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Author Archives: Shawn Barbour

UofL Football Lands Commitment From Local 2019 WR

20180218_214305Photo Courtesy of Demontae Crumes Twitter Account (@FyFlgTaeTae)

UofL Football Coach Bobby Petrino is recruiting the city of Louisville hard for 2019. He just picked up his first commitment from Butler Traditional High School 3 Star WR Demontae “Tae Tae” Crumes.

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Donovan Mitchell Is The Slam Dunk Champ Baby

IMG_20180217_223138Photo Courtesy of Louisville Basketball Twitter Account (@LouisvilleMBB)

Donovan Mitchell is arguably the hottest rookie in the NBA right now. He’s won multiple NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards, played well in the Rising Stars game, is leading all rookies in scoring, and is battling out Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year.

You can now add NBA Slam Dunk Champion to his ever-growing list of accolades.

(Click on more for the rest of the story)

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UofL Signee Breakdown: Jairus Brents

Jairus Brents(2)Photo Courtesy of Michael Reaves/Lexington Herald Leader

Many people on social media wondered why UofL was not getting in on some highly rated guys we have in the city of Louisville. One name in particular that kept coming up was Jairus Brents, a 4 Star CB out of Waggener High School.

Well, wonder no more UofL fans as Coach Petrino was able to swoop in late and beat the likes of Alabama, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Michigan State, among many others for the 5’10 178 lbs CB.

Brents played a variety of positions at Waggener. He was a RB, QB, and WR. However, his best and most likely position in college will be CB. He can play either in the slot or the outside and is great at either.

He’s also a track star which, as you will see, definitely contributes to his play making ability as a football player.

As a CB, and probably because he played WR as well, Brents tracks the ball perfectly in the air. He’s always getting his head around, finding the ball, and making the play.

636100554476116583-LCJBrd2-08-30-2016-KY-1-C008--2016-08-29-IMG-Brents-1-1-2CFHTVCD-L872727911-IMG-Brents-1-1-2CFHTVCDPhoto Courtesy of Adam Creech/Courier Journal

Brents also has great ball skills. He’s a great leaper and can go up and highpoint the ball just like a WR.

Brents can play press or off coverage and is adept at either. In press, he is powerful. He knocks WRs viciously off their routes disrupting the timing of the offense. In off coverage, he has the speed to break on short routes to either knock the ball down, intercept it, or make the tackle holding the WR to a minimal gain. If Brents gets an interception, his speed, quickness, and agility make him a threat to get a pick 6 every time.

Brents ability to recognize routes and read the QB’s eyes make him nearly impossible to throw on. As I previously mentioned, he’s great at breaking on routes and making plays. He’ll have to be aware in college of the double moves teams love to run though.

Brents is also a great tackler. Even if the WR he’s covering catches the ball, they aren’t getting past him. He loves helping in the run game. His highlights show numerous plays of him coming in and tackling RBs. They aren’t weak tackles either. He wallops the RB.

Brents is also a punt returner and he’s a really good one. Once again, his speed quickness, and agility make him a threat for long punt returns. However, he is a bit of a gambler as he picked a couple of punts up off the ground to return them which obviously can be a dangerous proposition.

UofL got a very good player in Brents. The guy has potential to be a stud. His ability to return punts and play either in the slot or on the outside as a CB make him potentially invaluable. Plus, it’s nice to see a Louisville kid play for the city’s university.

Check out his Hudl highlights below and see what you think.

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4526814/57fa913e3bd81463c4767039

UofL Football Officially Announces 21 Signees For The 2018 Class

Bobby Petrino and UofL Football officially announced 21 signees for the 2018 recruiting class.

Headliners include Under Armour All-Americans Robert Hicks III and Chandler Jones, Jordan Travis, Tutu Atwell, Trenell Troutman, Dejmi Dumervil Jean, Tutu Atwell, and Jatavious Harris.

This class looks to be the best Bobby Petrino has had in his second stint here. Check out the official press release below.

 

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UofL Signee Breakdown: Marlon Character, Jr

IMG_20180207_094434Photo Courtesy of Marlon Character’s Twitter Account (@riptrizzle)

UofL picked up a big time player who may start from day 1 in 4 Star JUCO S Marlon Character, Jr. Character is originally from Atlanta, GA and played this past season at Northwest Mississippi Community College.

The 6’1 195 lbs S, who was primarily recruited by Lorenzo Ward, chose UofL over West Virginia and South Carolina.

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2018 UofL Football Signing Day Updates

Jairus Brents:

Jairus Brents(2)Photo courtesy of Michael Reaves/Lexington Herald Leader 

  • Position: CB
  • Hometown: Louisville, KY
  • Height: 5’10
  • Weight: 178
  • Considered: Pittsburgh, Alabama, Florida, Wisconsin, UK, USC, South Carolina, Oregon, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Michigan State, South Florida, NC State, TCU, West Virginia, Virginia Tech
  • Twitter: @JiggaTheShow9
  • Highlights:

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4526814/57fa913e3bd81463c4767039

Marlon Character, Jr:IMG_20180207_094434Photo Courtesy of Marlon Character’s Twitter Account (@riptrizzle)

  • Position: S
  • Hometown: Senatobia, MS (Northwest Mississippi Community College). Originally from Atlanta, GA
  • Height: 6’1
  • Weight: 195
  • Considered: West Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas
  • Twitter: @riptrizzle
  • Highlights: 

Javian Hawkins:

IMG_20180207_102656Photo Courtesy of Javian Hawkins Twitter Account (@JavianHawkins)

  • Position: RB
  • Hometown: Titusville, FL
  • Height: 5’9
  • Weight: 185
  • Considered: Nebraska, UCF, Syracuse, Boston College, Cincinnati, Missouri, Florida Atlantic
  • Twitter: @JavianHawkins
  • Highlights:  

2019 DT Decommits From UofL Football

7672215Photo Courtesy of Andrew Ivins/247sports.com

2019 3 Star DT Malcolm Ray out of Carol City High School in FL has decommitted from UofL and is reopening his recruitment.

The 6’2 230 lbs Ray had chosen UofL over offers from Syracuse, Wake Forest, South Florida, UAB, and FIU.

This appears to be collateral damage from the loss of Cort Dennison as Dennison was Ray’s lead recruiter. It’s unknown at this time if Ray will still consider UofL.

We here at Cardinal Sports Zone wish Malcolm Ray all the best in his future endeavours.

UofL Football Hosting Signing Day Party

Louisville Football

Press Release from the University of Louisville Athletic Department:

Louisville Football to Host Signing Day Party
Head coach Bobby Petrino will introduce the entire class at a fan party in the Brown and Williamson Club.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville football head coach Bobby Petrino will present the newest members of the Louisville Cardinals football team during U of L’s  National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

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UofL Officially Announces Brian VanGorder As New Defensive Coordinator

IMG_20180129_103243Photo Courtesy of UofL Football Twitter Account (@UofLFootball)

Reports popped up from various college football media outlets over the weekend that UofL Football Head Coach Bobby Petrino had found his new Defensive Coordinator in Brian VanGorder.

Today, UofL football officially announced VanGorder as UofL’s new DC.

VanGorder has been a DC at various stops collegiately including at Georgia, Auburn, and most recently at Notre Dame with various degrees of success. At Georgia, he was a recipient of the Broyles Award for the best assistant coach in the nation.

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Coach Bobby Petrino Releases Statement About Eric Wood

Bobby Petrino

Press Release from the University of Louisville Athletic Department:

“Eric Wood enjoyed a tremendous career in the NFL, playing nine seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Eric always played the game the right way, worked extremely hard and was a tremendous leader of young men. He was a pleasure to coach because he came to work every day willing to get better and was a key component in a great run for the University of Louisville football program. Off the field, Eric was an even better young man and a great ambassador for the university. I’m saddened his NFL career was cut short, but I know the next chapter of his life will be just as successful.
-University of Louisville Head Football coach Bobby Petrino

Cort Dennison Leaving UofL Staff For Oregon

4720646Photo Courtesy of Mike Hughes/247sports.com 

UofL Football is losing a key member of their coaching staff. ILBs coach and Recruiting Coordinator Cort Dennison is leaving to join Mario Cristobal’s staff at Oregon as their OLB coach per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated.

Oregon has also officially announced Dennison’s hire via their Twitter account.

Dennison has been constantly lauded as a young, up and coming coach. He has only been a coach on the field for 2 seasons; first as an assistant secondary coach and last year as the inside linebackers coach.

This year true freshman Dorian Etheridge had an excellent season as a starter under Dennison. Etheridge led the team in tackles with 83. Stacy Thomas also had a great year under Dennison, having 69 tackles, an interception, and 3 sacks.

Dennison truly shined as a recruiter. He was responsible for nearly all of the South Florida signees, including 4 Star Under Armour All-Americans Robert Hicks III and Chandler Jones. He was the primary recruiter for 11 of UofL’s 20 signees.

The loss of Dennison is huge. He made Etheridge into a bona fide ACC starting LB as a true freshman and he was arguably the architect behind the 2018 recruiting class, arguably the best in UofL’s history.

We here at Cardinal Sports Zone wish Cort Dennison all the best.

Former UofL Player Eric Wood Suffers Career Ending Injury

imagePhoto Courtesy of Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports 

Eric Wood, a former starting C for UofL Football, has suffered a career-ending neck injury per Adam Schefter of ESPN and also per Scout Fantasy Sports.

Wood, originally from Cincinnati, red shirted as a Freshman here at UofL before becoming a 4 year starter from 2005-2008. He was an 3-time All Big East player and a Freshman All-American according to Rivals.com, Sporting News, and College Football News.

He went on to be drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Wood started at both G and C for the Bills and was an anchor for their line. He was a Pro Bowler in 2016.

We here at Cardinal Sports Zone wish beloved Cardinal Forever Eric Wood all the best in his future endeavours.

Update. Eric Wood has tweeted a statement in regards to his injury.

Cardinal Sports Zone has no doubt Eric Wood will be successful in whatever he chooses to do.

UofL Defensive Coordinator Peter Sirmon Has Resigned

Peter Sirmon

UofL Defensive Coordinator Peter Sirmon resigned today. Sirmon lasted one year with the Cardinals after having spent one year at Mississippi State as defensive coordinator.

Sirmon had drawn the ire of UofL fans during the season as his defense was shredded by the likes of Wake Forest and Boston College.

Though they showed some improvement the last 3 games of the year with a healthy Jaire Alexander, they reverted in the bowl game when Alexander and starting LB James Hearns sat out.

Here is the official press release from UofL Athletics.

Press Release 

Louisville Football Defensive Coordinator Peter Sirmon Resigns

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville football defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon has resigned effective immediately.

“I would like to thank Peter Sirmon for all of his work this season at the University of Louisville,” head coach Bobby Petrino said. “I wish him and his family all the best.”

Jeff Walz Picks Up A Commitment From Highly Touted CA Forward

66fbf415af9b4eb78a52b807ec20ac37Photo Courtesy of USA Basketball (usab.com)

UofL Women’s Basketball Coach Jeff Walz picked up a huge commitment yesterday from 2019 prospect Ramani Parker.

Parker is a 6’4 F/C from Central High School in Fresno, CA. She is ranked the 11th best F in the nation and is ranked 58th overall prospect in ESPN/HoopGurlz Super 60 rankings. She had offers from Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, and Duke, among others.

CSZ Recruiting Contributor/Evaluator Sam Basden had this to say about Parker after watching her highlights:

She is a great shot blocker, really nice anticipation. (She) Can make the outlet passes to start breaks.

She can definitely be used as a stretch big, good lateral quickness for her size.

She’s also a quick second leaper.

(Parker) Does a great job of keeping the ball high so shorter defenders can’t get to it.

I watched some of her highlights as well and I’ll add a couple of things to Sam’s observations:

Parker seems to be a really good shooter with a pure stroke, a tough rebounder, and good finisher down low. She also has pretty good ball handling skills. Parker reminds me a lot of current Card Myisha Hines-Allen.

All in all, Walz found another gem and continues to recruit at insane levels.

Check out some of Parker’s highlights below from Hudl.

http://www.hudl.com/v/28hyh9

http://www.hudl.com/v/28h6yf

Is This Jaylen Smith’s Catch Of The Year?

Jaylen Smith

Ever since Jaylen Smith set foot on a football field in a UofL uniform, he’s been a big play receiver.

He’s the guy that stretches defenses, goes long, and catches deep balls. He’s also known to have a few spectacular catches.

One of those catches happened against Virginia this past year when he caught a beautiful Lamar Jackson TD pass with just one hand. It really was something to behold.

In honor of Jaylen announcing that he will return for his senior season at UofL, the ACC Digital Network released a video clip of that specific catch. It’s even more beautiful the second and third time around.  You can check out the clip below.

We here at Cardinal Sports Zone agree with our brethren at the ACC Digital Network; we too hope to see more beautiful catches from Jaylen in his senior campaign.

The Barbour Shop: Time To Recognize The Best Team On Campus Right Now-UofL Women’s Basketball

After a holiday slumber, the Barbour Shop is back open. The hot topic in the shop today is UofL women’s basketball and I have to say that UofL women’s basketball is the best team at UofL right now. I repeat, UofL women’s basketball is the best team at UofL right now. That’s right, I just typed that. Not to mention that it’s hard to argue that Jeff Walz isn’t the best coach on campus right now because wait for it….he is!

The drubbing of 2nd ranked Notre Dame was the nation’s introduction to a very special team of young women. For some UofL fans, it may have been their introduction as well. It was exciting basketball. The player movement, the passing, the shooting, the incredible defense; it was a gorgeous display of the game of basketball.

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Receiver Traveon Samuel Transferring From UofL Football

Traveon Samuel / Ronald Walker

UofL Receiver Traveon Samuel announced today his intention to transfer and play his senior year at another school. Samuel has already received his degree and will be eligible immediately at whatever school he chooses.

Samuel, an AL native, was a speedy, shifty WR who also returned kicks. One of his greatest moments was the 100 yard kick return TD he had against Clemson in 2015 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

We here at Cardinal Sports Zone wish Traveon all the best in his future endeavours.

