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Spring practice starts today so let’s take a look at what to look out for on offense.
Louisville kicks off spring practice later today after finishing the 2022 season at 6-7. While the offense put up a lot of yards and had plenty of highlights, their scoring was essentially the same as it was in 2021 when they turned the ball over non-stop and only won four games. The lack of consistent scoring and third-down offense hindered the offense and they will look to improve starting today. The core of the offense returns but let’s take a look at each position to see who will be working to make the improvements.
Louisville returns their starter again to continue a level of continuity at the position that most teams don’t see. Malik Cunningham had a very strong 2022 season but he will need to get some help from his skill positions to reach his ceiling.
Depth is a question once again as Evan Conley will miss the spring with an injury and everyone else at the position is severely inexperienced. Khalib Johnson is on campus this spring but he’s not 100% so he won’t be able to participate fully. The battle for the backup spot will likely be worked out in the fall and hopefully, Johnson can propel himself into a true option to see the field in some way.
Malik Cunningham
Khalib Johnson/Brock Domann
Evan Conley won’t be participating in the spring so the second guy up has a good chance to get a lot of reps with Malik being a veteran. The spring game won’t tell us much but I’d be surprised if Scott Satterfield doesn’t provide some insight about the backup spot during media availability.
Scott Satterfield is due to have his deepest running back group of his time here at Louisville and likely of his career. Jalen Mitchell will be the returning yardage leader while Tyon Evans, Travion Cooley, and Jawhar Jordan all return as guys who all be the starter in the fall.
Running back is one of the few positions on the roster that comes into the spring fully healthy and the competition could lead to a positive as guys will be pushed to work harder. It could also lead to a transfer if one or two of these guys feel that they won’t see the field in the fall. Cooley has been rumored to be looking to transfer for a while now and Jordan reportedly wanted to transfer during the season. We’ll have to wait to see if these guys stick it out or not.
Jalen Mitchell
Tiyon Evans/Travion Cooley/Jawhar Jordan
All four of these guys could be the starter in the fall. For now, I’d say that Mitchell will start practice as the first guy in line.
Louisville lost Jordan Watkins and Justin Marshall to transfer this winter but I think it’s fair to say that they have at least held serve with the talent at the group with the players they’ve brought in. Dee Wiggins and Tyler Hudson will get started this spring while some of the freshmen recruits should push to get on the field early in the fall.
Lance Taylor will also be taking over a unit that brings back Tyler Harrell, Ahmari Huggins-Bruce, and a limited Braden Smith. He also has Josh Johnson’s veteran presence to help. This group doesn’t have a star as of right now, but there is the possibility that we see someone take on that role this spring.
X-Receiver
Tyler Hudson
Dee Wiggins
Y-Receiver
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce
Josh Johnson
Z-Receiver
Tyler Harrell
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce
With Braden Smith out, and guys like Devaughn Mortimer not showing up until the summer, the group as a whole is a bit thin. Look for Jaelin Carter to be a name we hear about as a veteran walk-on transfer that they wanted to get on the field more last season. I also think that Tyler Harrell could move into the spot that Jordan Watkins vacated which is the spot that tends to get more targets.
Depth isn’t really a concern at tight end when it comes to pure numbers but this group failed to deliver much outside of the play of Marshon Ford last season. Overall, this is a young group and the staff has to be hopeful that someone will break through and take that next step for them.
Nic Cardwell is returning to the staff to coach this group after spending last season coaching App State’s offensive line. App’s line was up for the Joe Moore Award this year for the nation’s top offensive line so one has to help he can at least help improve their blocking.
H-Back
Marshon Ford
Duane Martin
Y-Tight End
Dez Melton
Francis Sherman/Victor Mullen
Duane Martin has bulked up to 255 pounds but I still think he will stay at the H-Back spot behind Marshon Ford. Isaac Martin will be hard to beat out but Martin has shown that he can catch the ball and I think that will push him forward. Don’t be surprised if we see things get shaken up a bit at the other spot. Melton had one very nice catch last season but no one has been consistent enough to own the job, in my opinion.
UofL essentially returns everyone from this position last year including four starters and two players who regularly rotated in with the starters. Bryan Hudson will be the key as he will likely be taking over at center. Hudson is experienced as he was a second-team All-American at center during his time at Virginia Tech. It’s very doubtful that we see the line regress this season.
The line also has some depth with Michael Gonzalez and Luke Kandra being the backups we will see in the rotation. Jack Bicknell has to find the guy who is going to backup Hudson and that will be something to watch this spring.
Left Tackle
Trevor Reid/Michael Gonzalez
Left Guard
Caleb Chandler
Luke Kandra
Center
Bryan Hudson
Josh Black/Austin Collins
Right Guard
Adonis Boone
Luke Kandra
Right Tackle
Renato Brown
Michael Gonzalez
I truly believe that Michael Gonzalez will push Trevor Reid for the starting left tackle spot. The staff is high on both guys but Reid had some real struggles at times last season. Josh Black and Austin Collins will be the first two guys up to be the backup center. Bicknell needs to figure out his depth outside of the top seven guys. This group has a lot of guys but not a lot of game experience. He could also see guys transfer as they haven’t been able to get onto the field.
There was no bigger disappointment to me last season than the kicking game. James Turner was automatic as a freshman but he seemingly got the yips at some point last year and just could not make a kick. Brock Travelstead will get a shot to be the guy this spring and it will likely be open with Stu Holt moving on to Virginia Tech.
James Turner/Brock Travelstead
This will be decided in the fall but I expect Travelstead to push hard to win this job.

source

By faress

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