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.
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.
The Louisville Football team held a 161 play scrimmage this morning in the Trager Indoor Practice facility. As we are 1 week away from the spring game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the Cards hope to put on a show at 1pm on Saturday. The offense is what I have been the most excited to se and todays results are just a flash of what we will see. The WR/TE corp are my favorite because face it, I was a tight end and I appreciate what these guys have to do. Here are some of the key points from todays scrimmage:
Wide receivers Jamari Staples, Traveon Samuel and Ja’Quay Savage had two big touchdown receptions, while wide receiver James Quick also added a touchdown catch. Tight ends Micky Crum and Charles Standberry also scored on Saturday.
“We went a long time this morning,” head coach Bobby Petrino said after Saturday’s 12th practice. “It was a good scrimmage. It was back-and-forth again. We look forward to the spring game next Saturday. The whole week will be a lot of fun with two practices and the game on Saturday.
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The Cards took down the Aggies 27-21 in the Music City Bowl on Wednesday night. Lamar Jackson put on quite a show as he rushed for 226 yards and accounted for all four UofL touchdowns.
We started doing this post last season during the week of the Spring Football game. We give you five offensive and five defensive players to watch at this Friday’s spring game. These are guys that you may have heard of, but they are not the obvious names that you surely know. For example, I did not put DeVante Parker on the list last year. Pretty sure you already knew who he was and that he was going to be a decent player for the Cards. Right?
So this is just to bring your attention to a few guys that may be under the radar, but that we expect that you will need to know by the time the season starts in September. Just as a reference, the five guys we highlighted last year on offense were:
1) Will Gardner – Was an obvious choice, but he was following Teddy. It couldn’t be ignored to watch him.
2) L.J. Scott – Had a phenomenal spring game. Didn’t see too much action during the season, but fans still knew who he was after that spring game and he should be in for a big sophomore campaign.
3) Matt Milton – Never did pan out as a big wide receiver threat in games, but I do remember him catching a touchdown in the spring game, so that made me feel good about including him.
4) Tobijah Hughley – I had never heard of him leading up to the spring game, but we included him anyway. He ended up starting 12 games at Center last season.
5) Keith Towbridge – Was only a backup in 2013, but played in all 13 games last season. Expected to be a big playmaker at tight end this season.
So what does all of that mean? Probably not much, unless you like to learn about players and then see them probably pan out as contributors during the season. You can be sitting there Friday at the game and tell your friends about these players that they don’t know about, and then you sound smart. And if these players don’t play well, then I will take the blame. Just tell them about that idiot on CardinalSportsZone.com.
So here are the five guys to watch for this Friday on offense. And the biggest one besides these five will be obvious: the Quarterback race between Reggie Bonnafon, Kyle Bolin, and Tyler Ferguson.
Micky Crum- Tight End/Linebacker
6’4 220 lbs
Photo courtesy of themblock.com
Reggie Bonnafon just posted this picture on Instagram. It is all 8 football visitors wearing the black uniforms. Looks pretty sharp! The list of visitors is here.
The Cards may be on the bye week, but there are still things to be excited about on this Saturday, and one of those is the future of Cardinal football! This post is all about seeing how a few 2014 UofL commits did in their games on Friday night. These guys put up some big numbers! And another important stat: all of their teams won! It is a big thing if you can recruit kids that are used to winning.
Currently the Cards have 14 verbal commits for the class of 2014. Of those 14 players, 8 are from the state of Florida. Coach Strong and staff continue to be a big time presence in the sunshine state when it comes to recruiting. Here is the list of commits so far, as well as their ranking on certain sites. Go Cards!
2014 UofL Football Commits (verbal)
Team recruiting rankings (May 22, 10:00 p.m.)