that we wanted to.”
“I wish I could have had more,” said Bujnoch with a grin. “They cut us off – I was probably going to eat six or seven, but I only got to eat three.”
“I’m actually allergic to shellfish but I still had a good time,” said Stewart. “They had excellent barbeque and it was still a great experience just seeing all that seafood. I never knew that I would see something like that so I definitely appreciated it.”
Of course, what the Bearcats are really hungry for is another Big East championship.
In the league’s annual preseason media poll released on Tuesday, the ‘Cats were picked to finish fourth behind Louisvlle, USF, and Rutgers. It’s worth noting that UC has finished higher than its preseason rank in six of seven seasons since joining the league and was picked for 5th, 3rd, and 5th in its championship seasons.
“We want to use that as fuel,” said Bomar. “That’s the bottom line.”
“At UC, we’ve built a legacy so we always expect the best,” said Bujnoch. “If we don’t finish first, it’s a disappointment each year. We expect to be up there.”
The three players chosen to “Represent the C” at the event in Newport, RI were picked by head coach Butch Jones for their leadership roles on this year’s team – particularly Stewart who is listed among the leading preseason candidates for Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
“Make no mistake about it – he is the face of our program right now,” said Coach Jones. “He owns the football team. His leadership skills are dynamic, he’s held everyone accountable including himself, and I think he’s really worked himself into have a great senior year.”
“With this being my senior year, I just wanted to step up,” said Stewart. “A lot of guys in leadership roles are gone and I take a lot of pride in being a Bearcat and trying to help lead my team to victory.”
Preseason camp opens next week at Camp Higher Ground in West Harrison, Indiana.
“I’m excited to get out there and bond with the team,” said Bujnoch. “We have a lot of work to do and camp is where teams are born.”
“We’ve been training hard all summer with the weight room and conditioning,” said Bomar. “It’s time to attack the field and prepare for this season.”
“I can’t wait,” said Stewart. “Especially after all of the workouts. Eventually you get to a point where your body starts telling you, ‘Alright, it’s time to get going.’ I’m really excited to get going in camp and we have big expectations this year.”
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