The University of Louisville made public its media guide Thursday for the annual ACC Kickoff in Charlotte. There are a handful of surprises, most notably that the Defense is listed as a traditional 4-3 base…. but upon closer examination might actually be a 4-2-5, or even a 3-3-5. Also interesting that the fullback position is not listed, but was in the Spring Guide so I added the fullback position with my best guess. The Cards probably made the depth charts more vanilla than a year ago so as to not fully show their sets at this point in the season as both the offense and defense are set to change with Peter Sirmon, Lorenzo Ward and Mike Summers coming on board along with the other changes to the coaching staff and personnel that took place this off-season.

OFFENSE

The offensive line is highlighted by newcomers with Cole Bentley being listed as the starting Left Guard, Mekhi Becton & Toryque Bateman listed as the #2 & #3 Left Tackle respectively.  Also Ronald Rudd listed at Guard rather than Tackle is a bit of a surprise and Lukayus McNeil is back to tackle from playing the Spring at Guard.

At the skill positions it is interesting to see Charles Standberry listed as the #1 over Micky Crum & Jordan Davis.  3 seniors are listed as #1-3 at Running Back between Reggie Bonnafon, Jeremy Smith and Malik Williams. No real surprises at WR, though Corey Reed is the one newcomer that was able to crack the 3 deep.  Of course Lamar Jackson is #1 QB, with Puma Pass behind him and true freshman Malik Cunningham at #3 weighing just 171 lbs.

My expectation is that Fall Camp will change up the order of the heirarchy and most likely will add some new faces, particularly the freshman as they start to emerge in Fall Camp (or arrive in the case of Colin Wilson).

LT
74 Geron Christian 6-5, 315, Jr.
73 Mekhi Becton, 6-7, 340, Fr.
71 Toryque Bateman, 6-6, 311, Fr.

LG
66 Cole Bentley, 6-3, 316, Fr.
77 Linwood Foy, 6-4, 306, Jr.
61 Caleb Chandler, 6-4, 290, Fr.

C
75 Robbie Bell, 6-5, 305, R-Fr.
63 Nate Scheler, 6-1, 295, So.

RG
79 Kenny Thomas, 6-6, 322, Jr.
65 Ronald Rudd, 6-5, 331, Jr.

RT
72 Lukayus McNeil, 6-6, 319, Jr.
68 Danny Burns, 6-6, 325, Jr.
70 Toriano Roundtree, 6-7, 319, Sr.

TE
80 Charles Standberry, 6-3, 241, Sr.
83 Micky Crum, 6-4, 248, Jr.
85 Jordan Davis, 6-4, 255, So.

WR
5 Seth Dawkins, 6-3, 214, So.
86 Devante Peete, 6-6, 207, Jr.
2 Corey Reed, 6-3, 196, Fr.

WR
9 Jaylen Smith, 6-4, 220, Jr.
87 Dez Fitzpatrick, 6-2, 208, R-Fr.
88 Javonte Bagley, 6-3, 203, Sr.

WR
1 Traveon Samuel, 5-7, 170, Jr.
81 Emonee Spence, 6-3, 192, So.
82 Keion Wakefield, 5-10, 181, R-Fr.

FB
54 Tobias Little, 6-0, 248, R-Fr.
52 Vince Lococo, 6-0, 233, Soph.

RB
7 Reggie Bonnafon, 6-3, 212, Sr.
34 Jeremy Smith, 6-2, 227, Sr.
29 Malik Williams, 6-1, 221, Sr.

QB
8 Lamar Jackson, 6-3, 207, Jr.
4 Puma Pass, 6-4, 227, R-Fr.
3 Malik Cunningham, 6-1, 171, Fr.


DEFENSE

Peter Sirmon’s 1st published depth chart reveals a 4-3 base on paper, but really may be just more of the same type of multiple defensive looks that we’ve become accustomed to seeing at UofL with Charlie Strong, Vance Bedford, and Todd Grantham over the past 8 seasons.  How UofL is defensively defining players on a depth chart is different than in the past, but the depth chart isn’t defensive alignments…… it’s just the depth of each position.  Sirmon can elect to play 3 DTs, 1 DT, 2 LBs, etc.  I would expect his defensve to rarely line up as diagrammed below….. as is the nature of defense anyway.

Interesting notes are that GG Robinson and Henry Famurewa appear to be poised to play more of a 0/1 Defensive Line spot.  Famuerwa has been an OLB his entire career but apparently has bulked up to 290 lbs after being shot on December 10th last year.  We’ll see how the coaches rotate the D-Lineman around, but it appears that Drew Bailey & Chris Williams  have locked down the more outside 3-5 technique D-Line spot.

The ‘Defensive Ends’ position are what we’ve referred to for the last 8 seasons as OLBs.  Trevon Young has apparently “WOWED” the coaching staff following his hip injury in the 2015 Music City Bowl and is listed as #1 DE, with Jonathan Greenard right behind him and true freshman Malik Clark cracking the 3-deep.  On the other side, no surprise that James Hearns listed #1 and redshirt freshman Tabarious Peterson (who I think looks fantastic) are on the opposite side of Young.

