UC legend Tony Pike mentoring area quarterbacks
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The man who was out front of the most successful University of Cincinnati football team of all time is now behind some of the area's best quarterbacks.
Tony Pike, nothing short of a Bearcats legend, is trying to make legends out of the next generation.
"I started quarterback training years ago as a way to give back to help these kids," Pike says. "Because all these kids who are quarterbacks predominantly have a strong arm growing up. So they never really understand how to use their legs and their full bodies to make these throws, and then their arm kind of gets burned out."
One of his pupils for three years was St. Xavier High School quarterback Chase Wolf, who is heading to Wisconsin this fall and knows he may not be a Badgers player without a Bearcats player's help.
"Tony's mostly worked with my footwork and my legs and stuff - throw when I'm tired," Wolf says. "So in the game, if I didn't work with him it would probably be all arms and I'd have a dead arm by now. I wouldn't be where I am without Tony. I used to watch him when I was a child and I was like, 'This kid's a legend.' "
The awe of being with a legend turned into eye rolls pretty quickly.
"He gives me a lot of crap for random things, especially for Xavier, but it's OK," Wolf says.
"Both of my younger brothers played offensive line and tight end, so I didn't really get to transfer the quarterback stuff," Pike says. "I was happy to come and watch him play - watch his growth throughout the season. It's fun to watch a game and see a drill you do on the field be used in a game-time situation."
Pike and Wolf's relationship is developing a work ethic that's helping Wolf chase his dream, and silence those sleeping on him.
"People doubted me going into high school, saying I wouldn't even play on the freshman team," Wolf said. "But I just use that as motivation to succeed. I'm just going to work every single day like they doubt me."
Said Pike: "This is what he's made for. This is what he wants,. You see at the end of sessions, he wants to have a competition every day. He wants to compete against the best, he wants to prove himself day-in and day-out, and there's no doubt in my mind he's going to go and put the work in."