2019 Louisville Football Preview Part 6: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Louisville vs GT 10-5-18 (22 of 71)

We continue our look at the 2019 Louisville football team with a preview of this year’s wide receivers as evaluated by Samuel Basden.

2018 Summary:

The Louisville team struggled as a whole last year, but the wide receiving group showed great promise and potential while not living up to their own hype at the beginning of the season. “Speed City” that was the theme heading into last year’s season, but the entire team never quite got out of the starting block.

Louisville average just over 211 passing yards last season, 211.08 to be exact. Which is fine if you’re a run heavy team, but Louisville wasn’t. Louisville wide outs did have four different quarterbacks throughout the season, so that might have thrown off their rhythm. Different quarterbacks usually play a huge role in timing, but even with the numerous amount of signal callers the wide receiving group dropped a ton of passes last season. Here is to hoping that a new coaching staff and philosophy helps the ‘FREAKS’ be Freakishly good this year.

Louisville vs FSU (40 of 64)

Departures: Jaylen Smith (graduation), Corey Reed, Marcus Riley, Jatavious Harris,

Starters: Seth Dawkins, Dez Fitzpatrick and Chatarius Tutu Atwell.
Dez Fitzpatrick is Louisville’s returning leader in receptions (31), yards (422) and touchdowns (3) look for all of his numbers to see an increase from last year. Dez, is a precise route runner and hands some incredible hands to. Last season was a bit of a set back for the young man, but look for him to come out and set the tone for a talented group of receivers.

Tutu came to Louisville with a plethora of awards from down in South Florida. No one questioned is athleticism, his speed or his field for the game, but Tutu surprised a lot of fans and teams with his almost effortless transition from high school quarterback to power 5 wide receiver. In his freshman year Atwell recorded 24 catches, 406 yards and two touchdowns all while averaging 17 yards per catch. Chatarius won’t surprise anyone this year, and somehow I doubt that will be a problem. Look for this coaching staff to find more innovative ways to get this young man the ball (in the backfield, bubble screens, jet sweeps, punt/kick returns etc), Tutu can be for Louisville what Dante Hall was for Kansas City in 2002 (The X Factor).
Admist all of the turmoil of last season, Seth Dawkins became somewhat of a forgotten man in the receiving group.

Although Seth had 25 catches, 329 yards and a touchdown, most got the feeling that he fell short of both his personal and team goals. I anticipate Dawkins to be more involved in the offense this year. Dawkins as physical of a wide receiver you’ll see in college football. Dawkins has great height and leaping ability to go along with his exceptional hands. Dawkins may arguably have the best hands of any one on the team, his vicious stiff arms are GIF worthy. Dawkins will be a key threat on the outside to keep opposing safeties honest, which can open things up for the slot receivers like Tutu, Wakefield and Johnson.

Reserves: Emonee Spence, Tyler Harrell, Devante Peete, Keion Wakefield, Josh Johnson, Justin Marshall, Chris Taylor-Yamanoha

A few to keep your eye on (possible breakout year) Devante Peete, Josh Johnson and Justin Marshall.
Devante looks to be completely healthy this season, this young man has had more than his share of injuries that have derailed his career here at UofL. It maybe hard not to keep your eyes on Peete when he’s on the field, standing 6’6 he can be a reliable target for any quarterback learning a new system. Look for Peete to be a targeted a lot from Pass this year. Hopefully the new coaching staff can utilize Devante’s height and leaping ability in the red zone this season.

Both Justin and Josh were highly rated coming out of high school (top 80) and spent some time gaining reps and learning from the older receivers on the team. They have both paid their dues waiting behind a loaded receiving group, this is the year those dues pay off. Marshall stands 6’2 and has a unique blend of size and speed mixed with some great hands. Look for him to get plenty of snaps as the season wears on as a solid and reliable option for Jawon Pass.

Josh Johnson will likely see most of his early opportunities come on special teams, but he’ll also see a lot of time in the slot behind ‘Tutu’. With Josh’s speed and ability to make guys miss in the open field is on of the main reasons I think he’s in for a breakout year.

Look for the new system, although not as pass happy as the last to benefit the receivers as well as the whole team. This year, except a more physical presence from this group and more of a presence in run blocking and pass blocking in the screen game.

The Louisville wide receivers will not struggle the way the did last year, the new coaching staff are holding them more accountable for their actions. Wide receivers and corners tend to be the ‘Pre Madonnas’ on any football team, not with this year’s Cardinals team. It’s All About the other 10 on the field, NOT just the 1. As a Cardinals fan, you’ve got to love that mindset. #GoCards

 

Tight Ends

as evaluated by Jeff Nunn

2018 Summary:

The tight end position was loaded last season with Kemari Averett, Micky Crum and Jordan Davis. Also listed on the 2018 roster at tight end were Marshon Ford, Hunter Crowe and Jeffrey Banks. I was told by an assistant coach that Averett had NFL talent and would most likely being playing on Sundays.

Departures: Kemari Averett, Micky Crum.

Since the end of the 2018 season there has been a lot of changes. When coach Satterfield arrived there was 1 scholarship tight end on the roster in Jordan Davis. Crum graduated and Averett was dismissed from the team before the end of the 2018 season.

Additons: Ean Pfeifer (5th), DezMelton (Fr), Francis Sherman (Fr).

2 things to note on the 2019 roster is that both Tobias Little and Isaac Martin are listed as Tight ends but both were thought to be fullbacks. I think that says a lot about the role of the tight end as a run-blocker in the Satterfield offense.

2019 outlook: We are not totally sure of the tight end role in the Satterfield system but it appears that they are heavily relied upon to help run block. And with the questions circling this offensive line, the tight ends could be just the help they need. In 2018 at App State, they had 3 tight ends catch a pass. They had 14, 12 and 2 receptions respectively. They totaled 305 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Jordan Davis seems to be the one who would be most likely to be a receiving threat. He has also really put in some serious work in the weight room. He looks huge. Ean Pfeifer, who transferred from Vandy as an offensive lineman, is a run-blocking specialist. In 2018, Pfeifer sat out a year and graduated before transferring to Louisville with two years of eligibility remaining.

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