Earlier this week, I posted about five players to watch on offense at this Friday’s spring football game. Now it is time for the five players to watch on defense. Once again, these won’t be the obvious guys that you already know about like Sheldon Rankins or James Burgess. Rather, this will be a list of guys that you may or may not have heard of, but that we expect to make an impact in the 2015 season for the Cards.
Once again, just for reference, I will tell you the five guys we highlighted going into last year’s spring game, just to show we may have an idea of what we are talking about. And if this is completely wrong this year, my fault. Last year’s five to watch on defense:
1) Keith Kelsey – Had to fill the void left by Preston Brown last season. I would say he did that.
2) Sheldon Rankins – Like I said, not even listing him this year because he is obvious. Was not obvious at this point last year.
3 & 4) Richard Benjamin & Chucky Williams – Had these guys on here because of the loss of Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor. Had no idea Gerod Holliman would blow up like he did, and James Sample wasn’t even a thought to be a Cardinal at the time.
5) Trevon Young – Didn’t have a breakout season, but also played a similar position as some guy named Lorenzo Mauldin. He still appeared in 11 games though.
So what that shows is this list may miss a time or two (Benjamin and Williams) or it can have guys on here that can be huge on defense (Kelsey and Rankins). Take it for what it’s worth. It would be easy to name the big-time guys. Taking a couple chances here.
From ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson, who talks about the different defense that Louisville will play this season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There are holes to fill across the Louisville defense, one that quietly ranked as one of the best units in America a year ago.
But that is not the only reason this group is undergoing an entire overhaul during the spring. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has changed the base defense to a 3-4 and started shifting players around to positions better suited for them. The lone returning starting lineman from a year ago, Lorenzo Mauldin, will move to outside linebacker, filling a hybrid rush end role that will better utilize his athleticism.
Sheldon Rankins, a backup defensive tackle the last two seasons, has emerged as a leader at end but can play nose guard, too.
“He’s been dominant,” Grantham said.
Plenty more moves have been made: B.J. Dubose, who has played end and tackle, has found a home at end this spring; Redshirt freshman James Hearns has moved from linebacker to end; redshirt freshman Chucky Williams is leading the charge to start at one safety spot after starting his career at cornerback.
Previous position breakdowns:
Today we continue the position breakdowns for the 2013 football season and focus on the Cornerbacks.
5’10 201 lbs
Talk about a player who shows up in the big-time moments! No matter what Floyd does for the rest of his career here at UofL, he already made one of the most memorable plays in Louisville football history. (HSReplays with the video)
According to his coach Mike Tunsil, freshman Athlete/Safety Chucky Williams has been cleared to play for the Cards this season. Williams is from Hialeah, Florida. He is listed at 6’2 and 180 lbs.
On Monday, Charlie Strong mentioned that 2 freshmen still were not on campus, and that was Williams and Donel Elam. At the time, it appeared that Williams would be cleared eventually and that Elam probably will not make it with this year’s class.
That means Elam is the only incoming freshman that has not made it, so overall the Cards have to be happy that everyone else is clear and ready to go.
At today’s press conference, Coach Charlie Strong mentioned that there are two incoming freshmen that are still not on campus, and they are Chucky Williams and Donel Elam. From what it sounds like, Williams is still working towards taking care of business to get here, but Elam likely will not be apart of this class.