Jarred Evans

Cincy QB says racial slurs preceded punch that KOd victim

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Back in late October, backup Cincinnati quarterback Jarred Evans was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge and suspended a short time later, even as head coach Tommy Tuberville said “there’s a good chance he’s not guilty.”

While Tuberville’s player is not denying there was a punch thrown, he is saying there was something that triggered it.

Testifying in court Friday in connection to the charge, Evans alleged that the victim, 20-year-old UC student Ryan Smith, was part of a group of males who began harassing him and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Jennifer Dunlap.  According to Evans, the group, or someone in the group, was directing “n****r lover” comments at him and his girlfriend; Evans is black, his girlfriend is white.  Evans said in his testimony that he tried to ignore the epithets, but the situation ultimately escalated.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Eventually, Evans responded: “I told them, ‘I will f**k all of you up if you come after me.”

Soon after, he testified, one of the men stood in front of them, blocking their path.

“He flinched at me with his hands up,” Evans testified, “and I just reacted with a punch, a jab.”

The individual who was on the receiving end of the jab was Smith, who sustained a concussion and lacerations that required stitches. Smith had previously testified that he wasn’t with the group of men who were harassing Evans and Dunlap. Oddly enough, Dunlap’s roommate, Courtney Gravett, backed up Smith’s account, testifying that the victim was not a part of the harassing group and that she tried to stop Evans from confronting them.

“For no obvious reason,” the Enquirer said Gravett testified, “Evans struck Smith, who had his head down and his hands in his pockets.”

According to the paper, closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected Monday.

Evans, incidentally, remains suspended from the football program.

Gunner Kiel named starter for Cincy’s delayed season opener

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Cincinnati finally gets tits 2014 season started this week with a Friday night contest at Paul Brown Stadium against Toledo. On Tuesday Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville named Gunner Kiel his starting quarterback for the game, but expect multiple quarterbacks to get a chance to play in the season opener for the American Athletic Conference preseason favorites.

It had been half-expected Kiel would be the starter under center for the Bearcats this season, with the Notre Dame transfer embracing the opportunity to lead the offense over the summer. Kiel supplants last year’s starter, Munchie Legaux, and beats out junior Jarred Evans for the job. If all goes to plan, Tuberville will find snaps for all three players Friday night, but it appears as though Kiel has become the guy to lead the offense on the regular basis until he loses the job.

Legaux had his 2013 season end prematurely with a horrific knee injury early in the season. He has been working to get back to full speed, but even if he was at 100 percent it is possible Kiel would have won the starting assignment anyway. Kiel put on a bit of a show in Cincinnati’s spring game, passing for 300 yards and making his case for the starting job. Kiel has three years of eligibility remaining after transferring from Notre Dame, which means he will have plenty of time for the offense to be built around him moving forward.

The NCAA granted Legaux an extra year of eligibility, and Tuberville would be wise to find ways to utilize his athleticism in the offense.

Cincinnati is playing home games in Paul Brown Stadium this season while their home stadium is undergoing renovations. Cincinnati and Toledo are scheduled to play at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night on ESPNU.