Since it is Thanksgiving and it’s Senior Day on Saturday, I thought it was appropriate that a special ‘Thank You” section be made for the University of Louisville’s departing seniors that we will say good bye to prior to the 2014 Governor’s Cup match-up versus Kentucky.
This group has two games remaining in their career, here are their accolades:
38-12 Overall (76%), 31-6 (83%) the last 3 seasons.
3 Governor’s Cups (1 to go)
4 Bowl Appearances (4th is upcoming)
2 Bowl Wins (1 to go)
2 Keg Of Nails
2 Top AP Top 15 Finishes (Currently #24)
Dominique Brown (Cincinnati, OH-Winton Woods)
Quarterback turned Running Back has 1791 career yards and 16 Touchdowns. Dom has been a part of one of the winningest stretches of Cardinal football history and has been the feature back in several classic wins.
Brown will represent the Cards in the East-West Shrine Game in January and came to the Cards as a 3-star prospect by Scout.com (4-star by Rivals) and former Cincinnati Offensive Player of the Year and had offers from Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Hawai’i.
Dominique BROKE OUT vs. Kentucky in the reclamation of the Governor’s Cup in 2011, and then later that year had a huge 55-yard rush in a win over West Virginia. Brown missed the 2012 Sugar Bowl season with an injury and came back with a FORCE during the 2013 season rushing for 825 yards and was 4th in the American Athletic Conference in rushing yardage per game.
Brown opened the 2014 season with a big game versus Miami and has 374 yards and 4 Touchdowns in 2014.
Michael Dyer (Little Rock, AR- Christian Academy)
Dyer found his way to Louisville through an unconventional path. Out of Christian Academy in Little Rock, AR, Dyer was the #1 Running Back in the 2010 class and signed with Auburn as a Parade All-American. At Auburn, Dyer broke Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record with 1093 yards & 5 Touchdowns, won a National Championship with the Tigers and was named BCS Title Game Offensive MVP. His long TD vs. Oregon over the back of a Duck defender on the ground is a classic college football play. Dyer went on to rush for 1,242 yards & 10 Touchdowns as a sophomore.
Michael missed the 2012 season, and joined the Cardinals in 2013 when Michael was hobbled with a sports-hernia injury. Dyer was only able to contribute 223 yards and 2 TDs before being shut down due to his injury. To start 2014, Michael was slowed to start his season with a deep thigh contusion that caused him to miss the first half of the season. Since being activated Dyer has been a MAJOR weapon for Bobby Petrino rushing for 475 yards & 4 Touchdowns.
Dyer currently has 3033 yards and 21 Touchdowns. Just 698 yards & 6 Touchdowns have occurred while at the University of Louisville. Dyer is certain to be selected in the 2015 NFL Draft.
DeVante Parker (Louisville, KY -Ballard)
SPIDERMAN. One of the most electrifying players in Cardinal Football history, DeVante Parker didn’t travel far to Louisville’s Belknap Campus from Louisville’s Ballard High School. Parker has 142 career catches for 2475 yards and 30 Touchdowns…..all of which rank in Louisville’s Top 10 with two more games to go in his career.
Parker came to Louisville as a 4-star recruit and it sounds funny now, but DeVante was ranked as the #26 Wide Receiver in the 2011 class. As it is DeVante Parker was a key piece in one of the most productive recruiting classes in Louisville Football history (2011).
DeVante will be a high selection in the 2015 NFL draft and in my personal opinion is the best receiver in college football. Paker was slowed at the beginning of the 2014 season with a broken bone in his foot, but since his return quickly established himself as the primary target of the wide receiving corps. Vante has made plays at every stage of his collegiate career and there isn’t much else to say except put on the tape.
DeVante “Peter” Parker: SPIDERMAN from Mark Blankenbaker on Vimeo.
Eli Rogers (Miami, FL-Northwestern)
Mr. Reliable. The Book of Eli is not yet complete at the University of Louisville, but Rogers certainly has made a HUGE impact. Clutch play after clutch play. Eli Rogers always in the right place at the right time when the Cards needed a play over the past 4 seasons.
Also a part of the storied 2011 recruiting class for Louisville (a 3-star recruit committed with Teddy Bridgewater), Rogers came to Louisville from Northwestern HS in Miami. Rogers chose the Cards over Cincinnati and UCF and he was needed right away putting his ELITE lateral quickness to use for the Cards. Eli will leave Louisville in the Top 10 in receptions, and needs just one TD to crack the Top 10 in career Touchdowns as a Card.
