Bearcat fans rejoice, “The Godfather” is coming back to Cincinnati in 2024. According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Cincinnati defensive lineman Dontay Corleone is set to return for the Bearcats’ defense next season despite being draft-eligible this coming April.
A former All-America at the position, Corleone is a difference-maker for the Cincinnati defense and points to his faith in the coaching staff and his desire to show out for his city as the reasons for returning for another season, in an interview with ESPN.
“It’s to help my city out,” Corleone said. “I love my fan base. They are very loyal. I want to end on a high note. I believe in this coaching staff.”
Listed at 6-foot-2, 318 pounds, Corleone broke out during his redshirt freshman season in 2022 with 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks and ranked as PFF’s highest-ranked defensive player. In 2023, Corleone finished with 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, but the noise around his impact went quiet with Cincinnati’s struggles.
The Bearcats transition into their first year in the Big 12 was rough, finishing 1-8 in conference play and winless against original members of the conference.
With hopes that 2024 will go much better, it certainly helps to have their best defensive player back for another season.