Louisville's group of inside linebackers are among one of the deepest units on the defensive side of the ball, and most of the players at that position for the Cardinals have shown out in fall camp ahead of the 2020 season.
Among those having noteworthy performances is KJ Cloyd, but more so from a learning & maturation perspective. A JUCO transfer from Jones College, the not only is he having to face the learning curve from jumping to Division I, but he did not join the program until earlier this month.
"Things are happening fast, sometimes your head is spinning a little bit," inside linebackers coach Derek Nicholson said in regards to the JUCO to D1 transition. "But one thing KJ has done, he's been very mature. He's approached it like a pro, and he has learned at a fast pace."
Coming in as the No. 2 outside linebacker & No. 23 prospect in the Class of 2021 according to 247Sports' JUCO rankings, 6-foot-2 & 215-pound Columbia, Miss. native has shown flashes of his physical ability throughout camp.
But he has done far from rest on his laurels since arriving on campus. Knowing that every other player in the ILB room is ahead of the curve compared to him, he has been going the extra mile to catch up.
"You got to have that sense of urgency to learn, to prepare, to calculate at a faster pace than (the veterans) are doing," Nicholson said. "That takes a little bit more preparation, a little but more film study, asking more questions, making sure you understand the concepts and the techniques. He's done that."
Based on what he has seen out of his physical capabilities and his off the field work ethic, Nicholson thinks Cloyd is "going to be bright spot and has a bright future."
Louisville will return to the practice fields on Thursday at 4:00pm EST after having Wednesday off, and are set to kickoff the season against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Cardinal Stadium.
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