Below is his tweet officially announcing his transfer.

UofL Signees Robert Hicks III And Chandler Jones Set To Play In Tonight’s Under Armour All-America Game

IMG_20180104_073006Photo Courtesy of Under Armour All-America Game Football Twitter Account (@AllAmericaGame) 

UofL Football fans can catch a glimpse of a promising future tonight at 6 pm on ESPN2. Signees Robert Hicks III and Chandler Jones will play in the Under Armour All-America game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL.

Hicks is a highly touted ILB who looks physically ready to step in and play a big role for UofL next year. He is a physical beast with great instincts and speed to burn. Hicks is a triple threat because he can play zone coverage, rush the passer, and be a wall through which no opposing RB can pass. UofL can definitely use him with the departure of Stacy Thomas.

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Signee Breakdown: Quen Head

IMG_20171220_081437Photo Courtesy of Quen Head’s Twitter Account (@quen_42)

Coach Petrino likes to have LBs that are versatile. Guys that can do multiple things well so that they are useful in multiple ways. Quen Head, a 6’2 215 lbs OLB, fits the mold and signed his Letter of Intent.

Head is a speedy OLB. When watching his highlights the speed is evident. He flies around the field and can cover a lot of ground quickly. He’s a triple threat in that he can play coverage, stuff the run, and rush the passer.

He seems to have good instincts and isn’t fooled often on option runs and fake hand offs. Even if he is, he can make up for it with his speed. His gap discipline seems sound. When he sees a running lane, he fills it. In fact, he runs through it like a RB would and gets in the backfield to create havoc and tackles for loss.

FB090717Photo Courtesy of Joel Powers/Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragon Sports Information

His tackling is fundamentally sound. Every highlight I saw, he wrapped up ball carriers with a near perfect form tackle. Head is also a vicious tackler. He likes to drop the hammer on ball carriers. When he hits someone, it looks painful. Head has a nasty streak and I like it.

I expect UofL to use him in coverage on TEs and as an edge rusher. His speed is really special from what I saw and he could cause issues for QBs and offensive linemen.

Coach Petrino has been looking to add speed to his team. With Quen Head, he has added speed in the linebacking corps. He also gets a solid tackler and big hitter rolled into one. This is another solid pickup for the Cards on the recruiting trail.

Check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl below and see what you think.

http://www.hudl.com/v/28A4sv

 

Signee Breakdown: Jatavious Harris

IMG_20171220_101525Photo Courtesy of Jatavious Harris’ Twitter Account (@screamtaaye)

Thank you Tennessee for the gift of Jatavious Harris. Coach Petrino may have signed his very own Devante Parker. The UofL receiving corps should be special for years to come with Harris in the fold.

The 6’3 184 lbs Harris is tall and athletic. Speed is a recurring theme in this class and Harris has a ton of it.

Watching highlights of Harris, it’s pretty easy to see why Petrino coveted him. He has excellent size at 6’3. Harris is quite physical and seems hard to press on the outside. He has great ability to get through the press coverage and get behind the defense.

Harris seems great at tracking the ball in the air and making adjustments to make the catch. Even if it’s a little behind him or low, he will catch it. Reminds me of Dez Fitzpatrick in this regard.

Another trait Harris shares with nearly our entire class of WRs is his catch radius. He has sure hands, great leaping ability, and long arms. He’s excellent at high pointing the ball and snatching it over smaller DBs.

Drops and fumbles should be a rarity for him as he usually uses his hands to make catches and seems to protect the ball instinctively in traffic. Harris has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for secondaries because of his abilities, much like Devante Parker once was.

IMG_20171222_133124Photo Courtesy of Jatavious Harris’ Twitter Account (@screamtaaye)

Harris should be a devastating yards after catch WR. He’s difficult to bring down and has some nifty moves in the open field. His high school team used him quite a bit on end around runs and he made nice cuts. This should serve him well developing his route running skills which are good, but will get better with Lonnie Galloway teaching him.

Harris has one other weapon. That weapon is speed. Harris is fast and on the tape he actually used his speed to beat a double coverage. If the QB had thrown the ball in stride, Harris would’ve had an easy TD. His speed is also evident in the return game where he had a few kick return TDs. He could help UofL immediately as a kick returner.

Bobby Petrino is really doing a great job of finding playmakers for whoever the QB will be next year. Harris seems like he can come in and play early as a returner. He may also get reps at WR.

However, with UofL relatively deep at WR, they may red shirt him and let him develop a little more physically. Regardless, UofL got themselves a high quality WR who will undoubtedly make an impact.

Check out his senior season highlights courtesy of Hudl below and see what you think.

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4095442/5a1b7012bd6a7c01d02ca1a5