CINCINNATI — Former Loveland High School football coach Fred Cranford was ecstatic to speak with his former quarterback Drew Plitt on Wednesday morning.
The Cincinnati Bengals signed free-agent Plitton the first day of training camp.
"It's the fruition of hard work," Cranford said. "Just a kid from Loveland that orchestrated the wing-T. Who would've thunk it? It's a credit really to his grind and hard work. If you know the kid, you know it's exactly not a surprise for him to get to this level just because he does things the right way. There is something to be said for that."
Plitt, who is 6 feet 2 and 206 pounds, is a rookie from Ball State University. He played in 46 career games for the Cardinals with 36 starts and completed 777 of 1246 passes (62.4%) for 9,062 yards and 68 touchdowns. He also rushed for 423 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Greater Cincinnati high school football fans will remember Plitt starred at Loveland where he set a school record for career touchdown passes (42) and in 2013 led the team to a Division II state title over Cleveland Glenville on a snow-filled Fawcett Stadium in Canton.
It was the first state football title for Loveland in program history.
Plitt earned a few tryouts with NFL teams this spring. He participated in the Bengals' rookie minicamp in May as a tryout player.
"I'm just super happy for the kid," Cranford said. "It's good to see great things happen to good people that work hard. It's rewarding to see all that come together."
The Bengals also have Brandon Allen and Jake Browning as backup quarterbacks to starter Joe Burrow.
On Tuesday, Burrow had surgery to remove his appendix and is expected to miss some practice time.
The regular season starts on Sept. 11 when, for the first time ever, the team's opener is against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium.