clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Louisville Football Preseason Position Preview: Cornerbacks

Jared Wickerham

Louisville's cornerbacks are coming off about as good of a season as we could expect as fans. The position produced 9 interceptions, two touchdowns, and 19 passes defended. In the new system implemented by Todd Grantham, the corners will be asked to do more than what they've been asked in the past. With a mix of zone blitzes and man coverage, only time will tell if they are up to the task.

Charles Gaines led the team last year with 5 interceptions and 12 passes defended. He also probably led the conference in trash talk. Gaines is a big game corner that likes to talk and backs it up. He is the fastest player on the defensive side of the ball and his speed allows him to gamble a bit in coverage. Gaines is a threat to get to the endzone every time he gets the ball in his hands and with the constant pressure the pass rush should bring this year he could be looking at a big year.

The second cornerback spot will be manned by Andrew Johnson this year. Terrell Floyd has moved to safety to shore up some issues there, so Johnson has found his way back into the starting lineup. After enamoring himself with fans by blowing kisses at West Virginia's cheerleaders after returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown, Johnson has had trouble staying on the field. Johnson isn't a burner like Gaines and he is pretty short at 5-9. One thing he does have going for him, however, is that he is a high level competitor. He doesn't like to get beat and he doesn't mind hitting people. The question mark is how he will do if teams start to avoid Gaines on the other side.

Depth at the cornerback position is a major question mark heading into the season. Former four-star prospect, Devantre Parnell is finally healthy and he has been taking second team reps consistently throughout practice. He hasn't looked great by any standard, but he can run and he is getting steady coaching to get him ready if needed. The other players rotating with the second team are all true freshmen. Trumaine Washington, De'Eric Culver, and Zykiesis Cannon have all been battling to show who might get the nod to see the field this year. All have been mentioned as having stood out over the last few weeks, so there's no telling who might redshirt and who won't. I would imagine that Petrino would rather have everyone stay healthy and he can save a year for everyone.



Kendall Fuller

Kyle Fuller was selected 14th overall in this year's NFL draft and he probably wasn't even the best player in his own family last season. Kendall finished the season with 6 interceptions and 17 PBUs. He was named the ACC's Rookie Of The Year after starting 12 games as a true freshman. With fellow sophomore Brandon Facyson returning on the opposite side, teams won't be able to avoid throwing at Fuller this year.

P.J. Williams

Florida State's defense is full of talented players and Williams is regarded as one of the best of them. Looking at numbers with FSU's defense can really be misleading. WIlliams finished the season with 3 interceptions and 10 PBUs, but FSU flat out dominated people. Williams' numbers would have been much better if he had actually played the normal amount of minutes most players play. When it came down to it, Williams routinely shut down his man and he played extremely well in the national championship game, taking home the defensive MVP honors.


Brandon Facyson

You could easily put FSU's Ronald Darby in this spot, but Facyson had stellar numbers as a true freshman last year so I went with him. Both players should get "picked on" a bit this year because of their counterparts across the field, but both have shown that they are up to the task. Facyson is a big corner like Fuller that will come up and play the run but he finished the season with 5 interceptions including a couple of diving picks.


Kevin Johnson

It's hard to really be a sleeper as a senior, but Wake Forest has found itself as the doormat of the conference. Therefore, guys like Johnson are rarely talked about and somewhat overlooked. Johnson had a stellar sophomore year and followed it up with a solid year last season. With a new coaching staff taking over, he could be a guy that benefits from a new system.