CINCINNATI GAMEPLAN: “WINN, WINN, WINN” - 2012 Belk Bowl Blitz: Edition 6

By Helen Sowell

Every so often a football player comes along who truly embodies his team and for the Cincinnati Bearcats that competitor is senior running back, George Winn. The Southfield, Michigan native is a coach’s dream: prepared, motivated, a leader and productive. He came to the Bearcats from University of Detroit Jesuit High School as three-year lettermen. Pacing the Cubs in rushing in each of his three seasons, he averaged better than 8.0 yards per carry as a senior en route to receiving first-team Detroit all-Catholic League honors amassing more than 3,000 career yards despite his squad finishing 0-9 that season.

But he showed that he had what it takes as then-coach Brian Kelly awarded him a scholarship in February 2008. He redshirted as a freshman and then saw limited action in 2009. Never one to complain, Winn played under-study to Isaiah Pead (now of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams) but he gradually saw more action, clearly becoming more of a factor. “George Winn is an unsung hero on our football team,” said Head Coach Butch Jones. “He plays special teams and he’s the best practice player we have.” Indeed Winn’s determination and sheer will have helped him produce. According to Coach Jones “He’s a warrior.”  

The 5’11”, 210-lb punisher is tough, gritty, and resilient. “He completely defines this team,” added Jones. “This football program means everything to him.” And vice versa. The Bearcats are quiet, physical and dedicated to detail, unrelenting and determined just like Winn. “I try to set the tone every week,” Winn says. “I want to set the tone that we are more physical than you.” His teammates describe him as a rock, a horse, hard-nosed and solid. When Cincinnati need a play, he gets the call.

With calm presence, George Winn leads through his work ethic and focus. Give him the ball and watch him go to work. He makes plays. “As a games goes on, I actually get better. I actually get less tired as the game goes on.” That’s certainly a plus for any offense.

This season, George has five 100-yard games to his credit as he continues to amaze the Bearcat faithful. He even threw a 37-yard jump pass on 4th down for a touchdown against Syracuse and made a tackle on a punt, all of which earned him Big East Offensive Player of the Week honors. Through 11 games he has tallied 1,134 yards rushing with 11 TD’s. His productivity sparks the Bearcats’ offense when the running game is in a rhythm. Winn says, “Our running game infuses us a little bit. I love doing my job and as I get older I realize I just want to win and help my team.”

Mission accomplished. A punishing blocker, a stellar special teams performer and one of the hardest workers on the practice field - a coach’s dream.