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We all know that towards the end of last season some deficiencies were exposed. Along with addressing those deficiencies, Bobby Petrino will need to replace some key parts that graduated. I believe coach and his staff have done a great job in recruiting to those immediate needs. Couple those recruits with a few guys who red-shirted last season and you have a boat load of talent just itching to get on the field. I want to point out 5 guys that could make an immediate impact in the 2017 season. ( Not all guys on this list are “newcomers” but none have played a game as a Cardinal)
– With the departure of Cole Hikutini, there is a lot of offense to be replaced. Davis was a 4 star recruit and was rated as the #5 tight end coming out of high school. He was also rated as the #137 player overall (Scout.com) in the 2015 recruiting class. That ranking is higher than any of Louisville’s 2015 signees. Davis signed and played his freshman year at Texas A&M. He was on the sideline of the Music City Bowl and witnessed the coming out party of Lamar Jackson. Davis transferred after the 2015 season and had to sit out last year due to transfer rules. He will be a third year sophomore this season. Although Davis appeared in 10 games as an Aggie, he only caught 2 passes for 7 yards and a touchdown. He is a great route runner and blocker. He should thrive as Louisville likes to use the tight end in the slot. He is also a downfield threat.
Ronald Rudd (OL)
– The offensive line surrendered the most sacks in the nation last year and needs immediate help. Rudd is a 6’7″, 305 pound JUCO transfer from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamongo who has the physical maturity to play right away. He was once committed to UCLA. ESPN rated him the # 5 junior-college offensive tackle and 247Sports.com rated him # 3 at his position. With Rudd’s size and experience he should be an instant contender for a starting spot and could be on the field a whole lot throughout the 2017 season. It was reported that when Rudd signed. Lamar Jackson did a back flip (Not really but I am sure Lamar is pleased).
Robbie Bell (OL)
– Bell was a 3 star OL recruit in the 2016 class who red-shirted last season. It is believed that the 6’5″ 288 pound Bell will be the starting center for this upcoming season. Robbie was a very well-rounded young man who is exceptional in the classroom as he took upper level honors classes in high school. You won’t hear much about him prior to the season but remember his name. He might be overlooked as the most valuable part to a much improved offensive line.
Desmond Fitzpatrick (WR)
– Jamari Staples and James Quick are gone but there is plenty of depth at receiver. Jaylen Smith and Seth Dawkins are the top returning pass catchers but don’t forget about Reggie Bonnafon, Traveon Samuel, Devante Peete and Ja’Quay Savage. Despite the depth, Dez should see plenty of time on the field. The 6’2″ red-shirt freshman is a very precise and technical receiver that could easily establish himself as one of Lamar’s favorite targets. His excellent route running ability should help find him open more often than not. In my opinion, he could end up being one of the best pass catchers to ever wear a Cardinal uniform, statistically speaking.
Mitch Hall (Long Snapper)
– Long snapper is not a position that garners much attention unless they make a mistake. Last year Colin Holba was the Cards long snapper and he just got invited to the NFL combine and is rated as the #1 long snapper in the draft. Mitch Hall was rated as the #2 high school long snapper in the nation and now has some big shoes to fill this year as a true freshman. If you were not at the Signing Day Party then you may not have seen this most impressive video. This kid is crazy accurate. Check it out here…
As Always, GO CARDS!