To try and place Eli’s most important catch would be impossible. His game-winner vs. USF, his multiple drive-extending catches, his diver at Rutgers that led to the go-ahead Field Goal, his huge catch in traffic in the Sugar Bowl…..we could go on.
The connection between Eli Rogers & Teddy Bridgewater was undeniable and if Eli strikes out in the NFL Draft it’s a pretty good bet that the Minnesota Vikings will invite him to camp to try out as a slot guy for Teddy.
Eli will go down as one of my favorite Louisville Cardinals, ever.
Michaelee Harris (Miami, FL- Northwestern)
Big personality & new father. Michaelee Harris also came to Louisville from Miami Northwestern as a 4-star recruit in the 2010 class and was Charlie Strong’s 2nd commitment (along with Corvin Lamb who was 12 days earlier also from Northwestern H.S.) and perhaps his most important. Michaelee chose Louisville over Miami (FL), Ole Miss, Tennessee, UCF, and West Virginia.
Because of Michaelee’s engaging personality, and big-time football ability everyone wanted to play with Harris. When Michaelee & Corvin Lamb joined Louisville, the rest of Miami followed. The rest is history.
Unfortunately the huge favor Michaelee paid the Cards could not be re-paid to Harris on the field because of multiple knee injuries. Despite one of the most promising and productive freshman receiving seasons in Louisville football history, injury after injury followed. Being the person that Michaelee Harris is, he never got down, he worked hard and has found the field (& the endzone) since his most recent recovery.
While we may always wonder what might have been on the football field with Michaelee, he will leave the University of Louisville with his degree and a new family, and will always be remembered for his big personality.
Kai De La Cruz (Montvale, N.J. -St. Joseph’s Regional)
The Red Mohawk may be gone, but Kai De La Cruz (formerly Kai Dominguez) came to UofL as a 3-star prospect from Montvale, New Jersey & St. Joesph’s Regional High School in the 2010 class. Kai was need in emergency in 2010 and then redshirted the 2011 season before playing some corner. Kai broke out in 2013 early in the season before being slowed by an injury that kept him out for the balance of the season.
This year Kai has 259 yards and 2 Touchdowns, including a HUUUGGGEE catch from Reggie Bonnafon last week vs. Notre Dame. De La Cruz runs crisp routes, has speed with great hands and chose the University of Louisville over Syracuse.
Matt Milton (Belleville, IL-Mascoutah)
Slim came to Louisville from Mascoutah High School in Belleville, IL by way of the University of Tennessee. Was rated as the #20 wide receiver in the country in the 2010 recruiting class. Milton found his way to Louisville and has 4 catches for 91 yards in his career.
Milton is a recent graduate of the University of Louisville, always seems to have a good attitude.
Gerald Christian (Palm Beach Gardens, FL- William T. Dwyer)
Came to Louisville from William T. Dwyer H.S. by way of the University of Florida as the #3 Tight End in the country in the 2010 recruiting class. Gerald was a 4-star prospect and really has steadied a very thin tight end position for the Cardinals the past two seasons.
When Christian is able to get the ball into his hands he has made some tremendous plays as a Cardinal. Gerald is also an outstanding blocker which has allowed for some deception in play-calling. Christian has made plenty of big gains in his career and NFL Scouts always inquire about him.
I expect that Gerald will have a chance this summer to make an NFL roster, as a Cardinal Christian has 765 yards & 8 Touchdowns in two seasons with 2 games to go.
John Miller (Miami, FL-Central)
He’s quiet. We don’t talk about him a lot and you don’t hear a lot about him……..and that’s because he’s one of the best offensive lineman this school has seen in a decade. John Miller came to Louisville from Miami Central High School as a 3-star prospect and has started 46 (of 50) games for the Cards. John chose Louisville over Kansas State, Rutgers, West Virginia, and Marshall.
John will represent the Cards in the East-West Shrine Bowl this January and will have an opportunity to showcase his talents in a post-season environment to scouts. But Miller has done more than enough to get drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft having blocked for the 5th (2013) & 8th (2012) best offenses in school history.
