LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville football's two-week long fall camp is now officially in the books, and their season-opener vs. Ole Miss down in Atlanta, Ga. is only two weeks away.
With the Cardinals about to be shifting into game-planning mode for the Rebels, Louisville Report decided to take another shot at projecting Louisville's two-deep depth chart for the 2021 football season.
Malik Cunningham (6-1, 200, R-Jr)
Evan Conley (6-2, 215, So.)
Quick Hit: Not much surprise here. Barring another turnover-filled year, this is still Malik Cunningham's job to lose. Fortunately, the staff and players have mentioned on multiple occasions how sharp he looks, and that he has a great grasp of the offense. JUCO transfer Brock Domann had a good camp as well, but Satterfield reiterated that Evan Conley is the backup, and that he has no problem inserting him when need be.
Jalen Mitchell (5-10, 221, R-Fr.)
Hassan Hall (6-0, 204, Jr.)
Quick Hit: It still remains to be seen how exactly Louisville will rotate their running backs when games start, and we could see anywhere from a feature back to a five man rotation. But regardless of how many will seen significant playing time, Jalen Mitchell seemingly cemented himself as the starter based on his camp performance. Maurice Burkley and Trevion Cooley had good camps, but a fully healthy Hassan Hall has seemingly rebounded.
Wide Receiver (X)
Justin Marshall (6-3, 211, R-Jr.)
Tyler Harrell (6-0, 194, R-So.)
Wide Receiver (Z)
Jordan Watkins (5-11, 194, Fr.)
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce (5-10, 165, Fr.)
Braden Smith (5-10, 185, So.)
Shai Werts (5-11, 193, R-Sr.)
Quick Hit: Coaches are once again raving at how great of camp Justin Marshall is having, so we'll see if it can translate onto the field with Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick gone. Few players have gotten as much hype as Tyler Harrell thanks to his 4.2-type speed, but we'll see if this translates into game speed/production.
Jordan Watkins and Braden Smith are the other likely day one starters, but the guys behind them will still get plenty of run. True freshman Ahmari Huggins-Bruce has has flashes during scrimmages, and Shai Werts, by all accounts, has had a seamless transition from quarterback to receiver.
Marshon Ford (6-2, 237, So.)
Isaac Martin (6-1, 250, R-Jr.)
Dez Melton (6-3, 250, R-Fr.)
Francis Sherman (6-3, 248, R-Fr.)
Quick Hit: When discussing the tight end room, the conversation starts and ends with Marshon Ford, as he is Louisville's leading returner in terms of receiving yards and touchdowns. But considering he will also see some reps out wide at receiver, that will leave several other tight ends and half backs to get some run as blockers or in the backfield.
Trevor Reid (6-5, 303, Jr.)
Michael Gonzalez (6-4, 298, Fr.)
Caleb Chandler (6-4, 313, R-Jr.)
Luke Kandra (6-4, 309, Fr.)
Cole Bentley (6-3, 315, Sr)
Bryan Hudson (6-4, 310, R-So.)
Adonis Boone (6-5, 317, Jr.)
Joshua Black (6-2, 294, R-Fr.)
Renato Brown (6-4, 309, R-Fr.)
Desmond Daniels (6-5, 270, Fr.)
Quick Hit: New offensive line coach Jack Bicknell has raved about his guys in camp, going so far as to say they could be the best college line he's ever coached. Nothing has changed here from Louisville's preseason depth chart, except for maybe the rotation. Bryan Hudson, while listed as the backup center, will be the unit's "sixth man" and see time all over the line. Michael Gonzalez and Luke Kandra will be the final two in coach Bicknell's eight-man rotation, and see the much more time over Joshua Black and Desmond Daniels.
Tabarius Peterson (6-3, 262, R-Sr.)
Ramon Puryear (6-3, 264, R-Fr.)
Jacques Turner (6-1, 290, R-Sr.)
Malik Clark (6-2, 295, R-Jr.)
YaYa Diaby (6-4, 273, Jr.)
Ashton Gillotte (6-2, 253, Fr.)
Quick Hit: In Louisville's pre-fall camp depth chart, it was interesting to see Ramon Puryear jump over Tabarius Peterson. While he will no doubt get plenty of run, I believe that Tabarius Peterson will get the starting nod due to experience, but it's important to note both had great fall camps.
After being added mid-season, Southern Miss transfer Jacques Turner made an impact in fall camp. I believe he will get the starting nod at nose tackle due to his talent, but Malik Clark, and even Dezmond Tell, is right on his heels.
The final DE spot is probably the most exciting on the line. The coaching staff has sung the praises of both YaYa Diaby and Ashton Gillotte, and both will surely contribute significantly in 2021.
Outside Linebacker (DOG)
Yasir Abdullah (6-1, 235, Jr.)
Nick Okeke (6-3, 249, R-Jr.)
Middle Linebacker (MIKE)
C.J. Avery (5-11, 227, Sr.)
K.J. Cloyd (6-2, 215, So.)
Middle Linebacker (WILL)
Monty Montgomery (5-11, 220, R-Jr.)
Dorian Jones (6-0, 230, R-Fr.)
Outside Linebacker (CARD)
Jack Fagot (6-0, 202, R-Jr.)
Marvin Dallas (6-1, 198, Jr.)
Quick Hit: From top to bottom, Louisville's linebackers might be the best position group on the roster. Yasir Abdullah might be the starter at DOG, but Nick Okeke will have just as much time, as both have been constantly making each other better. Jack Fagot, from what OLB coach Cort Dennison has said, has had a tremendous transition to CARD, to the point where I believe he starts over Marvin Dallas.
Of course, not much surprise at the middle linebacker positions. CJ Avery and Monty Montgomery, as ILB coach Derek Nicholson proclaimed, very well might be the best LB duo in the ACC. But there could be some solid play behind them as well, as Dorian Jones and KJ Cloyd have looked good in camp.
Chandler Jones (5-10, 188, Jr.)
Kani Walker (6-1, 203, Fr.)
Qwynnterrio Cole (6-3, 190, Sr.)
Benjamin Perry (6-2, 201, Fr.)
Kenderick Duncan (6-3, 216, R-Sr.)
Josh Minkins (Fr., 6-2, 179)
Kei'Trel Clark (5-10, 172, So.)
Greedy Vance (5-10, 162, Fr.)
Quick Hit: Even with all the roster turnover this unit has had, it still is shaping up to have an another great year. Kei'Trel Clark very much has All-American potential, and Chandler Jones could be one of the more underrated defenders on the team. Even with a completely new safety duo, Kenderick Duncan and Qwynnterrio Cole could make an early case for best in the ACC. Safety is looking a tad thin beyond them though, as Josh Minkins is still working back from injury, and Bralyn Oliver decided to transfer out.
(Photo of Malik Cunningham: Winslow Townson - USA TODAY Sports)
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