Two Unsung Cardinals To Watch For On Sunday

Every year, fans and members of the media alike spend the entire summer tackling every possible statistic and angle for their preseason college football previews. And yet every single season every team in the country has at least one or two guys come from essentially nowhere to play a key role in any success the squad has.

We've heard or had the chance to hear detailed information on just about every player who will take the filed on Sunday, but here are two guys we haven't heard a lot about who might end up making a major difference.

Defense: Gerod Holliman

I couldn't be more sold on the notion that Gerod Holliman will be this year's Adrian Bushell for Louisville.

Because he didn't qualify and had to spend a year in prep school, people forget that he was a four-star recruit who was rated as high as the No. 47 overall player in the class of 2011 by ESPN. Had he made the grades, Holliman would have been the first or second highest-rated player in that class which contributed so greatly to Louisville's success last year.

The early reports out of practice have indicated that Holliman was worthy of his high school billing. He's walking into a tough situation with Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor already holding down the two safety positons, but he'll still get his snaps. Expect Holliman to be the extra safety who comes in for George Durant (or whomever) when U of L goes Nickel.

Don't be surprised if he turns the tide in at least one game, perhaps as early as Sunday.

Oh, and he was cleared on DePaul Day. That means he'll probably end up being the greatest safety to ever play at U of L.

Offense: Jarel McGriff-Culver

Louisville doesn't currently list fullback on its depth chart, but the coaching staff has said fans can expect to see far more two back sets with a fullback staying home for protection.

With that being the case, fans should be expecting to see a healthy dose of sophomore Jarel McGriff-Culver, who is likely battling with senior Nick Heuser for the first team reps at FB. Of the two, McGriff-Culver showed the most versatility coming out of the backfield, catching passes against North Carolina, Cincinnati and South Florida.

Though he'll likely spend most of his time on the field serving as a lead blocker or Teddy Bridgewater's last line of defense, don't be surprised if McGriff-Culver is the answer to the question of "who?" after at least one big play on Sunday.

Feel free to share your unsung hero picks in the comments section. The correct answer will get a knowing nod from me at the game when that player makes a key contribution.

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