Thursday, September 28, 2000

Hoover ready to lead UC


Will start at QB while Kenner sits with injury

By John Erardi
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Adam Hoover, who probably will be the University of Cincinnati's starting quarterback Saturday at Tulane in place of injured Deontey Kenner, has two pretty good QBs as role models: Ty Detmer and Steve Young.

UC at TULANE
  • Records: UC 2-2 (1-0 C-USA); Tulane 1-2 (1-0).
  • Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday. • Where: Louisiana Superdome (69,967).
  • Radio: WCKY-AM (1360).
        “I did a book report in high school on Ty Detmer, and I always dreamed about going to BYU,” he said. “I read a book about the All-American quarterbacks who went to BYU. And then Steve Young came into the limelight and won the Super Bowl. That was exciting to me. Those are my quarterback role models.”

        Hoover is a Mormon. He walked on Brigham Young University's team as a freshman, red-shirted, then, as a 19-year-old, went on a two-year mission in Houston before returning to BYU for his second year.

        “I knew several athletes had served missions and had come back to have good football careers, so knowing that helped me,” Hoover said. “I threw the football only about five times during the two years of my mission. It was on Mondays — they're called "preparation day' — and it's basically your day off.”

        During those two years, he gained only a few pounds but lost a lot of muscle mass. After a few months with the team, he was back in shape but not likely to play.

        “I could see when I got back to BYU for my second year that I wasn't going to play,” he said. “There were five or six quarterbacks ahead of me, and they were all on scholarship. So I transferred to Saddleback Junior College in California, where I wouldn't have to sit out for a season, and UC (recruited) me out of there.”

        Hoover got his Division I baptism by fire in the second half of the Indiana game Saturday when Kenner left with an an abdominal strain. He looked comfortable running the offense and was 11-of-21 for 97 yards passing. The team didn't score any touchdowns, but it did move the football.

        “I wasn't as nervous as I thought I might be when I ran out onto the field,” Hoover said. “I threw a pass on the first play, completed it, and from there on I just took it one play at a time. I'm trying to approach it the same this week. I want to prepare as hard as I can and try to make some plays in the game.”

        Hoover, 23, said the UC coaches are spending more time getting him mentally ready to play quarterback than they are overwhelming him with the X's and O's of Tulane's defense.

        He has watched from the sideline and in the film room as UC's passing offense has sputtered this season. He said it is hard for him to find the specific problem. But he knows what he will try to do to get the Bearcats on track.

        “We need to get back on the same page — receivers, quarterback, line,” he said. “We have to know what routes are being run and make our blitz adjustments.”

       



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