Last season, Cole Hikutini stole the show and the majority of the reps for one of Bobby Petrino’s favorite positional weapons. Hikutini actually led the entire team, not just Tight Ends, in receptions with 50, and receiving touchdowns with 8. Clearly, ‘Bobby Ball’ heavily involves using the Tight Ends as much more than just blockers. Hikutini is now in good position to make the 49ers roster, but who will step up in his place for Louisville this year?
The depth chart that was released in July has No. 80 Charles Standberry, 6-3, 241 lb, Senior listed as the starter. Standberry has been used in the passing game before, and he has proven to be effective when the ball is thrown his way, however, to this point in his career he has been used as mainly a blocking Tight End. Throughout his 3 year career, Standberry has recorded 17 receptions for 174 yards (10.2 YPC) with 2 touchdowns. I do believe that Standberry will be a bigger fixture in the offense this year, but I also think him being listed as the starter is a last ditch effort to wake up the man listed as his back-up, Micky Crum.
Louisville lost receivers James Quick, Jamari Staples and tight end Cole Hikutini to graduation. They accounted for a total of 131 receptions (out of 248), 2052 yards (out of 3777), and 16 touchdowns (out of 32 receiving TD’s). That’s a lot of production to replace. Louisville also lost senior Ja’Quay Savage who transferred. The leading returner is Jaylen Smith. Jaylen had 599 yards and 6 touchdowns. After Jaylen, the most productive receiver is Traveon Samuel with 230 yards and 1 touchdown. At most schools, this would seem like a problem but at Louisville it’s just an opportunity for some younger studs to showcase their talent – And they have plenty of talent on this team.
Seth Dawkins is the guy to watch. He will have a breakout year. Dez Fitzpatrick will have some highlight catches and he is the best route runner I have seen in quite a while. Dez is the future and will contribute behind Jaylen, Seth and Traveon this year. Devante Peete, Emonee Spence, Javonte Bagley and Keon Wakefield should all contribute as well. Corey Reed, Justin Marshall and Josh Johnson are all going to be studs but are true freshman this year. And don’t forget senior Reggie Bonnafon will be at running back this year. Don’t be shocked if you see him at receiver and maybe taking a few snaps at QB.
The future is bright at the receiver position for the University of Louisville.
Enjoy this video that coach Petrino posted on Twitter about his receivers. Read the rest of this entry
Cards forever, Keith Keksey and Cole Hikutini both have signed rookie free agent deals in the NFL. Read the rest of this entry
After being passed up in the draft, tight end Cole Hikutini has signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers.
With the 2017 NFL Draft just days away, our own Matt McGavic looks at the draft eligible Cards.
6’1″, 317 lbs
Being one of the strongest players in all of college football, Brown has a tremendously strong lower body and can bully his way around an offensive lineman at the point of attack. However, his strong lower body is also his Achilles’ heel, as he can be a bit stiff at times and lack explosiveness.
Projected Draft Position: Round 7, Pick 243 (Texans)
Hear from Cards forever Jamari Staples, Cole Hikutini, Brandon Radcliff, Colin Holba, Keith Towbridge, James Quick and Deangelo Brown after their Pro Day workouts.
Jaire Alexander just finished his sophomore season and is already a shut down corner. He was graded as PFF’s best corner in college football for the 2016 season and is my favorite player on the team. His interception vs. Clemson in the endzone and against Virginia are two of the best I have ever seen. Enjoy this highlight video from @TTTWILL Read the rest of this entry
The 2016 All ACC football teams were announced today. The teams were voted upon by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA). Louisville had one player voted to the first team offense ans one to the first team defense. “ Florida State junior Dalvin Cook, the ACC’s rushing leader with 1,620 yards, leads the overall voting with 139 points. He is joined on the first team by Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson, who leads the conference in total offense with 410.7 yards per game and set a conference record for touchdown responsibility with 51 (30 passing, 21 rushing).” Check out the lists and see how much you agree or disagree with their selections.
Louisville Football SID
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Finishing the 2016 regular season with a 9-3 mark, three members of the University of Louisville football team have accepted invitations to 68th Annual Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan 28, 2017.
Wide receiver Jamari Staples, tight end Cole Hikutini safety Josh Harvey-Clemson will represent the Cardinals, which is the most in school history and the fourth-straight year the Cardinals have been represented in the prestigious all-star game.
A transfer from UAB, Staples was third on the team with 35 receptions for 593 yards and a pair of scores on the nation’s top scoring offenses. A Lineville, Ala., native posted a pair of 100-yard receiving games, catching five passes for 136 yards versus Syracuse and had a season-best seven receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown against Virginia.
Hikutini, who was a second-team all-ACC selection, finished the regular season with 49 receptions for 656 yards from his tight end spot, with a team-best eight touchdowns. The Sacramento, Calif., native recorded two 100-yard receiving games, including a career-best 118 yards versus NC State on Oct. 22.
Despite missing two games with an injury, Harvey-Clemons tied for fourth on the team in tackles with 61 and added a pair of sacks. He posted a season-high 11 tackles in consecutive games versus Marshall and Clemson.
In the shock of the season, the Kentucky Wildcats came into Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium a 26.5 point underdog, but left victors of the Battle for Governor’s Cup by a final score of 41-38. With barely over a minute to go, the Cardinal offense had the ball at the UK 9-yard line and it appeared as though the Cards would escape with a narrow victory. A Lamar Jackson fumble, followed by a 47-yard field goal from Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis with 12 seconds left sealed the fate of the home team.
