Best Louisville Offensive Player
QB Jawon Pass, Soph.
His biggest problem? He’s not Lamar Jackson. Other than that, he’s a terrific prospect who’s ready to take over the program and the offense after learning the system for the last two seasons.
He’s not going to run like Jackson – no one can – but he can move. With 6-4, 231-pound size, an NFL arm, and the upside to keep the nation’s 15th-best passing game rolling. Even he’s not magical like No. 8 was, he’ll be effective.
2. WR Jaylen Smith, Sr.
3. WR Dez Fitzpatrick, Soph.
4. OG Lukayus McNeal, Sr.
5. PK Blanton Creque, Jr.
Best Louisville Defensive Player
LB Dorian Etheridge, Soph.
A nice recruit, but hardly an elite one, he was expected to hit campus and potentially become a part of the rotation early on. Instead, he took over a spot in the middle of the linebacking corps, starting every game and finishing with a team-leading 83 tackles.
Bulked up a bit, the 6-3, 233-pounder still has the range to go along with the good size. Now he’s got a year of experience to go along with the rest of the tools to be one of the ACC’s better stat-sheet fillers.
2. DE Jon Greenard, Jr.
3. S Dee Smith, Sr.
4. DT G.G. Robinson, Jr.
5. S TreSean Smith, Soph.
Key Player To A Successful Season
RB Dae Williams, Soph.
Or someone. Anyone. The Cardinals need a live body at running back to emerge in a hurry this fall – and stay healthy.
It was nice over the last few seasons to have Lamar Jackson handling most of the rushing work, but Malik Williams and Reggie Bonnafon helped the cause, too, combining for almost 1,000 yards with 11 scores.
The 6-1, 227-pound Williams was third on the team with 235 yards and three scores despite missing time with a knee injury. Hurt this spring with a foot injury, he was part of a corps of backs that didn’t have any luck staying healthy. There’s time for everyone to heal up. but running back will be the No. 1 concern in fall camp unless Williams can make the job his.
Key Game To The Louisville Season
Florida State, Sept. 29
With the Clemson game on the road a few weeks later, lose to Florida State, and that might be it for any dreams of taking the Atlantic. No, Louisville probably won’t be ACC-title good, but this will get interesting if it beats the Seminoles for the third year in a row, and then manages to get by Georgia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest before dealing with Death Valley.
2017 Louisville Fun Stats
– 4th Down Conversions: Louisville 19-of-30 (63%) – Opponents 11-of-19 (58%)
– Lamar Jackson led the team in both rushing and passing in every game but two
– Field Goals: Louisville 17-of-20 – Opponents 9-of-16