Monday, February 15, 2010

A little football during basketball season.

With March Madness right around the corner and most cards fans devoting their attention to finishing strong in the Big East and the final few games at the world famous Freedom Hall. So I figured I would delve into the 2011 Louisville Cardinal football season with a little look into the depth chart. We'll start with Special Teams:

We've fallen very far from the days of Broderick Clark, Zek Parker, Nate Smith, and the immortal Art Carmody. With lone bright spot Trent Guy moving on to the next phase of his career, there isn't a lot to look forward to for the upcoming season when it comes to special teams. With that being said, I think that in the coming years we will have one of the best special teams units in the Big East. One of the positives to having coach Strong on the sidelines is the fact that he has worked with a handful of great coaches. And all great coaches understand that you have to be good in all three phases of the game. It doesn't get much better than working for Lou Holtz and Urban Meyer in that regard. Holtz of course coached "Rocket" Ismail and is known for bringing up special teams during his analysis on ESPN. Urban Meyer has put such a premium on special teams that players look at it as the highest honor to make the punt block team. That squad gets first dibs at training table and other special treatment. Hopefully coach Strong took a few things from these guys and it pays dividends.

The cupboard isn't completely bare on the special teams unit however. Kicker Chris Philpot proved to be extremely consistent down the stretch. He hit all five of his field goals, including a 44-yarder. He also had five kickoffs end up as touchbacks, which is somewhat rare at the college level. Odds are that he will be entrenched at the kicker spot for the next couple of years. Coach Strong has trimmed a lot of the fat from the roster so far and it shows at the kicker spot. Tim Doughtery and Ryan Payne are no longer listed on the depth chart and coach Strong brought in three kickers either by grayshirt or walk-on. Also look for Jay Wilmott and Johnathan Quintero as kicking prospects for the 2011 class.

Cory Geottsche has exhausted his eligibility so the first punt we see next year will be the first punt of that punters career. Jon Payne and Josh Bleser are the only punters on the roster with Payne earning two varsity letters in his three years here. Odds are that coach Strong will look to develop one of the kickers on the roster into a punter for the future.

Trent Guy was one of the most electrifying return men that we have had the pleasure of cheering on at UofL. He leaves a gaping hole at both return spots. But we have said this before and out of all of the skilled position guys that we have on the roster, there are a few that stand out as possible replacements for Guy. Jacques Caldwell is likely to get a chance at the kick and punt returner spots. He is a speedster that can hit the corner and flat out fly. Jeremy Wright is a redshirt freshman that should get an opportunity to show what he can do in the return game. He has a little more wiggle to his game than Caldwell and could probably keep up in a foot race. Scott Radcliffe will more than likely get a chance at the punt returner spot. He proved to be fearless and sure-handed when he got his shot towards the end of last season. Look for Kamal Hogan, Corvin Lamb, and Stephan Robinson to get a shot at the position also. Senorise Perry, Shenard Holton, and C.J. Peake are a few guys that could make an impact on special teams that might not show up in the box score.

I will be back soon with a preview of the offense for the 2011 season.

1 comment:

  1. Ryan Payne graduated therefore he's not on the roster!@