When Mekhi Becton declared his intentions to skip his senior year and enter the NFL Draft, he also stated that he would not play in the Music City Bowl. Selfishly, most of us fans wanted him to play one more game; mainly because he is so good that he gives us a better chance to win. I wanted just one more opportunity to see him push around a defensive lineman like I push around my six year old when we play backyard football. However, we will not get that chance because he is doing what is best for his future – and I’m perfectly OK with that.
There is a silver lining to Becton’s departure though. The silver lining is that a couple of the younger guys who will fill his spot next season will get 3 weeks of extra practice with the first team and will also get to play a real game. That practice and game experience is invaluable and is a huge head start on next season.
So who will fill Becton’s spot?
It seems most likely that sophomore Adonis Boone will get the start. Boone got the start against NC State when Becton sat out with an ankle injury that he suffered early in the game at Miami. In that game, Boone filled in more than admirably. Offensive Line Coach Dwayne Ledford said of Boone’s performance at Miami, “He went in and competed well. Boone is going to be a very good player. That was an environment that was loud, that stadium holds a lot of noise so to go out there for his first snaps at tackle, I thought he did really well.”
Boone, at 6-foot-5, 298-pounds, is very versatile as he can play both guard and tackle. He has done well getting to the second level on his blocks. He appeared in nine games this season.
I am a huge fan of Adonis, AKA “Dondeezy.” I interviewed him nearly two years ago after he committed. Here is an excerpt from that interview…
CSZ – In your highlights, you tend to block until the defender is on the ground. Is that your goal on every play or is that just something that happens naturally?
AB – Finishing my blocks has always been my mindset. If the man in front of me doesn’t reach the ground multiple times in a game, I feel that I’ve played poorly. My high school highlights prove it. If it was a key block and I didn’t finish him then It’s not going nowhere near the front of my film.
Brown is a well respected player who will be a staple on the offensive line in the future. He was highly coveted by Alabama, but ultimately chose Louisville.
While I believe Boone will get the start at left tackle in the Music City Bowl, I would expect Brown to get some opportunities as Coach Ledford may move players around to try to figure out the best alignment to open rushing lanes and protect Micale. Unlike Boone, who will play regardless, Brown’s opportunities may very well be dictated by the flow of the game. If Louisville has a big lead, look for Brown to log more minutes. He is listed on the depth chart as a right tackle so he may get more chances at multiple positions.
Renato is a West Palm Beach, Florida native. He is 6’4″ and weighs in around 330. He was one of six Louisville players to make their college debut in the opener against Notre Dame. Renato was the was the only true freshman to play. He appeared in three games this season. Since he only appeared in three games, he can play in the Bowl game and still be eligible for a redshirt year.
Here is his Bio from GoCards.com – High School: Played for Santino Ierulli at West Palm Beach Central High … originally committed to Miami … can play both offensive guard and tackle … three-star prospect by 247 Sports and Rivals.com … rated as one of the Super 11 players by the Palm Beach Post … ranked as the No. 78 prospect in the Sunshine State and the No. 38 offensive guard nationally by 247Sports … rated the No. 63 offensive linemen by Rivals … totaled 23 tackles and two sacks on the defensive side of the football … guided team to an 11-2 record, losing 21-6 to Deerfield Beach in the Class 8A regional final … an All-County first-team pick during both his junior and senior seasons … recorded 33 pancake blocks, 42 total tackles and 5.0 tackles for loss as a junior … also recorded 3.0 sacks and an interception … played both offensive and defensive line at West Palm Beach Central High … received offers from Louisville, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Marshall, Miami, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Southern Miss, South Florida and Virginia.
As Always, GO CARDS!