(Photo of Ashton Gillotte: Allen Eyestone - The Palm Beach Post)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville football program saw a fair amount of talent join the program following the end of the 2020 season. From high school signees Benjamin Perry and Trevion Cooley to transfers Kendrick Duncan, Shai Werts and Bryan Hudson, the Cardinals welcomed a plethora of high quality prospects.
But out of all the early enrollees to participate in Louisville's spring practice, the one that arguably made the biggest first impression amongst his teammates and coaches is defensive end Ashton Gillotte.
"The one guy has shown a lot of flash every single day is Ashton Gillotte," defensive coordinator Bryan Brown said in the early goings of spring ball. "That cat is quick, man. He's quick, and he plays with a relentless effort. We're excited to have him on his defense in here as early as he is right now."
Not only does the 6-foot-4, 220-pound lineman high one of the highest motors on the team, but he is among one of the most athletic of the newcomers - something that immediately shows up when you turn on his high school film.
Couple both of those highly sought after attributes, and that translates into production on the gridiron. In his final season for Boca Raton (Fla.), the edge rusher tallied 55 tackles and 10 sacks in just seven games. As a result, he was named Class 8A-6A Palm Beach Country defensive player of the year by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
"He's been a pleasure so far because of what he can do," defensive line coach Mark Ivey said. "Very smart young man, who does great in the classroom. When you're out there and it's live bullets, things are moving fast. But he's coming along very, very nicely. His athletic ability is gonna take him a long ways."
Unsurprisingly, when Louisville handed out Spring Awards following the end of spring ball, both him and safety Kendrick Duncan, who has four years of college football experience, split the honor of top defensive newcomer.
"I thought he really got improved from from the beginning to the end," Scott Satterfield said in his final press conference of the spring. The third-year head coach of the Cardinals also named wide receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce and offensive lineman Michael Gonzalez as the three freshmen who impressed him the most.
"He's a very good young D-lineman," outside linebacker Nick Okeke said. "I feel like he's gonna be a real good player. There's a lot of young guys making some plays."
Louisville will kickoff the 2021 season against Ole Miss in the annual Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. on Monday, Sept. 6.
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