- First let me start off by saying that Louisville is in an excellent position right now. They have the far and away front-runner for the Heisman, are in a position to make the College Football Playoff (or at worst a major bowl), and have one of the best recruiting classes for 2017 that UofL has probably ever landed. As we saw this past weekend, chaos is going to happen and Louisville did a great job of just staying away from it. Alabama is an absolute lock, the winner of the B1G is almost definitely in barring any additional meltdown, and behind that there is a lot of uncertainty. Clemson and Washington lost late in the season and don’t have particularly strong resumes. The loser of the Mich/Ohio St. game is almost certainly out with 2 losses. So who does that leave? Louisville. Especially if the Cards win out in an impressive fashion, I don’t see how you keep them out.
- As I mentioned above, the 2017 recruiting class is really coming together exceptionally well and I think will finish equally as strong. Not only does the class address a couple different areas of need (depth on the OL, LB, and DB), but it is filled with guys who have the potential to make an impact early. Call me a homer, tell me I am looking through rose colored glasses, but this class is loaded with under the radar type guys. These are all guys that the staff have seen up close and in person and have personally evaluated.
- Louisville has two very difficult games coming up and with some injuries everyone has to be ready to go. As one source close to the team said “It’s that time of the year the role players have to step up”. We have seen this recently with Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaq Wiggins, Devonte Fields, etc. having been unable to play in games. We all know that Houston is going to be a tough opponent loaded with talent, and as much as I hate to admit it, UK could be an issue given it is a rivalry game. Obviously the two teams are not even in the same ballpark of talent, but we have seen this be negated on both sides from previous games.
- I’m a little concerned about Louisville’s passing game going forward. Whether Jackson’s throws are slightly off, the receivers are dropping balls, or the timing just isn’t quite there we haven’t seen it “click” like it did early in the season. I know I am nitpicking here, UofL has the #1 offense nationally, but in order to win a national championship I think Petrino would like to see the passing game completely in sync.
- My biggest concern heading into the season was whether we could get enough production from the 4 and 5 spots. We are 1 game into the season but needless to say I was quite impressed as over 50% of the points came from the 4/5 spots.
- I really liked Damion Lee and Trey Lewis and am incredibly thankful for what they did for the team and the university last year, but the fact of the matter is that they just weren’t that efficient at scoring. Louisville has several guys who are capable scorers (Mitchell, Snider, Adel, King, etc.) that I think have a very high ceiling. Can those guys constantly produce? That is another factor I am watching going forward.
- Going off of my previous point, Louisville had a very good team last year but had limited potential due to the makeup of the team. This year, from the small sample size we have, the potential is much greater. How far can this team go? It really depends on how they progress. They have the talent go easily be a final four team but with the lack of experience, they could also exit the tournament early. It’s honestly too early to tell.
- Louisville will have a HUGE recruiting weekend coming up a week from Saturday when they face UK. Just a few names that are expected to visit: CJ Avery, Brian Edwards, Shawn Smith, Leroy Henley, and Brandon Martin (#1 JUCO WR).
- Speaking of CJ Avery, it sounds as though the staff is very confident they will be able to land him which would be huge. Avery is an Under Armour All-American for a reason! The same can be said for Brian Edwards.
- What other positions will Louisville take in the 2017 class? It appears 1 more OL, 1-2 DL, 1-2 DB, a kicker, possibly 1 LB, and possibly 1 RB. The staff is also watching several big-time wide receivers and would love to take them but at this point I’m not sure if there will be a spot for one.
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Father, Husband, Louisville Fan. Follow me on twitter @cpersonTCZ for Louisville recruiting, news, and analysis.
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