#2 Preston Brown
Class: Junior Ht/Wt: 6-2/255 Position: Linebacker Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Louisville’s Take: Emerged to be a starting linebacker and enjoyed his best season ... has added a lot of weight and strength ... made huge strides at being a physical force ... has the tools to be a solid linebacker ... made a major impact on special teams as a true freshman ... appeared in all 26 games of his collegiate career.
Thoughts: Could this Preston potentially be worthy of the "Preston!" title? Not yet, but maybe soon. Preston was a monster on the field last year, playing in all 13 games and grabbing 84 tackles (second to Dexter). With Bedford bringing the heat from the linebackers as often as he does, I’d expect Preston to have a few more of these this year…
The big news on Preston was his move to middle linebacker. Filling the shoes of a very energetic and charismatic Dexter Heyman will not be easy, and Coach Bedford has expressed his concerns. The big takeaway for me was when Bedford and Strong said they laid down a challenge to Preston this year to step it up and become a leader on the defensive side of the ball. He seemed to accept the challenge and by all accounts was playing very well once fall practice started. While we may scratch our heads at times, in the long run I think the "Mike" position for Preston is a good fit and one he can excel in. Worst case, we can always move him over to running back (Belk Bowl shoutout!)
Potential Nicknames: "PB", "Pressure Pres"
Class: RS Sophomore Ht/Wt: 6-2/193 Position: Wide Receiver Hometown: Miami, Fla
Louisville’s Take: Emerged as the team's playmaker... made plays down the field... showed good hands and an ability to make plays... tore his ACL prior to the Belk Bowl...missed his freshman season with an MCL injury and missed most of this spring with the same injury.
Thoughts: Anyone see a trend here? You can’t spell Michaelee without "ACL" or "MCL". The poor kid can’t catch a break when it comes to avoiding injuries. Pitino is pushing him too hard in my opinion. (Sorry, to easy to pass on)
As we now know, Harris will miss all of 2012 with another torn ACL. I was real excited to see how Michaelee stepped up this season. He became the man last year starting in 12 games and grabbing 37 catches for 455 yards. That mark left him tied for third in receptions by a freshman and fifth for receiving yards by a freshman. It seemed the Bridgewater to Harris connection was early and often last year and I couldn’t wait to see them build on that this season. Michaelee will still be a leader this year, just not on the field. Crossing my fingers he can rehab one of his knees for what will now be the fourth time in two years and be a stud for us in 2013.
Potential Nicknames: "Rehab", "Harris Report"
(Everyone else that was not covered due to roster modifications during the countdown)
#62 T.C. Klusman
Class: Freshman Ht/Wt: 6-3/276 Position: Offensive Line Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Louisville’s Take: Played for Doug Ramsey at Cincinnati Elder High School...ranked a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and two-star recruit by Scout.com... rated as the 46th-best prospect in Ohio and 66th-best offensive tackle nationally by Rivals.com... ranked 151st at offensive guard by Scout.com... 26th-best prospect in Ohio by ESPN.com... selected first team All-Conference as a senior and second team as a junior... voted the squad's best lineman by the team during senior campaign... voted team captain... named a second GCL All-Star... voted the WieFit Athlete of the Month... efficient tackle with good technique... dominated high school opponents but needs to add size to compete at next level.
Thoughts: T.C. comes in as a solid offensive line prospect. While it appears based upon the latest reports that Klusman may redshirt this year, he has a chance to make an impact once he starts to get opportunities. I’m not going to act like for a second that I can watch tape on an offensive lineman in high school and see how that translates to Division-I football but he has the size and technique to turn into a good player. Whether that "good" player becomes "great" will depend upon his attitude, work ethic and coaching. Can’t wait to watch him grow up in the program.
Potential Nicknames: "T-Sizzle", "Klus"
#60 Joe Manley
Class: Freshman Ht/Wt: 6-6/334 Position: Offensive Line Hometown: Bowling Green, KY
Louisville’s Take: Played for Kevin Wallace at Bowling Green High School...ranked a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and two-star recruit by Scout.com... ranked as the seventh-best prospect in Kentucky by Rivals.com... started playing football in third grade... invited to attend the Army All-American combine in Texas... named first-team All-State by the Associated Press... selected to the Best of the Bluegrass All-Star game... team's offense rushed for over 2,200 yards and threw for over 1,500 in 2010... attended Louisville's Junior Day in 2011... Tom Lemming nominee as one of the top offensive tackles... team won the KHSAA 5A state championship in 2011 defeating Anderson County 55-3... has superior upper body strength... has good size and athleticism.
Thoughts: Joe comes in to the Cardinal program as a good example of going after local talent and getting it. (Hey….Trinity. Eyes over here) Joe was a big time get for the program not only because of his talents, but because we beat out the other large university in the state to get him. I like Joe’s size for only being a freshman and all reports have him playing solid football so far. The depth chart for the Kentucky game showed him as a third stringer at right tackle. I wouldn’t be shocked to either see him move up the chart as the season progresses or take a redshirt if we look like we’re staying healthy. Whether it’s this year or next year, I look forward to seeing Joe’s skills on display wearing the red and black.
Potential Nicknames: "Sloppy Joe", "Manley"
#58 Andrew Polston
Class: Sophomore Ht/Wt: 6-6/260 Position: Defensive Tackle Hometown: Louisville, KY (Product of St. Xavier)
Louisville’s Take: (No Notes Provided)
Thoughts: Another local guy that has worked his way back home. Last season Andrew played for the Georgetown college….Fighting Toyota’s…?? Polston was on a squad that finished 12-1 advancing to the NAIA semifinals. Getting reliable stats on Mr. Polston from last year is about as likely as Charlie Strong wearing Crocs….ain’t happening bro. I was able to scrape up some old recruiting info and it appeared that he was being pursued by 8-10 pretty good schools. I’m not sure why he decided to go the G-Town route, but glad to have him on the team. Defensive line is looking good right now so a redhsirt may be in his future, but his experience and size could be handy as he progresses. He has good height and appears to have added 20lbs over the last year or so, which is a big plus. Hope we get to see him on the field sooner than later.
Potential Nicknames: "Tiger" (St. X, G-Town)