Fall Camp starts today for Louisville Football to begin the 2015 season. There has been a great deal of talk and speculation since the 2014 season ended about how this team might fare in Year 2 of Bobby Petrino. Today the answers begin to come into focus. Here are the questions we are looking to answer:
1) How Does The Offensive Line Come Together? – Louisville’s OL is “THE COMPETITION” of the Fall. 4 JUCOs & a lot of young talent to go along with Aaron Epps. There are a multitude of options of combinations that could shake out here. Does Tobijah Hughley hold off competition for the Center position? Where does Pedro Sibiea fit? Can Kenny Thomas play right away? And if Kenny Thomas does crack the #1 unit is he a Guard or a Tackle?
2) Can The Wide Receivers Be Stars? – Losing DeVante Parker is a big deal, so is losing Eli Rogers & Kai De La Cruz. That’s a lot of production and experience gone from the program in a single year. There is a depth of young talent at WR… who emerges? Ja’Quay Savage, Jamari Staples, Alphonso Carter, Javonte Bagley, James Quick, and Traveon Samuel seem like the most likely candidates. But young WRs like Emonee Spence, Devante Peete, and Jaylen Smith will have their say too. There are a lot of options here too. Who wins?
3) Is Devonte Fields In Top Form? – We’ve seen transfers come into Louisville and hit the ground running. And we’ve seen transfers struggle to adjust, most recently Michael Dyer really never was the same back that broke freshman rushing records at Auburn during his time as a Cardinal. Fields was the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2012 and was granted a medical redshirt after 2 games in 2013 after surgery was required on his foot. If Fields comes in and is the player that he was in 2012 (or better) then Louisville’s defense has a chance to really take a step up.
4) Who Plays the Other Corner? Who Plays Nickel? – It’s a pretty good bet that Shaq Wiggins is one of Louisville’s starting corners. But who wins that other spot? Jaire Alexander, Cornelius Sturghill, Trumaine Washington? Or does a player like Jermaine Reve play corner rather than Nickel? Josh Harvey-Clemons can also play a lot of Nickel, in which case Reve might be needed at Safety. Again there are a lot of combinations that the coaching staff can go with. Seeing how it might shake out is one of the main things we’re watching in camp.
5) How are the Tight Ends? – With Gerald Christian off to the NFL and Keith Towbridge missing the first part of camp there is a big hole to fill at Tight End. The coaches have been singing the praises of Cole Hikutini for some time now and after missing the end of Spring Practice with an injury we’ve got to question what the overall condition of the Tight Ends is coming into the start of practice. If Cole Hikutini is legit, this offense might really take off once Towbridge returns to form.
6) Where Does the Defensive Line Find Depth? – The news of Johnny Richardson’s injury really puts a damper on the depth of the defensive line. Richardson was a multi-position player who had a lot of size and ability. Now with Johnny’s status unlikely for 2015 there will be more asked of DeAngelo Brown and Kyle Shortridge. The defensive line is a strength of the Cards, but losing Johnny really puts a lot of pressure on the available bodies particularly on the interior.