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Keith Wenning excited to play for hometown Bengals

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"Just to be back in your home state with a team that, when I was young, that’s all I used to watch were the Browns or the Bengals. It’s an awesome feeling, and it’s exciting for my family as well," Wenning said.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

According to Google Maps, there are 200 miles separating Cincinnati from an Ohio town called Coldwatera community of 4,500 in Mercer County. It's the hometown of quarterback Keith Wenning, who recently signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, a team he grew up supporting.

"It was exciting and relieving," Wenning said of signing with the Bengals, via Ball State Daily. "Just to be back in your home state with a team that, when I was young, that’s all I used to watch were the Browns or the Bengals. It’s an awesome feeling, and it’s exciting for my family as well."

Wenning, who compiled a 49-4 high school record and spent four-record breaking seasons at Ball State University (you could create an imperfect four-point diamond between Cincinnati, Dayton, Coldwater, and Ball State University), was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft. According to the mothership, Wenning was on Cincinnati's "radar late in last year’s draft." According to the Ball State Daily story, Wenning also worked out with the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons, prior to signing with the Bengals this June.

Now he's set to become Cincinnati's next developmental quarterback, who has already been mentored under Joe Flacco and will train under Dalton -- ironically both quarterbacks are the only passers to qualify for the postseason during their first four seasons respectively. "I'm excited and interested to see [Andy Dalton’s] approach to the game," Wenning said. "Being around Joe (Flacco) for a whole year, trying to figure out how he attacks the game each week — how he gameplans, how he goes after it — I’m interested to see how Andy does it."

We're not into the game of baseless projections, but we're not envisioning a scenario where Wenning qualifies for the 53-man roster. It's believed Cincinnati will apply a two-quarterback roster, keeping Josh Johnson around for late preseason work and then releasing him during final cuts in early September. Wenning would have to clear waivers if Cincinnati wants to transition him to the practice squad. Yet to Wenning, it's all part of the process.

"Whatever [the best] is I’m not sure, but I feel like you can strive to be great," Keith said. "And whether that’s third-string quarterback, second-string quarterback or someday first-string quarterback, who knows. But I feel like you have to strive to be the best you can be."