Quarterback Bennie Coney is transferring from Cincinnati, provide weight to the rumors that had been sprouting up over the last few weeks. The Enquirer’s Tom Groeschen is the first to report the news.
— Tom Groeschen (@TomGroeschen) February 19, 2014
I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t saddened by this news. Coney was a high 3-star/low 4-star prospect coming out of high school in an absolutely stacked 2012 recruiting class. He had the measureables and raw talent to develop into a great quarterback at the collegiate level. But it just never happened at Cincinnati. Coney continuously struggled to rise up the depth chart and when he did get his chance in live games this past season, was inconsistent at best. Part of the issue might have been the coaching change. Butch Jones recruited Coney to run his read-option system at UC but when Tuberville and Gran took over before last season, the system changed in a manner that likely didn’t mesh with the quarterback’s skill sets. Plus the arrival of Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel threw a wrench in the situation.
So for the Bearcats heading into spring workouts and the 2014 season, the quarterback position becomes clearer. Kiel will likely be the frontrunner to start for Cincinnati with JUCO transfer Jarred Evans his backup. At the very least both of them will be battling it out for UC’s QB-1 role. But expect Kiel to have an edge heading into both spring and fall camps.
And for Bennie Coney, I wish him nothing but the best. He truly is a gifted quarterback that will find a soft landing place somewhere. That place just won’t be at Cincinnati. That’s the tragic part of all of this, I suppose. Coney has all the talent in the world but it just never panned out at UC. Whatever school he ultimately transfers to is getting one heck of a football player.