Here at CSZ we’ve been fortunate enough to bring on some new people to help us give you some different perspectives. One of those new people is a guy who has contributed greatly and just doesn’t stop. He is known as Cards Hive.
Over the past few seasons, I’ve shared players who I thought would have a breakout season. I did give you my 5 Breakout Players back in mid July. But, this year Cards Hive is going to give you his Top 3 Breakout Players on Offense & Defense and why he think they will have a breakout season.
Justin Marshall – Last season Marshall showed some flashes but he was forced to sit behind senior Seth Dawkins. During fall camp he has received high praise from the coaches regarding his size, strong hands, and great athelticism. With a larger role this season I think he can really establish himself as one of the top playmakers on the whole offense.
Renato Brown – Many thought with the commitment of Trevor Reid and Cam DeGeorge transferring from UConn that they would fill in the hole left by former starting RT Tyler Haycraft. But it appears that Brown not only won the job early but still managed to hold on even with Reid and DeGeorge’s knowledge of the offense growing. At 6’4 330 ILBs he is an absolute bulldozer and I think he will solidify himself as an anchor on the OL for the next few years.
Josh Johnson – Perhaps the biggest sleeper on the entire the list, Josh Johnson has been sidelined for most of his collegiate career due to constant injuries. But it appears that his luck has changed regarding the injury bug and he will be going into the season 100% healthy for the first time in a long time. He is a really nice slot reciever who I can see carving out a role behind Tutu this year.
Isaiah Hayes – Another player who dealt with injury issues last season, Isaiah Hayes might not be a big name amongst Louisville fans but if Coach Brown’s praise and his last 3 games last year gave any indication of what we’re getting out of him this coming season I think that will definitely change. He’s a super smart free safety who is going to be a massive upgrade over Khane Pass in pass coverage and is just as good at wrapping up the ball carrier as Pass was.
Yasir Abdullah – Yasir was a player that constantly showcased what kind of player he could be last year but never really became the consistent force we know he can be at OLB. This year with a better understanding of what’s being asked of him in the scheme and a stronger frame to get off of offensive lineman I think Yasir can become an absolute wrecking ball on defense. I expect him to finish top 3 in both tackles for loss and sacks this season.
Marvin Dallas – Marvin isn’t a name that is talked about as much due inpart to the fact that Rodjay Burns is the starter at the Card positon and that likely won’t change. But I think Marvin will play a really valuable role on obvious passing downs with his ability to stick with not only TEs but slot recievers with his rare speed as an OLB. His speed will also make him hard to handle if Coach Brown decides he wants to use him as a pass rusher as well. I could be a year early on this prediction but I definitely think Marvin is somebody to look out for.