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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.”

UofL Football Agrees To Series With USF

Louisville Football entrance

The University of Louisville announced today that they have agreed to a three game series with the University of South Florida. The Bulls will be coming to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in 2022 and 2026, and the Cardinals will visit the bulls in 2024.

ACC Football Schedule Released

Louisville Football

The ACC released the 2018 football schedule today! Louisville will be starting off the year on another neutral site, against Alabama in Orlando. They will be hosting, Indiana State, WKU, Florida State, Georgia Tech (on a Friday game), Wake Forest, North Carolina State and ending the home schedule with Kentucky. They will be visiting Virginia, Boston College, Clemson and Syracuse.

What game are you most looking forward to on the schedule?

More Jackson Autograph Signings Announced

Lamar Jackson

Planet Fitness has announced that Lamar Jackson will be back for three more autograph signings this weekend. Saturday (1/20) Jackson will be at the Valley Station location from 10-noon. That same day, he will be at the Elizabethtown location from 5-7 pm. On Sunday, (1/21), he will be at the Hurstbourne pkwy location from 1-3 pm.

93A417B9-B547-4603-98C2-D515A3A2C6C9.jpeg

UofL Football Has Big Names Returning

Dez Fitzpatrick - Jaylen Smith

While Lamar Jackson will not be wearing a UofL jersey in the fall, that does not mean all hope is lost. UofL football still has some key players returning for the 2018-2019 season, and Bobby Petrino is really excited about how the team is already shaping up.

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.

Reggie Bonnafon’s Career Highlights

Reggie Bonnafon

Cardinal forever, and Louisville native, Reggie Bonnafon gave his all to CardNation for four years. No fan will ever forget his epic game at Notre Dame when he took down the Irish (as a true freshman)! Take a look at some of his career highlights below!

Lamar Jackson Autograph Signing

Lamar Jackson

One of the greatest players to ever wear the University of Louisville will be back in town this weekend to sign autographs.

According to the Courier Journal, Jackson will sign autographs at the Planet Fitness next to Jefferson Mall (7450 Jefferson Blvd.) on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. and at the Planet Fitness in New Albany (3527 Grant Line Road) on Sunday from 1-3 p.m.

Guests can receive an autograph by showing a Planet Fitness membership or by donating $25 to Blessings in a Backpack on the day of the event.

Lamar Jackson And The Legacy He Leaves Behind

Lamar Jackson

He truly may be, the greatest of all time.

Press release from the University of Louisville athletic department:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – One of the greatest players in University of Louisville and Atlantic Coast Conference history, junior quarterback Lamar Jackson has decided to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.

In just three seasons, Jackson put his imprint on the Louisville program, becoming the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner, attaining numerous player of the year awards, and rewriting the school and conference record books.

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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.

Jaire Alexander Signs With Roc Nation

Cardinal forever, Jaire Alexander announced today he has signed with Roc Nation. CSZ continues to wish Alexander nothing but the best moving forward!

Geron Christian Declaring For NFL Draft

Geron Christian

Late Wednesday night, Geron Christian took to Instagram and Twitter to announce he is forgoing his senior season. We here at Cardinal Sports Zone would like to wish Geron the best of luck as he prepares for his future and to thank him for three years of heart and dedication!

 

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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Preston Brown Leading Tackler In NFL

Preston Brown

Photo: buffalobills.com

Cardinal forever, Preston Brown led the NFL in tackles this year with 144. He is currently playing on the Buffalo Bills, who just snapped a 17 year postseason drought this weekend.

 

Highlights From Day 2 Of TaxSlayer Bowl Prep

Louisville Football

The University of Louisville Cardinals have been in Jacksonville preparing for their game against Mississippi State this coming Saturday. Check out the best pictures so far courtesy of UofL Football twitter!

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

 

Signee Breakdown: Allen Love

IMG_20171222_113823Photo Courtesy of Allen Love’s Twitter Account (@rfy_55) 

Coach Petrino did a great job in filling a big need with big DT Allen Love joining UofL. To get a guy with so much potential so late in the game is a huge coup for UofL.

Love is a big, but athletic 6’3 285 lbs DT. For such a large man, he’s very quick and nimble on his feet. The potential he has, in my opinion, is off the charts.

