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Nunnsense | Breakout Players For Louisville Football 2018-19

Louisville Football entrance

It’s seems that every national article that I read about Louisville football starts with ” What will Louisville do without Lamar Jackson.” Or something of that nature.

I have an answer for them – Keep on winning!

Not because a player like Lamar Jackson is easily replaced but I see a group of guys who have accepted the challenge to step up and replace the production not only from Lamar but also all the others who graduated or left early for the NFL.

With guys like Lamar, Jaire, Geron, Chucky, Trevon, James, Reggie, Zykesis and Stacy all gone, you could easily say that Louisville is doomed. Well, I like to look at it as there are plenty of opportunities for guys to step up.

So who is going to step up? Let’s take a look at who you and I think that will be…

Offense

It’s so easy to say that Jaylen Smith and Dez Fitzpatrick are going to be the best players on offense – but we already know this. So who do you think will bust out and have a phenomenal season? Jawon Pass is the obvious choice because he plays quarterback and touches the ball on every play. But I don’t want to take the obvious and easy choice. Yes, I think Jawon will have great year but it will be because of 3 things. 1) His talent 2) the offensive line 3) the running game.

Let’s take out the obvious and easy candidates and see who you think will have that breakout year…

I had several more responses voting for Micky Crum. He seems to be the fan favorite and after the block he delivered in the 2015 Clemson game, how could you not love him.

I have several players in mind that are poised for a breakout season. The first that comes to mind is Dae Williams. I watched him last season during practice, just before he tore up his knee, and was thoroughly impressed. I though he was going to have a great year and would help take some of the running game pressure off of Lamar. He had a foot issue this spring but by all accounts, he is ready to go. I feel pretty good about telling you to get accustomed to seeing him bust through the line and walking into the end zone. Not only will he be a work horse, he will give Petrino another red zone option that defenses must respect and account for.

But Dae will not be carrying the running game load all by himself. Colin Wilson will be used quite a bit also. The running game will be lethal. Oh, and don’t forget that Jawon can run also.

I’ve been told by football coaches and people who know much more than me, that Jawon isn’t a run first QB but if he has to, he can run and he can get you 10 yards easy.

With the running game back to a traditional Petrino style power running game, I feel confident that the rest of the offense will get back to that same style as well (Meaning heavy use of the tight ends).

That’s why I’m picking a tight end as my breakout player for the 2018 season.

No, Im not picking Micky Crum because I think he got into Petrino’s doghouse a while back and I’m not sure he ever got out. Injuries also slowed him but he looks to be healthy now. He did look good at the conditioning practice I attended last week.

I’m going with sophomore Kemari Averett. Last season, as a true freshman, he appeared in 10 games with seven receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. He got his first start in the game against Virginia. At 6’6″, he is a very athletic player. He played wide receiver, tight end and defensive end in high school. His lone score last season was a 22-yard touchdown reception versus Boston College (pictured below). He, along with Crum, were placed on the preseason Mackey Award watch list.

Kemari AverettKemari AverettKemari Averett

Defense

With the defense losing 7 starters, their top five defensive linemen and their top 2 tacklers from last season, there are so many question marks but also so many opportunities. They are also adjusting to their 3rd defensive coordinator in the 3 seasons. Even with the loss of so many players, I believe the defense will improve solely on the fact that the previous defensive coordinator is no longer roaming the sidelines in Louisville. Last season, the defense allowed third down conversions at a 45% or more rate six times. Louisville was 2-5 when opposing offenses converted more than 40% of the time. It’s got to get better.

The thing that most people forget is the fact that the majority of the starters on this years team, were on the team last year but had to sit out, not because they didn’t have enough talent, but due to transfer rules.

I think it starts with Rodjay Burns, who transferred back home from Ohio State. He and P.J. Mbanasor, who transferred from Oklahoma, should be the starters at cornerback and both could be legitimate candidates for breakout player on defense.

At defensive end, Jon Greenard is going to be the leader but we already know he is good. Mike Boykin (JUCO transfer) is poised to make an immediate impact. Boosie Whitlow, who transferred from South Carolina, should also see plenty of time and has potential for a breakout year.

Those are just a few names, but who did you pick….

There are so many guys on defense that I could pick. Etheridge was the breakout guy last year and will be great again this year, so he isn’t a candidate.

I was very close to picking TreSean Smith because I believe he is going to be really good but my pick for defense breakout player will be C.J, Avery. I believe he has all the talent in the world with the build to go along with it but it is my opinion that he was used wrong last year by that guy who coached the defense. I believe BVG has been around long enough to understand the talent that C.J. has and how to put him into position to make the plays he is capable of.

C.J. AveryCJ Avery

Well, there it is. I picked Kemari Averett on offense and C.J. Avery on defense. My breakout players are both sophomores. If I’m right (I usually am), then the future is bright. Either way, it should be a fun year.

As Always, GO CARDS!

Nunnsense

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About Jeff Nunn

Born and raised in Louisville. THS, U of L and Sig Ep for life. I appreciate everyday that I wake up. My 2 boys are my greatest accomplishment in life.

Posted on July 26, 2018, in Louisville Athletics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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