“Big Boosie”, as he dubs himself in his Twitter profile, has been a part of some of one of the most winning classes in Louisville football history and started 92% of the games during that time. John is a bullish blocker, doesn’t get moved off his man, and has grown even more technical in the last two years. It is hard to find a stronger Guard who can move in space and pull in the run game like Miller.
For as quiet as he has been vocally in the press during his career, he deserves a ROAR when he walks out of the tunnel for Senior Day.
Jake Smith (Jacksonville, AL- Jacksonville)
Mr. Utility. He’s played center, he’s played guard. A great run blocker and a good personality & ambassador of the program. Jake was the 10th player to commit to Charlie Strong just over a month after his arrival. It wasn’t a popular time to come to Louisville, but Jake Smith did anyway as a 2-star prospect from Jacksonville, AL with his only listed offer as UAB.
Jake Smith’s ONLY missed start was the 2013 Sugar Bowl (illness) but he did play a key role in the game. Jake has started 49 of 50 games since arriving at Louisville. Entering Saturday, Smith has 3 Governor’s Cup wins, 4 Bowl Appearances (already secured), 2 Keg of Nails, 2 Bowl Wins, including a Sugar Bowl, and a conference title.
Guys like Jake Smith are the glue to a program. He’s a smart player, respected in the locker room, reliable, and level-headed. Jake Smith is everything a coach could want in a player. I think Jake’s versatility and run blocking will certainly have Scouts take a strong look at Jake and if he isn’t selected I definitely believe he’ll get invited to some camps, but I do believe he’ll be drafted this May.
Jamon Brown (Louisville, KY- Fern Creek)
The Voice. Jamon also did not need to travel far to Louisville’s Belknap Campus as he was a local prospect from Louisville’s Fern Creek High School. Brown began his career as a Defensive Tackle for the first few games, and then in an instant he was a true freshman offensive tackle trying to block West Virginia’s Senior (and 1st Round pick) Defensive End Bruce Irivin. Baptism by fire.
Brown was a 3-star defensive tackle prospect, #52 in the nation, and chose Louisville over Illinois, Kentucky, and Purdue.
Jamon has great vocal skills and often sings at team functions, but his large frame and quickness have made him an ASSET for the past 4 seasons along the offensive line. It’s been fun watching Jamon learn the position after beginning his career as a raw talent. Brown has next level strength and has really worked on his technique drawing the eyes of many NFL Scouts.
Brown was invited to several All Star games and will represent the Cards in the East-West Shrine Game this January. I fully expect for an NFL to draft Jamon, but no matter what he does he will be a fabulous ambassador of the program, this city, and the University of Louisville. Great guy, great player. It’s going to be a sad day when he no longer puts the pads on for the Cards.
Chris Acosta (Miami, FL -Hileah)
Came to Louisville in the 2010 class as a 2-star prospect from Hileah Senior H.S. in Miami and chose Louisville over Florida Atlantic. Acosta is a graduate of the University of Louisville and started 5 games last season at guard including last season’s win over Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Returned to the program despite earning his degree last December.
Acosta has been a wonderful asset for the Cardinal offensive line in his career and has really played well when the coaches have called upon him.
David Noltemeyer (Louisville, KY- St. Xavier)
Walk-ons always get big-time respect. They rarely see the field, they don’t get the perks of being on scholarship, and yet they show up to work every day. Any walk-on that walks out of the tunnel to see his family and coaches on Senior Day gets a major tip of the cap. That’s dedication of the highest order.
B.J. Dubose (Oakland Park, FL- Notheast)
B.J. made an instant impact as a freshman coming from the 2011 class as the #35 Defensive End in the nation from Oakland Park, FL’s Northeast H.S. Dubose chose Louisville over Miami (FL) and Syracuse.
Dubose fell out of favor midway through the 2012 season, but came back with a bang with the new defensive staff and is a key part of one of the best defensive lines in the nation. B.J. has 35 tackles, 4 sacks, and 7.5 Tackles for Loss in 2014 and has been a relentless force for the Cards in 2014. I’m interested to see how much of an impact Dubose’s play has impacted NFL Scouts opinion of him, but clearly the staff change has done a great deal for the fortunes of B.J. Dubose.
Lorenzo Mauldin (Atlanta, GA – Maynard Jackson)
LOZO or Mr. Sack Your QB was a late addition to the Cardinals 2011 recruiting class and was the face of over-signing after South Carolina rescinded their scholarship offer to Mauldin. South Carolina’s loss was Louisville’s gain as the Cards picked up the 3-star #133 ranked Defensive End in the country from Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson High School.
