CINCINNATI – Six former University of Cincinnati players, Dominique Battle, Camerron Cheatham, Drew Frey, Travis Kelce, Kenbrell Thompkins and George Winn, will take part in postseason all-star games as they begin their quest for professional football careers.
Kelce will play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 26 in Mobile, Ala. Cheatham takes part in the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic on Jan. 19 in Montgomery, Ala. Battle and Frey will suit up in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 19 in Carson, Calif. Thompkins and Winn were selected to play in the Texas vs. The Nation contest on Feb. 2 in Allen, Texas.
The former Bearcats participating in all-star games are working for invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine, which will be held from Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis, Ind. UC's on campus pro timing day will follow in March.
Information on each game and player capsules are below.
RAYCOM COLLEGE FOOTBALL ALL-STAR CLASSIC
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 | 3 p.m. ET | CBS Sports Network | Cramton Bowl | Mongtomery, Ala.
The inaugural Raycom College Football All-Star Classic will be on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 3 p.m. (ET) at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery and will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Teams will be coached by former NFL head coaches Jim Bates and Dan Reeves.
Cheatham will wear No. 22 and play on the Stripes squad.
Cheatham helped lead a UC secondary that helped the Bearcats rank second in the BIG EAST in scoring defense (18.46), third in pass efficiency defense (114.15), third in rushing defense (135.62) and sixth in total defense (388.08). He started all 13 games in 2013, ranking third on the team with 57 tackles. Also tied for the team lead with three interceptions and added five pass breakups. He had a 68-yard interception return in the 56-14 win against Miami, Ohio on Oct. 6. He closed the season with 10 tackles (9 solos) in the 48-34 win over Duke in the Belk Bowl. Cheatham played in 51 games in his four-year career at UC. He recorded 172 tackles, 17 pass breakups, seven interceptions and two touchdowns.
Dominique Battle & Drew Frey
NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL
January 19, 2013 | 6 p.m. ET | ESPN2 | Home Depot Center | Carson, Calif.
The 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl all-star game presented by Winnol will take place on Jan. 19, 2013 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. and be televised live on ESPN2. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised live on ESPN2. Teams will be coached by former NFL head coaches Herm Edwards (American) and Dick Vermeil (National).
Battle will wear No. 9 and play on the American squad while Frey will wear No. 25 and play on the National squad.
Both Battle and Frey were key members of a UC secondary that helped the Bearcats rank second in the BIG EAST in scoring defense (18.46), third in pass efficiency defense (114.15), third in rushing defense (135.62) and sixth in total defense (388.08).
Battle made a successful comeback from multiple knee surgeries, moving to safety and playing in 10 games in 2012, starting three. He finished with 21 tackles, tallying a season-best four stops against Fordham, Syracuse and Rutgers along with an interception against Scarlet Knights. He saw action in 46 career games, starting 23 and tallying 108 career tackles along with five interceptions.
Frey started 11 games in 2012, finishing with 50 tackles, a pair of tackles for a loss, two interceptions and nine passes defended. He played in 51 games at UC, starting 46 despite losing the better part of two seasons to injury. The 2011 First-Team All-BIG EAST Conference honoree totaled 201 tackles, including 153 solo stops. Also had eight career interceptions, 10 tackles for a loss and 20 passes defended.
January, 26, 2013 | 4 p.m. ET | NFL Network | Ladd-Peebles Stadium | Mobile, Ala.
The Senior Bowl is the nation’s most unique football game and football’s premier pre-draft event, annually featuring the country’s best senior collegiate football stars and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South which are coached by the entire coaching staffs from two National Football League teams. Senior Bowl practices are also attended by over 800 general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from the 32 National Football League teams, making Mobile and the Senior Bowl the week-long host to a one-of-a-kind NFL Coaches Convention.
The 2013 event takes place on January 26, 2013 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The game will kickoff at 4 p.m. ET with live television coverage on the NFL Network.
Kelce was one of the top tight ends in the country in 2012, earning First-Team All-BIG EAST honors and finishing as UC's leading receiver with 45 catches for 722 yards and eight scores. He set the UC single-season mark for receptions, yards receiving and touchdowns by a tight end. He caught the game winner in the 2012 Belk Bowl, hauling in an 83-yarder down the seam from QB Brendon Kay with under a minute left in the game. It was the longest scoring play and TD pass in Belk Bowl history.
Kenbrell Thompkins and George Winn
TEXAS VS. THE NATION GAME
February 2, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. ET | FOX Sports | Eagle Stadium | Allen Texas
The 2013 Texas vs. the Nation Game is scheduled to be played February 2, 2013 at Eagle Stadium in Allen, Texas. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET and the game will be televised by FOX Sports.
Thompkins and Winn will both suit up for the Nation team.
Thompkins was UC's second-leading receiver in 2012, catching 34 balls for 541 yards and two touchdowns. His career-best seven catches for 134 yards and a touchdown came against Virginia Tech at FedEx Field. He added a career-best 83-yard TD reception at Temple, toeing the sideline all the way to the end zone in a Bearcats win.
Winn, a Second-Team All-BIG EAST selection, carried 16 times for 130 yards and a TD in the 2012 Belk Bowl, his sixth 100-yard rushing game of 2012. He closed out the season with 1,334 yards on 243 carries for 13 TDs. He tallied the second-best rushing season in school history, just 27 yards off DeMarco McCleskey’s 1,361 yards in 2002. Winn's 46-yard TD scamper was the longest TD run in Belk Bowl history.