Louisville secondary more knowledgeable in Brown's second year


In Bryan Brown’s second year as Louisville football’s defensive coordinator, the Cardinals have a better idea of how the system works.

Russ Yeast, a vocal leader in the secondary as a returning starter at safety, has the same defensive coordinator in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career.

Yeast finished fifth on the team in tackles in 2019, tallying 61 tackles and an interception in 11 games.

The secondary has a better idea conceptual of how to play in Brown’s system in the second year.

“We didn’t have to learn a new install, so it’s picking up on what we built on last year,” Yeast said. “It’s more reps instead of teaching, so I think we are going to be a lot better. We are going to be faster, we just have to be able to create more turnovers and play more sound.”

Despite the departure of safety Khane Pass, the team’s third leading tackler last season, the secondary returns experienced production this year.

Chandler Jones, Marlon Character and Anthony Johnson started at cornerback last season. Jones had 50 tackles and a team-high 10 pass break-ups while starting all 13 games.

Isaiah Hayes, a transfer from Arizona, played in place of Yeast in the final two games last year. Hayes had five tackles in Louisville’s victory in the Music City Bowl over Mississippi State.

“Isaiah brings a lot of experience to the table, he can play both positions as a safety, he is really smart, he knows everything,” Yeast said.

Jack Fagot had 23 tackles and an interception last season.

“Jack is freakishly athletic, he has some game experience,” Yeast said. “He is ready to go.”

Marqui Lowery and Jamel Starks participated in seven spring practices before the remainder of Louisville’s sessions were cut short due to COVID-19.

Greedy Vance, Lovie Jenkins and Josh Minkins are a trio of incoming players that add depth to the secondary.

“All the young guys are talented,” Yeast said. “I’m really confident in those guys too.”