One Bearcat football player that knows he could really benefit from a coaching change and a new offense is Columbus native David Wess. Bearcat football fans are well aware of the potential this 6' 2"/215 pound quarterback brings to the gridiron. While some Cincinnati fans are fretting over the possible loss of quarterback recruit Chazz Anderson to Michigan State, others wonder if the older version of Anderson will see a rebirth under the tutelage of UC's new offensive minded head coach, Brian Kelly.
Wess earned 1st team all-Ohio honors as a senior at Columbus Whitehall Yearling High School before signing a letter-of-intent to attend the University of Minnesota. But the Golden Gophers did not admit David so he came to UC and sat out a year as he got his academics in order.
When it finally came time to get on the practice field, David was in a quarterback battle with plenty of competition. Wess showed a nice throwing touch on the ball in trying to shake off a year of rust from not playing, but soon after the team's arrival at Camp Higher Ground, David was asked to move to the defense to take advantage of his athleticism. As a safety, David had plenty to learn and only a day after making the position switch found himself brutally run over by Brent Celek in practice as David tried to make the tackle. That was a harbinger of the difficulty David would have switching to the defensive side of the ball, although he did record 10 tackles in the season ending loss to Rutgers last year.
Last spring David played receiver, running back and quarterback before being told just prior to the spring game that he would be moved back to quarterback when practice began in August. Wess was excited to be going back to the position he loved, but Bill Poland threw more passes (0-1) than did David this year.
Now the young man who was once described by Coach Dantonio as the best athlete on the team is anxiously anticipating the future with an offensive minded head coach. Wess shared his feelings with Bearcat Insider at the press conference called to announce Brian Kelly as his new leader. "I think this offense could be right for me. I'm looking forward to learning it and seeing what Coach wants out of it, but honestly, I think this could be good for the whole team. I don't want to sound greedy because it‘s not just me, but I think there's a quarterback on this team that'll be able to run it well and help build this team for the future."
David now wishes he had watched last week's MAC championship game a little closer since it would have given him a better understanding of Coach Kelly‘s offense. "I watched a little of the game, but I really wasn't watching it closely because I didn't know that he would be our next head coach. As I heard about it, I tried to do my homework and read that he runs a spread offense and is an offensive coach. I thought that could be right up my alley."
A number of Bearcat players have changed positions multiple times over the years and could see this coaching change as a fresh start. David does. "I honestly have to say that I feel God sent this opportunity to me. I did run that type of offense in high school and look forward to him coaching us."
Change can often be unsettling and some of the current Bearcat players may explore other options. Davis was asked how many of the current players he'd guess might transfer. "It's a hard question, but I did get the vibe from our team meeting that some players are looking at options maybe closer to home or somewhere else, but I hope we stick together."
Assuming Dan Enos is not hired by Brian Kelly as the quarterback coach, this will be David's third position coach in three seasons. But David chooses to see the coaching turnover as a positive. "It's all about opportunity. Me having so many position coaches is an opportunity to have another good coach to learn from." With that kind of optimistic attitude, David should prove to be a serious challenger for next year's starting quarterback job.