Lorenzo is a fan favorite for his willingness to interact with fans, his high motor on the football field, and his heart-wrenching back story. It is well-documented of Lorenzo Mauldin’s upbringing in numerous foster homes as a ward of the state. Odds were that Lorenzo Mauldin shouldn’t be the face of Louisville Cardinal Athletics….but here we are.
It’s a testament to LOZO of how well he has endeared himself to the community and his growth as an individual since arriving on campus. Mauldin was actually struck by a car the week of the 2013 season-opener and still played.
Lorenzo Mauldin currently has 109 tackles, 20.5 sacks, and 32 tackles for loss in his career. His sack total is currently 9th in school history, and his TFLs are 7th All-Time as a Cardinal. Lorenzo is easily a Cardinal favorite and a 1st or 2nd round NFL Draft selection in the 2015 Draft this May.
Thanks South Carolina and Thank You Lorenzo.
Deiontrez Mount (Ft. Walton Beach, FL- Fort Walton Beach)
Happiest person on the team. Anyone that knows Deiontrez will tell you just how genuinely nice he is…..except to offenses.
“Trez” made an impact right away as a freshman and uses his speed and length to make a great number of plays over the course of 4 seasons for the Cards. Deiontrez has 73 career tackles, 8.5 sacks and 17 Tackles For Loss.
From Ft. Walton Beach, FL & H.S. Mount came to Louisville as a 3-star prospect and the 108th best Defensive End prospect. Deiontrez chose Louisville over Florida State, Iowa State, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
Great guy, great player. Great teammate. Proud to say that Deiontrez Mount is a Cardinal Forever. Should definitely get some looks in the NFL.
Terell Floyd (Fort Pierce, FL – Port St. Lucie)
T. Floyd will always be most famous for his game-opening Pick 6 vs. Florida in the Sugar Bowl. There is no telling how many beers & nachos Floyd ruined on that opening play in New Orleans, but Floyd has actually sealed 3 different games with interceptions and has 7 in his career.
Terell has been a big-time player and has made several key plays throughout his career. Floyd was pressed into action early as a true freshman out of necessity and has come a long way from the true freshman who couldn’t bring down Dwight Jones of North Carolina…now Floyd is one of the most physical and sure tackling corners in college football.
T. Floyd chose the Cards as a 3-star prospect from Fort Pierce, FL via Port St. Lucie H.S. Terell was the #66 corner in the nation and chose Louisville over Rutgers, South Carolina, and Marshall. I do expect Floyd to make the NFL.
Andrew Johnson (Miami, FL- Southridge)
Mr. President may best be known for his ‘kisses’ to West Virginia after a blocked FG attempt returned for a Touchdown. But Andrew’s best play as a Cardinal is still his game-saving pass break-up vs. North Carolina in 2012. But Johnson also made a key interception in the Sugar Bowl as well.
Johnson is a sure-tackler at the corner back position and was tremendous in his first big-time game versus Kentucky in 2011 and is one of the best trash talkers you’ll ever see.
Andrew chose Louisville as a 3-star prospect from Miami’s Southridge H.S. as the #45 Corner in the nation over LSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, USF, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.
George Clements (Willow Spring, N.C.- West Johnson)
Admittedly I don’t know much about George, except that he has exceptional speed. But again Walk-ons always get big-time respect. They rarely see the field, they don’t get the perks of being on scholarship, and yet they show up to work every day. Any walk-on that walks out of the tunnel to see his family and coaches on Senior Day gets a major tip of the cap. That’s dedication of the highest order.
Grant Donovan (Louisville, KY -Male)
Gotta love your Male Bulldogs. Grant Donovan has been the University of Louisville’s long snapper for 50 (all) consecutive games starting in 2012. If fans don’t notice a long-snapper, that is a very good thing. Grant has been awesome as a long-snapper and even does a nice job in punt coverage when running the field.
Ryan Johnson (Louisville, KY- DeSales)
Punter from Louisville DeSales H.S. was a surprise in 2012 and did very well. Once he earned the job he didn’t give it away and has been a consistent kicker throughout his career as a Cardinal.
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE SENIORS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE HISTORY OF LOUISVILLE FOOTBALL!!!!