It’s never too early for predictions about Spring Ball breakout players. @CSZCardsHive breaks down position groups and who could breakout next offseason.
QB Room – I’m not as high as others are on Evan Conley, but with that being said, I think we could see his name pop up as someone that’s really impressing people around the program during spring camp. Having 2 full seasons in the offense under his belt, I think we could see him step up and solidify himself as the second best QB on the roster, depending on who we land in the transfer market.
Photo Courtesy of @CooleyTrevion Twitter Account
RB Room – My pick here is the same as most people’s. I’m going with the true freshman, Trevion Cooley. Cooley was a top 10 RB coming out of high school according to 247 Sports. He has a very nice blend of speed and power. Plus, his body seems fairly college ready without even stepping foot in a college weight room. So, I can’t wait to see how he looks after working with Coach Mike for a bit. Do not be surprised to hear Cooley’s name pop up during spring camp interviews!
Photo Courtesy of @Cfitz_1 Twitter Account
WR Room – Christian Fitzpatrick has big shoes to fill as his older brother, Dez, is one of the greatest Cardinal receivers of all time. But, with that being said, I think Christian has all the physical tools to do so. At 6’4 215, he is a freak physically and he has even more room to fill out. Combine that with his improving foot work and route running and I think we could be in for not only a spring camp breakout, but a breakout next season as well.
TE Room – Duane Martin has been somebody I’ve been excited about since he committed. I think he will be the eventual successor to former walk-on and hometown hero, Marshon Ford. Like Ford, Martin’s skillset is a perfect fit for the HB spot in Satterfield’s offense. He saw a little bit of playing time later in the year, but I think this spring he will start to establish himself more into the TE/HB rotation.
Trevor Reid courtesy of UofL Athletics Photographers
OL Room – OL is one room where I feel like we could hear quite a few names start to emerge like RS freshmen Kobe Baynes and Luke Kandra, but my pick for breakout player out of the OL room would have to be Trevor Reid. He’s an athletic freak at the OT position but I think a year where the team was very limited in their access to the weight room hindered the start to his UL career. Year one was a bit of a disappointment due to lack of playing time, but I think going into spring camp Trevor could come out performing like a beast.
DL Room – One name I was really surprised we didn’t see more of during the season was JaDarien Boykin. He was the first 4 star commit of the Satterfield era and expectations may have been unreasonably high for him going into last season after grey shirting following his senior year of high school. But, with that being said, I think he can make up for those shortcomings and it all starts in spring camp. After having a whole year in the system, and hopefully having more access to the weight room, Boykin is in line to take a big step from his true freshmen campaign.
Photo Courtesy of @Kj_Cloyd
LB Room – KJ Cloyd was a late addition to the team this past season, but he flashed his freak athleticism over and over again on special teams. Now, with almost 6 months in the system learning the defense, I think Cloyd is in line to step in and take over the MLB position and that could start with a dominant spring camp performance. Cloyd has received nothing but praise from the staff since he stepped foot on campus for his physical prowess. However, now, with more knowledge of the system, he has the potential to step up and become possibly one of the better players on the defense. He’s the type of talent that can finish top 3 on the teams in tackles, forced fumbles, and interceptions.
Greedy Vance Courtesy of UofL Athletics
CB Room – Greedy Vance didn’t get many snaps until later in the season, but in the few snaps he did get, he played pretty well for a true freshman. He didn’t allow a single catch and showed no fear in the run game. Another player who probably suffered due to a lack of access to the weight room, Greedy is in line to take the next step as someone ready for regular playing time once he gets his body caught up to the college game. He’s about 165 now, but with his wiry frame he can add even more mass and still be the same quick twitch athlete he is now.
Lovie Jenkins Courtesy of UofL Athletics
S Room – The safety room will be without a doubt the youngest group on the roster. But, with that being said, I still wouldn’t be surprised to hear a couple names get mentioned from that group during camp for quality play. Picking one player for this group was a little bit harder than some of the other groups, but I’ll have to go with RS freshman, Lovie Jenkins. Lovie was my personal favorite player of the Cardinals’ 2020 class and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do now that he’s had a year in Bryan Brown’s system and more access to the weight room. Another name to be on the lookout for is early enrollee, Ben Perry.