Louisville’s final open practice of Fall Camp had a little more contact than the previous outings and was the 2nd in full pads. The Cardinals defense continued to really dominate the session, but Louisville’s offense continues to grind. Some notes:
-Chucky Williams, Ja’Quay Savage, Jamari Staples, and Alphonso Carter all missed practice. Richard Benjamin returned today.
-The offensive line had some switching today with Skylar Lacy moving up to the #1 unit in favor of Kiola Mahoni. Also Lukayus McNeil spent some time in limited rotations at Tackle in favor of Kelby Johnson. It’s too early to tell if any of these changes mean anything at all or if the staff is just giving opportunities to players in live action.
-The running back group continues to run hard. No one really figures to challenge Brandon Radcliff as the top Cardinal of the group, but Jeremy Smith seems explosive and L.J. Scott continues catch passes out of the backfield at a higher rate than anyone else. Corvin Lamb is still fast and Trey Smith looks like he could be a good one eventually. The Running Back group is always the most difficult to evaluate in limited contact situation.
-The Wide Receiver group has been decimated by absentees in camp. Jamari Staples left yesterday with a knee injury, Ja’Quay Savage left on Friday with an undisclosed injury and has missed the last 3 sessions. Alphonso Carter has yet to see action in Fall Camp and his status is unknown. In their place the offense continues to work and Traveon Samuel, James Quick, and Dontez Byrd seem to be making the most of their time. Emonee Spence, Devante Peete and Jaylen Smith all clearly have potential but make small mistakes against the veteran units that will limit their participation in game action until cleared up.
-At corner Duke Culver took a lot of reps with the #1 unit in favor of Jaire Alexander who worked a great deal with the #2 unit along with Cornelius Sturghill. The cornerback group is really a choice, however, as there are some really great options for the coaching staff opposite of Shaq Wiggins. Sturghill continues to wear his yellow limited contact jersey, but he doesn’t seem limited at all.
-Dee Smith and Khane Pass looked great at times today and both guys certainly provide a bright future for Louisville’s secondary. It really is impressive how well Jermaine Reve knows this defense. Zykesis Canon also doesn’t miss a beat in Chucky Williams’ absence….and really we can’t talk safeties without mentioning Josh Harvey-Clemons: He’s just awesome. He’s everywhere.
-Linebackers. It’s the Bash Brothers along with Keith Brown. Stacy Thomas can play both middle spots. This unit is basically set.
-Upfront, it’s the same as the linebacking unit. It’s set and it’s solid. DeAngelo Brown, Sheldon Rankins, and Pio Vatuvei dominate. Mix in James Hearns and Devonte Fields who can play with a hand down and also at linebacker. Defensively there should be no worries.
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