As you may or may not know, I lived in Auburn, Alabama from 2008-2012 and still have some friends down that way. A friend of mine that I still keep in touch with is Scott Bagwell, one of the biggest Auburn fans I know, who is also a good writer. He is very knowledgeable and won’t just be an Auburn homer. He will tell it like it is, which is what we want. He decided to help me (and all of you Louisville fans) out by writing a post about both the offense and the defense of Auburn. This post will focus on the defensive side of the ball. If you missed the one on the offense, here you go.
By Scott Bagwell:
According to the ACC Digital Network, Louisville’s top 3 impact players for the 2015 football season will be James Quick, Sheldon Rankins, and Brandon Radcliff. There is no doubt that all three of those guys will have to play well for the Cards to have success. It is just very hard to narrow this down to three because then you leave out guys like James Burgess, Keith Kelsey, Josh Harvey-Clemons, or whoever plays quarterback.
Nevertheless, these three will still be key factors in 2015.
College Football News has a good preview of the 2015 Louisville Cardinals. As we start July, any football preview is a good thing because the season can not get here soon enough. But this particular preview seems to actually be accurate about the team, which you don’t always get from national publications.
Here are a fer excerpts from the preview. You can read the full post by clicking the link above.
The latest edition of “The Red Zone” features Josh Harvey-Clemons, who sat out last season after transferring from Georgia. Harvey-Clemons should be a major addition to the defense this year.
It is no secret that when Louisville takes the field on September 5th against the Auburn Tigers, the personnel on defense will be much different than last year. No Mauldin, Sample, Gaines, Holliman…you get the point. But a reason for UofL fans to be optimistic is the addition of two transfers from Georgia that can play this season, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins.
Wiggins missed most of spring ball after a bad elbow injury. According to his tweet, it looks like that elbow is finally healed.
The staff at ESPN.com came up with a pretty unique post. They took every jersey number from 1-99 and put together a list of the best player at each number for this coming season. For example, #9 probably would have been DeVante Parker in the 2014 version of this kind of post, meaning that DeVante was the best #9 in the entire country.
*A panel of reporters covering every Power 5 conference nominated players for each number then voted on the best.*
For this year, the Cards got two players on the list, both of the defensive side of the ball.
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.
It is already that time of year again. Spring football begins today, and Bobby Petrino met with the media on Monday to talk about the state of the team. The Cards are in the Sweet 16 (men and women) and spring football is starting. This is a very fun time!
I’m excited to get started tomorrow. I’ve certainly been looking forward to this. It’s a new team. We have a lot of new working parts, so it will be a lot of fun to see how it all goes together, who wins competition for positions. The thing we always understand is that spring football is, number one, about our players getting better at their craft and working hard on their technique and fundamentals, working hard to become experts about what they do.
Bobby Petrino can never have enough quarterbacks. He just landed another one. Former Washington State quarterback Tyler Bruggman has told Insidetheville.com that he plans to transfer to Louisville. The redshirt freshman was a 4-star player in high school.
When Bruggman decided to leave Washington State, he was granted his release to Louisville, Arkansas, Duke, and Indiana. Of those four schools, Louisville was the one school that did not offer him a scholarship out of high school. But that didn’t seem to matter here, as it sounds like it wasn’t even a close race to land him.
When former Georgia safety Tray Matthews was dismissed from the team a couple weeks ago, he tweeted that his next home would either be Louisville or Auburn. It looked really good that he would end up with the Cards with his former Bulldog teammates Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins. A few days passed, and then there were reports that Alabama and Florida were even in the mix for Matthews. There hasn’t been too much more on those two, so we will bring it back around to Louisville and Auburn…
I lived in Auburn for 4 years, from 2008-2012. I still keep in touch with friends down there. 99% of our conversations are about sports. If you have ever lived down that way, you know that Auburn football (or big-time SEC football) is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Everyone keeps up with football information, whether that be recruiting or just anything else with the team.
It is starting to seem like the University of Louisville football program may have found another pipeline to recruit from: transfers from the Georgia Bulldogs. With Josh Harvey-Clemons (safety) and Shaq Wiggins (cornerback) already on board, a third member could be on the way.
Tray Matthews, a safety who started 6 games as a freshman last season, tweeted that he will be leaving UGA and that Louisville or Auburn will be his next destination.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a story saying that he was kicked off the team by head coach Mark Richt. In the article, Richt says “We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right.” Also from the article:
Neither Richt nor Matthews disclosed Tuesday what precipitated Matthews’ dismissal from the team.
However, Matthews was arrested by UGA Police in March, along with three other Georgia football players, and charged with misdemeanor theft by deception for allegedly double-dipping school-issued financial-aid checks by cashing them twice.
Elite SEC transfers CB Shaq Wiggins and WR JaQuay Williams are officially headed to Louisville. Both will have to sit out this year and will have 3 years of eligibility remaining.
Wiggins and Williams join UGA LB/S transfer Josh Harvey-Clemons and Penn St. QB Transfer Tyler Ferguson as guys that will sit this season out and be eligible in 2015. Defensive Coordinator Tood Grantham couldn’t be happier:
According to this report from Jeremy Fowler of cbssports.com, both Shaq Wiggins and JaQuay Williams are visiting Louisville tonight. Wiggins is the defensive back that is transferring from Georgia. We told you about him a week ago when we said it looked like he would end up at Louisville. A visit certainly helps that.
Also with Wiggins, JaQuay Williams will be in town. Williams is the wide receiver transfer from Texas A&M that we also told you about last week.
If Bobby Petrino can get both of these guys to transfer to Louisville, those are two big time additions for the 2015 season. Remember the Cards already have Josh Harvey-Clemons transferring in from Georgia.
According to Mike Hughes, former Georgia Bulldog safety Josh Harvey-Clemons plans to attend the University of Louisville. Woodrow Clemons, the grandfather of Josh Harvey-Clemons, told InsideTheVille.com on Wednesday night that his grandson plans to transfer to Louisville. Clemons was dismissed from Georgia in February of this year for a violation of team rules. This cbssports.com article says:
Harvey-Clemons already missed the Bulldogs’ Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska and faced a three-game suspension entering the 2014 season after reportedly violating the university’s marijuana-use policy for a second time. Harvey-Clemons was also suspended for the Bulldogs’ season-opening loss against Clemson after telling police that he had smoked marijuana in a dorm room.
In the 2013 season, Clemons recorded 66 tackles and 1 interception and recovered 3 fumbles (georgiadogs.com). He is listed at 6’5 and 212 pounds and was a 5-star prospect out of high school.