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The Cardinal Countdown: 12 days until kickoff

John Sommers II

#12 Kai De La Cruz


Class: RS Senior

Ht/Wt: 6-0/187

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Montvale, N.J.

Twitter: @KaiDeLaCruz12

Thoughts: If you watched the first game of the season last year, you might have believed De La Cruz was going to be the future All-American wide receiver for the Cards. Coming out of the gate fast, Kai pulled in four passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio. Comically, every single one of those catches in the first game elicited a "is that Quick?" or "there’s Quick" from almost every fan in the stadium and those sitting at home. Not only do the 17 and 12 look strikingly similar on a jersey when over 40 yards away, but the anticipation of seeing Quick make his first catch was boiling over. Once everyone realized it was Kai pulling in those TD’s there was little disappointment, but surprise that we might have nice little weapon at our disposal that hadn't been mentioned too much leading into 2013.

The sad news for Kai was that he only had 11 more catches the rest of the year and battled injury the whole season jumping in and out of the lineup what seemed like each week. De La Cruz obviously has the speed and the ability to perform at a high level. While we might see him in the slot on occasion, I’d expect Michalee and Eli to hold down that position without much interruption. From practice reports, articles, videos, etc it appears that Matt Milton and James quick will battle for the position opposite Parker, leaving De La Cruz as the man sitting behind Parker on the depth chart, and most likely the #4/5 WR in the spread. If Kai can stay healthy I love what he brings to the table and I really like the diversity he can show if a DC tries to use the same corner on both him and DeVante.

Sweet Tweet:

This tweet wasn't picked to bring up an old conversation that we've all been through multiple times about the coaching staff, just a simple reminder that relationships are being built behind the scenes. When Charlie and company abandoned ship we as a fan base took it hard, but we can’t forgot that the players, administration, etc are affected even more than us. These coaches were leaders, mentors, and friends to a lot of the student-athletes. I think everything will work out just fine for all parties involved, but I hope we don’t fail to remember that typically we as fans are affected the least in these scenarios, but are usually the ones to speak the loudest.

With the recent SI article I think it’s important to keep in mind that the words of one former player should have little impact on that fact that the vast majority of ex-Petrino players seem to love the guy and constantly vouch for him when asked. As a coach and teacher your main goal is not to become best friends or be nice to every player, but to push them to be the best man on and off the field they can become, an extension of their parents if you will. While no coach has a 100% success rate, I think Petrino’s track record in player development and the relationships he’s built speak for themselves. Only time will tell how things work out with Bobby 2.0, but if we're 50 games in he's sitting on another 41-9 record, I doubt too many fans will lose sleep over him not being the front runner for Mr. Congeniality.