The Linebacker spot is also interesting on how we are defining players.  Stacy Thomas is the #1 MLB with Isaac Stewart and Amonte Caban behind him.  The 1st OLB spot makes a lot of sense in how we’ve seen linebackers used previously.  London Iakopo is #1 following his injury suffered during the Marshall game with Malik Staples & Damien Smith behind him.  I expect there to be quite a bit of competition (not at the top, but for the #2 spots) at both of these linebacker spots.

The other OLB position though are actually a group of safeties.  They’ve played safety, they were recruited as safeties…. they are even still listed as safeties on the roster.  But this spot is more accurately probably defined as a Nickel…. but this position likely won’t play like a nickel from what we saw this Spring.  Right now Khane Pass is listed #1 with true freshman CJ Avery just behind and Lamarques Thomas listed as the #3.  In my opinion fans should expect to see A LOT of all three of these players on the field in different ways for the Cards next falls.  CJ Avery just won’t be denied the field and I think this position is where he puts his special talents.

At corner the only real shake-up is Cornelius Sturghill over Trumaine Washington but both players will likely play equal amounts and Ronald Walker behind Jaire Alexander will also play quite a bit.  Newcomer Russ Yeast was also listed as the #3.  The Safeties are the usual suspects of Chucky Williams, Dee Smith and Zykiesis Cannon.  Lyn Strange looked great in the Spring and is listed as #2 and true freshman Tresean Smith got a nod on the initial depth chart (he’s already a coach favorite for his work during recruiting season).

I would imagine the defensive depth chart will change quite a bit before Louisville kicks off vs. Purdue…. and for several weeks thereafter.  There is a lot of talent on this side of the ball and depending on who UofL is playing and who is playing well at their position will likely determine who is needed where…and how.  So it will be important to pay attention.

DT
14 Drew Bailey, 6-3, 294, Sr.
44 Chris Williams, 6-1, 292, Sr.
62 Derek Dorsey, 6-3, 290, R-Fr.
59 Caleb Tillman, 6-3, 280, R-Fr.

DT
90 De’Asian Richardson, 6-3, 326, Sr.
94 G.G. Robinson, 6-4, 305, Jr.
96 Henry Famurewa, 6-2, 290, Jr.

DE
91 Trevon Young, 6-4, 254, Sr.
58 Jon Greenard, 6-4, 257, So.
92 Malik Clark, 6-2, 252, Fr.

DE
99 James Hearns, 6-3, 248, Sr.
98 Tabarious Peterson, 6-3, 251, R-Fr.

OLB
21 London Iakopo, 6-0, 223, Jr.
31 Malik Staples, 6-1, 224, So.
43 Damien Smith, 6-1, 234, Jr.

MLB
32 Stacy Thomas, 6-1, 242, Sr.
42 Isaac Stewart, 6-2, 247, Jr.
53 Amonte Caban, 6-1, 254, So.

OLB
30 Khane Pass, 6-1, 211, So.
9 C.J. Avery 5-11, 205, Fr.
35 Lamarques Thomas, 6-0, 176, So.

CB
10 Jaire Alexander, 5-11, 192, Jr.
20 Ronald Walker, 6-1, 196, Sr.

S
22 Chucky Williams, 6-2, 216, Sr.
11 Dee Smith, 6-1, 204, Jr.

S
24 Zykiesis Cannon, 6-0, 185, Sr.
23 Lyn Strange, 6-1, 190, Fr.
4 TreSean Smith, 6-1, 198, Fr.

CB
3 Cornelius Sturghill, 5-11, 187, So.
15 Trumaine Washington, 5-10, 181, Sr.
6 Russ Yeast, 5-11, 181, Fr.


New long snapper Mitch Hall will get a lot of attention this off-season.  The Cards enjoyed a run with Colin Holba who was drafted by the Washington Redskins.  Mason King is coming off the best net punting year ever for UofL football and returns as the #1 punter.  The Cards could use more consistently at field goal kicker and hopefully they’ll get that from Blanton Creque (Petrino has praised Blanton).

It is interesting that Russ Yeast is listed at Punt Returner already behind Jaire Alexander…. because who is going to return punts better than Jaire? (Answer: Nobody)

Lastly Kick Returner I’ll wait and see on because while Malik Williams and Cornelius Sturghill are listed I think a lot of guys could play into that role.

SPECIAL TEAMS

LS
52 Mitch Hall, 6-1, 203, Fr.
41 Ryan Betlach, 5-10, 190, Jr.

P
28 Mason King, 6-3, 211, So.
47 Austin Johnson, 6-2, 202, R-Fr.

K
45 Blanton Creque, 5-11, 186, So.
36 Evan O’Hara, 6-0, 208, Jr.

H
28 Mason King, 6-3, 211, So.

PR
10 Jaire Alexander, 5-11, 192, Jr.
6 Russ Yeast, 5-11, 181, Fr.

KR
29 Malik Williams, 6-1, 221, Sr.
3 Cornelius Sturghill, 5-11, 187, So.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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