IMG_20171214_150327Photo Courtesy of Allen Love’s Twitter Account (@rfy_55)

As UofL has demonstrated from past classes, they love versatile defensive linemen. Love fits that mold perfectly. He will primarily line up as a DT, but he can also line up as a DE from time to time.

Love’s first step and initial burst upon the snap of the ball is insane. He’s often on the offensive linemen so quickly that they can’t even block him. He just seems to bounce off would-be blockers and makes the play.

When he is blocked, Love has power and can shed blocks with ease or bull rush the offensive linemen into the backfield. He also demonstrated a few pass rush moves such as a swim move to get over a block. Love is an interior defensive lineman who will stuff the run, but he has the ability to rush the passer too. His strength is also evident when tackling. Once he gets his big paws on a ball carrier or QB, they do not escape his grasp.

The trait the I really noticed is his ability to recognize who has the ball. He rarely seems to get fooled by option type plays. He identifies the ball carrier quickly and engulfs them. He’s not one to be easily fooled with read options from what I saw of his highlights.

UofL is obviously in need of DTs and Love is the perfect guy to get. Like all incoming freshmen, there will be things to work on. However, he seems to have a great base to build on. Welcome to the Ville Allen Love.

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

http://www.hudl.com/v/28Gvq0

Signee Breakdown: Nigel Kilby

IMG_20171220_081941Photo Courtesy of Nigel Kilby’s Twitter Account (@NigelKilby_82)

TEs are very important in Coach Petrino’s offense. He likes athletic, pass catchers. He got an excellent TE for his system with the signing of JUCO player Nigel Kilby.

Kilby, at 6’8 and 250 lbs, is gigantic and athletic. Though he can be an effective blocker, his ability as a pass catching TE is what makes him special. He has very good hands and uses them to catch the ball away from his body. At 6’8, hes great at catching jump balls. He can high point the ball with the best of them and he’s a potential matchup nightmare for opposing defenders.

Kilby has a knack for getting open even though he’s not a precise route runner. Then again, at his size, he’s practically always open. Garden City didn’t just line him up at TE, they also lined him up in the slot. He’s almost a hybrid TE/WR.

IMG_20171222_112550Photo Courtesy of Nigel Kilby’s Twitter Account (@NigelKilby_82)

UofL will most assuredly use him as a red zone target. However, I think UofL could use him more effectively than Garden City did. I think it’s possible his numbers will see a dramatic increase in Petrino’s system.

Kilby will be expected to replace the production of Charles Standberry, whom he reminds me of. He also reminds me of former UofL TE Gary Barnidge with his size, athleticism, and catching ability. Kilby will be one of four TEs on the roster along with Kemari Averett, Jordan Davis, and Mickey Crum.

Check out his highlights courtesy of his YouTube channel and see what you think.

 

Signee Breakdown: Tyler Harrell

IMG_20171220_082352Photo Courtesy of Tyler Harrell’s Twitter Account (@EasyMoneyTy_)

Coach Petrino loves speedy WRs. This class has a few. One of them is Tyler Harrell; a 6’1 175 lbs speed demon.

Tyler Harrell is a good route runner with great hands. He uses his hands when catching the ball rather than his body.

His main weapon appears to be speed. ESPN lists his 40 time at 4.5, but his film makes him seem much faster. Many of his highlights are simply running right by DBs.

5077401Photo Courtesy of Andrew Ivins/247sports.com 

Harrell can high point the ball. A skill many UofL fans remember Devante Parker had. He is also very good at adjusting to the ball while it’s in the air to make difficult catches.

Harrell is very strong. He uses his hands and strength to get separation from press coverage. He’s a ferocious blocker and seems to relish blocking downfield.

He also has some elusiveness and ability to break tackles. This allows him to get yards after the catch.

DLuTV80VwAAPSuA-1Photo Courtesy of Tyler Harrell’s Twitter Account  (@EasyMoneyTy_)

He has a very high motor. He finishes blocks and never goes down easily. Harrell has a nasty streak, which I think will make him invaluable in the run game.

All in all, he’s a well-rounded WR. UofL might have found themselves a diamond in the rough. It’s rare you find a speedy WR that also enjoys being physical. It appears Harrell is that rarity.

You can view Tyler Harrell’s midseason highlights below courtesy of Hudl and see what you think.

http://www.hudl.com/v/28Nb7C