University of Cincinnati Bearcats
One of the strongest interior defensive linemen in college, Wolfe has really come into his own, growing from a 250-pound prep linebacker/tight end into a physical, aggressive 286-pound versatile performer with the pass rushing promise teams look for in a quality edge performer for a 3-4 alignment, along with the sudden quickness and power to split double-teams to neutralize the inside running game.
For a player of his size, Wolfe is quite agile and nimble on the way to wreaking havoc in the opponents’ backfields. He is one of the quicker interior linemen in the collegiate ranks, recently clocking 5.01 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He also is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches, thanks to his impressive wingspan (80 3/8-inch width), massive hands (10 3/4-inch width) and outstanding core strength, recognized as he was named the All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year by the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) in April 2011.
While the Bearcats finished 61st in the nation in rush defense (143.77 yards per game) during Wolfe’s first season as a starter in 2009, they improved to 39th in the NCAA for 2010 (135.42 yards per game). During Wolfe’s 2011 All-American season, Cincinnati ranked sixth nationally (96.23 yards per game) in the category. Wolfe has certainly been a “drive killer” since taking over starting chores. He caused four turnovers on fumbles, stopped 51 other possessions by delivering on third- or fourth-down plays and registered 22 tackles inside the red zone, including seven on goal-line plays.
Prior to his arrival at Cincinnati, Wolfe competed as a defensive end, outside linebacker, tight end and offensive tackle at Beaver Local High School, where he also qualified for the state finals as a power lifter during his junior and senior seasons. The three-time letter-winner added more than 20 pounds of bulk to his frame prior to his junior season as the 270-pounder helped lead the Beavers to an 8-3 record in 2006. That season, he posted 30 tackles with 5.5 sacks, adding nine more stops behind the line of scrimmage while batting away five passes.
Wolfe emerged as one of the state of Ohio’s elite defensive performers in 2007, as the down lineman collected 78 tackles with seven sacks in 2007. The team finished with a 3-7 record, but the senior garnered Associated Press Division III All-Ohio first-team honors in addition to earning All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, All-Eastern District and All-Ohio Valley Class AAAA first-team honors. He finished his gridiron career with 205 tackles, receiving a three-star prospect rating from both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Wolfe dazzled recruiters with his stellar performance at the Elite Skills Camp, held at Cleveland Browns Stadium in April, 2007. He had the third-best overall agility performance among the nearly 480 participants in attendance, clocking 4.94 seconds in the 40-yard dash, producing a 475-pound squat and logging a 4.64-second long shuttle. He drew considerable interest from Northwestern, Iowa, Georgia Tech, Army, Purdue, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Ohio State, but made up his mind to attend Cincinnati, signing his national letter of intent on June 15, 2007.
Former Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly and the Bearcats football program took just two offensive linemen and four defensive linemen in their 2008 recruiting class, with two-way tackle Derek Wolfe headlining the group. The staff knew they had some quality coming to Clifton. Wolfe had made the trip to Clifton from his home in Lisbon, Ohio the Friday before Cincinnati’s 2007 spring game. The Beaver Local High School senior was fortunate enough to have a man on the inside of the Bearcat’s program, senior defensive tackle Adam Hopple, a former Beaver from Lisbon himself.
The 2008 campaign was a “learning experience” for Wolfe. Originally recruited to play offensive tackle, his athleticism forced the staff to move their quickest blocker over to a depleted defensive line corps prior to season opener. He appeared in seven games, recording three tackles and one sack.
Wolfe played defensive tackle in 2009, recording 41 tackles (22 solo) with five sacks, eight stops behind the line of scrimmage and five pressures. He also caused and recovered one fumble. Ten of his stops came on third-down snaps, along with one more on fourth down.
Wolfe received All-Big East Conference second-team honors in 2010 as he started all year at left defensive tackle. He amassed 48 tackles (29 solo), ranked third on the team with four sacks and added 6.5 tackles for loss.
As a senior, Wolfe posted 70 tackles (37 solo) and led the Big East and placed fifth in the nation with 1.65 tackles for loss per game. He also placed third in the conference with an average of 0.73 quarterback sacks per game.
Played in 45 games at Cincinnati, starting his last 38 contests for the Bearcats at left defensive tackle…Recorded 162 tackles (90 solo) with 19.5 sacks (126 yards), 37.0 tackles for loss (168 yards), four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries…Deflected two passes, both on third down…His 19.5 sacks rank fourth on the school career-record chart…His 9.5 sacks in 2011 rank fourth on the school’s annual record chart…His 21.5 tackles for loss in 2011 are the highest total by an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision defensive tackle and rank fourth in school history.
Received All-America second-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press, Scout.com, Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated…The unanimous All-Big East Conference first-team choice added Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year honors, becoming the first Bearcat to ever earn the award and is just the fifth defensive tackle in conference history to receive the award…Named to the watch list for the 2011 Outland Trophy…Selected to the watch list for the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy…Started all 13 games at left defensive tackle…Led the Big East Conference while placing fifth in the nation with 21.5 tackles for loss (96 yards), the most among FBS defensive tackles…Finished third in the Big East with a team-best 9.5 sacks (66 yards)…Posted 70 tackles (37 solo)…Recovered and caused a pair of fumbles…Deflected one pass…Added Big East Academic Honor Roll accolades, a term grade point average of 3.667 in his criminal justice major…Added Big East Weekly Honor Roll recognition for his performance vs. Akron, Louisville and Connecticut.
All-Big East Conference second-team selection by The NFL Draft Report…Started all 12 games at left defensive tackle…Recorded 48 tackles (29 solo), four sacks (21 yards) and 6.5 tackles for loss (26 yards)…Cincinnati ranked fourth in the Big East in rush defense (135.4 yards per game).
Recorded 41 tackles (22 solo) with five sacks (32 yards) and eight tackles for loss (39 yards)…Recovered and caused a fumble.
Originally recruited as an offensive tackle, played in the Eastern Kentucky, Miami (Oh.), Oklahoma, Marshall, Syracuse, Hawaii and Virginia Tech contests at defensive tackle…Recorded three tackles (two) and one sack.
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
5.01 in the 40-yard dash…1.61 10-yard dash…2.73 20-yard dash…4.44 20-yard shuttle…
7.26 three-cone drill…33 1/2-inch vertical jump…9’0” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times…Bench pressed 475 pounds six times…605-pound squat…365-pound power clean…32 7/8-inch arm length…10 .-inch hands…80 3/8-inch wingspan.
Attended Beaver Local (Lisbon, Oh.) High School, playing football for head coach Rich Wright…Lettered three times and was also a standout performer for the power lifting team, qualifying for the state finals as a junior and senior…Competed as a defensive end, outside linebacker, tight end and offensive tackle…Added more than 20 pounds to his frame prior to his junior season as the 270-pounder helped lead the Beavers to an 8-3 record in 2006…Posted 30 tackles with 5.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss and added five pass breakups…In 2007, emerged as one of the state of Ohio’s elite defensive performers, as the down lineman collected 78 tackles with seven sacks…Garnered Associated Press Division III All-Ohio first-team honors in addition to All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, All-Eastern District and All-Ohio Valley Class AAAA first-team honors…Finished his career with 205 tackles…Received a three-star prospect rating from both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Criminal Justice major…Son of Dennis Wolfe…Resides with grandmother, Kim Wolfe… Born Derek J. Wolfe on 2/24/90…Resides in Lisbon, Ohio.