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The Cardinal Countdown: 72 Days Until Kickoff

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

#72 Lukayus McNeil

Class: RS Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-6/313

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Twitter: @lukayus

Thoughts: Lukayus is one of the guys I want to keep an eye on this year. I was really glad we pulled him last season as he had some big dogs coming after him late in the process (Oklahoma, Michigan state, Nebraska, Wisconsin and of course the Big Ten Power… Purdue.) McNeil was the #1 O-lineman in Indiana last season and as projected he took a redshirt in 2014 to get physically prepared to play big boy football in the ACC week after week. While most predict McNeil to be a solid backup at the tackle position (probably left tackle) I think he has a decent shot to grab a couple starts this year with his size and based upon some of the coaches compliments of his practice habits and work ethic. Either way, having McNeil, Danny Burns and possibly Chandler Jones get some significant reps will be crucial in developing the 2016 line. Not to look too far ahead but I think we all can agree the 2015 offense should be slightly better than the 2014 showing and 2016 could be setup as the "leap" year where Bobby ball starts really lighting up the scoreboard. With an experienced QB, experienced playmakers at wideout and lots of running back depth it appears to be unfolding well…but it still hinges significantly on the line playing up to their potential. Through five games last year the Cards ranked 119th in negative yardage plays allowed and 120th in sacks allowed, which is unacceptable for an experienced group playing that early season schedule, even in a new system. To their credit they did finish the season 117th and 113th in those categories respectively, so…improvement?

It’s not cool to talk about, it doesn’t make the front page and these guys aren’t bringing home individual trophies at the end of the season but I can’t stress enough just how important they are in the success of the team. If we want to continue our path to becoming a consistently great football program year in and year out it’s essential to get solid quarterbacks, it’s nice to get defensive weapons but it’s beyond vital to bring in excellent lineman with size and athleticism.

Sweet Tweet:

The players getting back on campus and getting into the weight room a couple weeks ago starts to make it feel real for me. Since we’re about halfway through the offensive lineman posts maybe this is a good time to start throwing out "early predictions" on the 2015 season (regular season record). I’m curious if we revisit this same question with 15 or 20 days left before kickoff if it changes significantly one way or the other.

I’ll start it off with a 9-3 projection, but I actually have a strong feeling we stay perfect at home this year. I think Auburn is just too tough for Game 1 and going to Doak Campbell is too tall a task for this team. My third loss would actually be another head-scratcher of sorts somewhere in the last six games (the @Pitt game gives me an uneasy feeling for some reason). I think that record keeps us out of the ACC Championship but still lands the Cards in a solid bowl against a good opponent. Thoughts?


*Item of note: Today adidas will release new football uniforms for Louisville to be worn against Auburn in the season opener on September 5th. Can we all just agree that red chrome helmets, feathers, infrared or any combination of the three will be amazing? If nothing else this is pretty badass…