Well, I put off writing this as long as I could but here it is. Even after a full day to let what took place on Thursday fully sink in, I still am dumbfounded at what I watched happen. In my lifetime as a Louisville fan, I have never seen a performance like the one on Thursday, regardless of sport. Everything was right there for this team to take and make an undeniable case for their inclusion in the College Football Playoff, and the lack of preparation, execution, and adjustment is just unacceptable. Lamar Jackson has every right to personally put the Offensive Line through sprints and I sincerely hope he voiced his frustrations (in a leadership way, of course). 11 sacks allowed (a school record for most allowed) against the most elusive quarterback in college football (possibly in the history of college football) is impressive for all the wrong reasons.
The John Mackey award list was trimmed down again today as the Semi-finalists were named:
New York, N.Y. (November 14, 2016) – The Friends of John Mackey have announced eight semi-finalists for the 2016 John Mackey Award. Listed alphabetically, they are: Adam Breneman (JR, Massachusetts), Jake Butt (SR, Michigan), Evan Engram (SR, Ole Miss), Gerald Everett (SR, South Alabama), Cole Hikutini (SR, Louisville), Bucky Hodges (JR, Virginia Tech), O.J. Howard (SR, Alabama) and Jordan Leggett (SR, Clemson). The eight semi-finalists were determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee. Given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end, the 2016 John Mackey Award recipient will be announced on December 7, 2016 and presented live on December 8, 2016 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show: 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Other key dates include the announcement of the 2016 Mackey Finalists on November 22, 2016. All future announcements can be found at http://www.johnmackeyaward.com and
After what many considered to be a sub par performance against Duke last week, the Louisville football team bounced back in impressive fashion. The Cardinals thumped the Wolfpack from the opening snap and never looked back. The final score read Louisville 54-N.C. State 13, and it could’ve been worse had it not been for a scoreless 3rd quarter from the Cards.
For the first time this season, the Cardinals found themselves on the losing end of the scoreboard when the final whistle blew. It started the way the past two match-ups between these two teams had gone. Louisville’s offense was held without a point in the first quarter for the first time all season, but the defense held the Clemson offense scoreless through the first 15 minutes as well. The 2nd quarter began with the Cardinals deep in Tiger territory. It didn’t take long for the offense to punch in the first touchdown of the game on a Jeremy Smith 1 yard burst. The rest of the 2nd quarter, did not follow the same script.
For the first time all season, the Louisville offense appeared out of sorts in the first quarter. Lamar started the game missing receivers, forcing passes, and the running game was never really there for the speedy quarterback. Once the offense settled down, we saw the nation’s top ranked offense do what we’ve become accustomed to, put a lot of points on the scoreboard.
Louisville’s offense recorded a season low 7 points in the first quarter. Then the second quarter began. Lamar found his tight end, Cole Hikutini in the end zone twice, ran for a score, and then found Reggie Bonnafon in the end zone to close out a 28 point second quarter to go into halftime up 35-7. The announcers were not shy in their disappointment in the Louisville offense early on. It seemed as though no matter what the offense did right, there was always something they could’ve been doing better. As a fan, I’ve never experienced a team being so critiqued while building an insurmountable lead but that’s where we are now in the program which is a great thing.
Tonight the Cards traveled to the very hostile Joan & dominated Marshall 59-28. Despite it taking awhile to get in hand, the Cards took control and imposed their will. Lamar accounted for 7 more touchdowns tonight putting him at 25 total. The #3 Cards next face #5 Clemson Saturday night in Death Valley. Here are today’s highlights.
If anyone knows Bobby Petrino as a coach, they know he absolutely loves to use his tight ends in the passing game. Last season was a perfect example of that. Four players saw a lot of time and produced when called upon. Cole Hikutini, Charles Standberry, Micky Crum and Keith Towbridge all made big plays both in the passing game and blocking for the run. Cole Hikutini was for 4th on the team in receptions with 19 and first on the team in yards per catch with 18.3. Micky Crum had a solid freshman season with 14 receptions for an average of 11.6 yards per catch, and we can’t forget about the monster block he laid on that poor Clemson player. Keith Towbridge reeled in 10 passes and Charles Stanberry finished the season with 6 receptions. Hikutini, Crum, and Towbridge were all tied for 2nd on the team in reception touchdowns with 3. So of the 21 touchdown passes we saw thrown last season, 9 of them were caught by the tight ends.
Cole Hikutini is a freak athlete and put that on display multiple times last season. He enters his senior year as the starting tight end according to the depth chart and rightfully so. His impressive yards per catch metric speaks for itself on what the guy can do with the ball in his hands and an open field. He and Keith Towbridge enter their final season as Cardinals and the expectations couldn’t be higher. Micky Crum looks to build on a solid freshman season as he sits in the 3rd position on the depth chart. Charles Stanberry, the tight end who was utilized the least of anyone in the group had a successful spring and enters his junior season as the number 2 option at the position. Towbridge come in at 4, but don’t let the depth chart fool you, Bobby will be using all of these guys. Hikutini should and will get the most snaps but the coaching staff can put any of these guys in the game with the knowledge that they will perform and get the job done. Bobby Petrino loves to use the play action to free up the tight ends (both of Lamar’s touchdown passes in the Music City Bowl came from a play action pass to a tight end, Crum and Towbridge). Look for these guys to really anchor the passing game when things get hectic, personally I’ve never seen such a stacked group at this position but since when is that a problem? Lamar will always have safety valve with anyone of these guys on the field and look for some big plays to be made by the powerful and elusive Cole Hikutini at any point in time. The depth at tight end only adds to the arsenal of weapons Lamar Jackson will have at his disposal. We have less than a week until the wait is over.