Many years from now when I’m even older then I am today, I hope to look
back on my time covering the Bearcats and remember the names of yesteryear with
great affection. One of the names
that I will always remember is Brent Celek.
It’s hard to believe the time has come for Brent Celek and the University of Cincinnati to part ways. Saturday the former LaSalle Lancers made
his final appearance in a Bearcat uniform on the field turf of Nippert
Stadium. In doing so he left every
Bearcat fans in attendance with a memory we’ll talk about for many years to
come. But before I allow you to
view our video interview after the Rutgers game
last night, here are a few more things to remember about number 85.
I remember one of the first times I had the chance to speak with one of
the members of the Bearcats coaching staff. Our conversation was about the players
on the team and who really stood out amongst the veterans returning for spring
practice 2005. Without a flinch
this coach said Brent Celek is a young man you really need to speak with. When asked why Celek should be a player
we talk to, the coach was quick to explain we wouldn’t find a better person on
or off the field then the junior tight end.
What I didn’t know the first time I spoke with Brent was just how much he
reminded me of my younger brother.
Brent no only did the work on the field but he also had pride in doing it
right in the classroom and away from football in his private life. One thing I’ll always remember is the
look on Brent’s face after a tough battle.
If the Bearcats won he praised his teammates and didn’t take much
credit. If the Bearcats loss he’d
take the blame and shed away any talk of someone else causing the teams
When it comes down to his performance on the field no one
will be able to question his outstanding ability to catch the football and make
great runs after the catch. I think
I’ll always remember three runs from the two seasons of watching Brent play up
close and personal.
The first one came during Celek’s junior year and in his
first Big East Conference game against Pittsburgh. Taking a pass from quarterback Dustin Grutza, Celek soon found contact from the Panthers defense. But instead of going down for a nice
gain you saw the nice guy turn mean and show his super strength by knocking off
a couple of tacklers and powering himself into the end zone for a
While that play stands out it’s not the only one I’ve witness with
amazement as this year also saw Brent take a pass from Grutza and then bowl over
a couple of Akron defenders to score a touchdown I thought would be hard pressed
But Saturday night I was proven wrong again as Brent left his trademark
on all those in attendance at Nippert and to a national television audience with
taking a Nick Davilla pass and refusing to go down on his way towards an 83 yard
In closing I’ll always remember Brent Celek as “Mr. Bearcat” for his play
and his dedication to helping Cincinnati football take the next steps towards
becoming a Top 25 program.
This is a special “One-on-One” video interview we
conducted after the Bearcats victory over #7 ranked Rutgers.