With the transfer portal, NIL deals, and the apparent lack of rules and restrictions on student athletes transferring, it becomes really hard for fans to keep up with the current roster of their favorite teams. The transfer portal has become the wild wild west. Every year the better players will go to the highest bidder and some players who develop after high school get a chance to play at a D1 level that might not have been available in previous years.
I could go on and on about the transfer portal and NIL deals and how they are both good and bad for college athletics, but with the rules (or lack of) like they currently are written, not many schools have done better in bolstering their talent and increasing depth than Louisville.
Louisville added 16 players in their recruiting class. They added 24 scholarship transfers while losing 18 players to graduation or NFL and another 22 that transferred out.
For the 2023 season, there are several names that every fan should already know and there are new names that every fan should, and will, know.
Names you know…
Jawhar Jordan #25 – Led the Cards in rushing last season with 815 yards. He was recently named to the Doak Walker Award watch list as well as the Paul Hornung Award watch list. He ended last season as the starter and had 3 consecutive 100 yard games. This year, he is “The Dude.”
Ashton Gillote #9 – One of the undisputed team leaders. Ashton was named to the Wuerffel Award watch list. The new defensive scheme (4-2-5) should provide a guy with big play capabilities like Ashton to really do some work up front. He had 6 sacks last season and I think he has the potential to have 10-12 sacks this year.
Ben Perry #10 – I’ve been watching this dude since day 1. I think he is such a phenomenal talent. He is so versatile that he can cover … solid in run support… and not afraid to lay a lick.
Quincy Riley #3 – No secret here if you follow me. I’ve said it multiple times, I think he leads the ACC in interceptions. Dude is a straight up ball hawk. Can’t wait to watch him get loose.
Josh Minkins #5 – Another local kid and fan favorite. You won’t find a fan in the stands that doesn’t know who he is and I dare you to find someone that doesn’t like him (you can’t). Should be the starter at strong safety.
Bryan Hudson # 61 – Team leader and center of the very important offensive line. Named to the Rimington Trophy watch list and the Outland Trophy watch list. The redshirt junior is the only Card named to the 2023 All-ACC preseason team.
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce #9 – Another fan favorite. Every fan wants to see him have 2000 receiving yards and 475 touchdowns.
M J Griffin #26 – If you were paying attention last season i wouldn’t need to tell you this dude is good and when he was inserted into the starting lineup is when the defense really started to get better. ** UPDATE ** M J is likely out for the year with a leg injury so look for senior transfer, Devin Neal, to step in and fill the starting spot
Names you should have at least heard unless you are living under a rock…
Pierce Clarkson #10 – In a time where Louisville football needed a sense of hope and excitement, the recruitment and commitment of #10 definitely provided a breath of life back into the program. If this is the first time you are hearing his name then we can’t be friends. My belief is you will see Pierce play a few series here and there throughout the season and likely a lot more towards the end of the season as a transition to the future (if he is ready).
Jack Plummer # 13 – I’m sure you’ve heard, he will the starting quarterback and likely the most popular guy on campus after the Cards beat Notre Dame. Jack knowing Brohm’s system is huge and should allow the new offense to click much earlier than it would usually under a coaching change.
Luke Burgess #76 – Luke and the guy listed below have taken Louisville by storm without even stepping on the field. Their @LM_Eats has everyone wondering where they will eat next. But don’t be fooled, these guys can play as well as they can eat. They seem to be the future of the offensive line.
Madden Sanker #73 – Like stated above these two guys are the future. As a freshmen this year they likely won’t be starters but should get some field time so pay attention when they get in.
Names you need to know…
Stephen Herron #14 – This is the guy I’m most excited to see in a Louisville uniform. The Stanford transfer comes back home for his final season of college football. 6-foot-3 and 237 pounds, Herron appeared in 12 games for Stanford as a senior and recorded a career-best 37 tackles (17 unassisted), 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and forced two fumbles.
Chris Bell #0 – While Bell was injured in the spring, by all accounts, he is fully healthy and tearing it up in practice. He only caught 6 passes for 96 yards last year as a freshman at Louisville, but I look for him to be one of the top 2 targets for Plummer this year. Keep an eye on this guy, you might just like what you see. Dude definitely looks the part.
Jamari Thrash #1 – Should be the #1 receiver. He was just named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list. The Georgia State transfer played in 12 games last season for the Panthers and caught 61 passes for 1,112 yards and seven touchdowns. That ranked 13th nationally. He also averaged 18.39 yards per reception and that amazing stat ranked him 19th in the FBS. Should be a great and exciting fit in Brohm’s system.
Keith Brown #22 – The #22 on Louisville’s defense carries some weight and the junior Oregon transfer might just be up to the task. I can’t wait to see him in this defensive scheme. He should flourish as he is a downhill type of backer who likes to crash the line.
Storm Duck # 29 – Likely your starter at corner. Storm comes to Louisville as a transfer from North Carolina as a redshirt senior. He started all 12 games for the Heels in 2022 and totaled 46 tackles ( 36 solo) and had 3 interceptions. Should be solid in coverage.
TJ Quinn # 34 – TJ is a redshirt sophomore. Last season for the Cards, he appeared in all 13 games and totaled 18 tackles. With all the departures at linebacker, look for TJ to step in and fill a starting spot. He has the size and speed to be great and don’t be shocked if he is among the team leaders in tackles this year. TJ and Brown as your linebackers leaves me no worries about that position on defense.
Other names you will hear this season…
- Popeye Williams
- Stanquan Clark
- Jamari Johnson
- Cam’Ron Kelly
- Willie Tyler
- TJ Capers
I could name so many more and there a a lot of solid guys that you already know that I didn’t mention that will be a huge part of this teams success like Jarvis Brownlee Jr, Maurice Turner, Trey Franklin, Renato Brown, Dez Tell, Mason Reiger, Ramon Puryear… just to name a few.
As Always, GO CARDS!