Underclassmen proving playmaking ability


Speed and skill are synonymous with Louisville football’s biggest playmakers, but so to is youth.

Javian Hawkins set a program single season freshman rushing record with a carry in the first quarter against Syracuse, surpassing Victor Anderson’s former mark of 1,047 yards set in 2008. Hawkins finished with 233 yards in the 56-34 victory, increasing his rushing yards to 1,278 yards this season.

Hawkins, a redshirt freshman, is the first freshman in program history to rush for 100 yards in six games.

Tutu Atwell, a sophomore receiver, surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. He has 56 receptions for 1,068 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Atwell is the first receiver to have 1,000 or more yards in a single season since Harry Douglas in 2007.

Hawkins and Atwell are the first runner and receiver for Louisville to surpass 1,000 yards in the same season since 1999.

Atwell isn’t the only productive receiver that has years of eligibility left. Junior Dez Fitzpatrick has 30 receptions for 562 yards and six touchdowns. Marshon Ford, a redshirt freshman tight end, has 239 receiving yards and five scores.

Sophomore Hassan Hall has rushed for 468 yards along with an impact in the kick return game. Hall is averaging 34.2 yards per return this season.

“We've got a lot of good skill players that will be coming back, a lot of production,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. “It'll be fun in the offseason to continue to grow and develop these guys.”

Louisville’s three quarterbacks that have taken snaps this season have eligibility remaining. Jawon Pass, a redshirt junior, started the first two games before suffering a season-ending foot injury. Micale Cunningham, a redshirt sophomore, has started nine consecutive games.

Cunningham has completed 61.8 percent of his throws for 1,704 yards and 19 touchdowns while rushing for 374 yards.

Led by skilled underclassmen, Louisville is averaging 34.4 points and 453.4 yards of offense this season.

“It’s great having those weapons,” Cunningham said. “Those young guys coming in being ready to play even though these coaches didn’t really recruit those guys and they have been able to buy in.”