Cincinnati Football: Jowon Briggs, Ben Bryant among Bearcats to return next season

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Ben Bryant snaps ball against the Navy Midshipmen at Nippert Stadium. USA Today.
Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Ben Bryant snaps ball against the Navy Midshipmen at Nippert Stadium. USA Today. /
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As the program prepares for the inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference, the Bearcats will get back several veterans including defensive tackle Jowon Briggs and quarterback Ben Bryant!

Briggs was a big part of the strong defensive line unit this season alongside senior defensive end Jabari Taylor, junior edge rusher Eric Phillips Jr, freshman tackle Dontay Corleone and others.

After beginning his career at Virginia, Briggs joined the Bearcats in 2021 and became a starter this season, totaling 61 tackles and three sacks en route to receiving All-AAC First Team honors.

The Cincinnati native started all 13 games this year and set the tone on the interior defensive line. Briggs added 4.5 tackles for loss and was third on the team with three sacks this season.

Cincinnati Football: Jowon Briggs, Ben Bryant among Bearcats to return next season

Following the recent hire of head coach Scott Satterfield, it was unclear if staring quarterback Ben Bryant would transfer before the sixth-year signal caller revealed his plan to return this week.

Even though he isn’t guaranteed to win the starting spot again, Bryant recently decided to come back for his final year of eligibility after suffering a season-ending broken foot last month.

Bryant is expected to compete with returning quarterbacks Evan Prater and Brady Lichtenberg, plus Arizona State transfer Emory Jones and freshman Brady Drogosh for the starting job.

The Bearcats are hoping for a few other key starters to return next season including senior running back Ryan Montgomery and star linebacker duo Ivan Pace Jr and Deshawn Pace.

Cincinnati Football: Ja’Von Hicks highlights list of Bearcats to declare for NFL Draft

After the Fenway Bowl loss last week, a handful of Bearcats decided to forego their remaining eligibility and declare for the draft including senior defensive backs Arquon Bush and Ja’Von Hicks.

Cincinnati sixth-year linebacker Wilson Huber, senior running back Charles McClelland and senior offensive tackle James Tunstall said they will enter the 2023 NFL Draft this week as well.

Stay up to date with the most recent rumors as the Bearcats await decisions from other starters, most notably All-American linebacker Ivan Pace Jr and veteran running back Ryan Montgomery.

Next. Cincinnati Football: Arizona State transfer quarterback Emory Jones commits to Bearcats. dark