The Cardinal Countdown...29 days till kickoff

#29 Hakeem Smith


Class: RS Junior Ht/Wt: 6-1/187 Position: Safety Hometown: Jonesboro, Ga

Louisville’s Take: Emerged as a playmaker in the secondary ... showed an ability to come up and make a tackle ... sure-handed tackler ... will continue to develop as he gets bigger and stronger.

Thoughts: Hakeem Mother F’n Smith….That’s how I feel like saying his name every time. This is a bad dude. You saw my love for Eli Rogers before and Senorise earlier this week and Hakeem is on that same level. Nothing creates a scary defense more than a free roaming safety that can a) put a "Daaaaaaamn" type hit on somebody frequently b) breakup passes c) intercept the ball and d) tackle with the best. He was the Big East Rookie of the year back in 2010 and team leader in tackles. First team All-Big East last year with 84 tackles, nine pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a pick to cap it all off. This year Hakeem is getting some love from National watch lists including the Jim Thorpe and Bronko Nagurski awards. Bleacher Report tabbed him as the 9th best safety in the nation and almost everyone has him as preseason All-Big East. Hakeem will lead arguably the best defense in the Big East and one of the best defenses in the nation. All the preseason love could go to someone’s head, but I think Hakeem has his mind right and his focus dialed in. My only concern is if has another big year we may only get three years of Hakeem stalking the secondary. I’ll take whatever I can get. I can’t wait.

Potential Nicknames: Hakeem "Da Dream" Smith

Not sure if Hakeem reads CC, but if so, can you give me one of these (1:17 mark of video) after each interception? I mean, it is the Safety Dance after all.

Safety Dance...Safety Dance

#29 Stephen Goodwin


Class: RS Junior Ht/Wt: 6-0/191 Position: Wide Receiver Hometown: Louisville, KY (Product of St. Xavier)

Louisville’s Take: Walk-on who has helped add depth to the wide receiver position... has shown an ability to make all the catches... has worked hard to continually develop his skills.

Thoughts: Stephen has been in the program for a little bit and it appears this is the year he may get a chance to help contribute while the clock is actually running. I know we have depth at wide receiver. So much so, probably linebacker is the only other position I feel we have more depth on the whole team. It will be hard moving DeVante, Eli, Michaelee, Radcliff and others from their well deserved spots on the roster, but when we’re beating up on folks by four touchdowns, DeMarcus Topp, Goodwin and others will see action. Coming out of St. X, Goodwin had 400 receiving yards as a senior with 8 touchdowns. This was back when St. X could actually beat Trinity (don’t kill the messenger). Look for Goodwin to grab some catches and be included in the stat line for a few games.

Potential Nicknames: Stephan "don’t call me Van Treese" Goodwin.

*Being the frequent CC reader that I am, I saw the Goodwin number change on yesterday’s News and Notes® (I got you on the trademark Mike). But, since the roster on the official website still lists him at 29 I’ll leave it for now.

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