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The Cardinal Countdown: 44 Days Until Kickoff

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#44 Pio Vatuvei

Class: Senior

Ht/Wt: 6-3/296

Position: Defensive End

Hometown: Patterson, CA

Twitter: N/A

Thoughts: Pio was a stud last year coming out of JUCO (San Mateo) playing in eleven games and getting nine starts. I loved watching the kid play and he surprised me with what he could do early in the year. A lot people forget that Pio was out against Florida St (elbow injury) and may have been that extra push the Cards needed in the second half (lots of folks dismiss that game as a 2nd half runaway due to the large comeback by FSU…they took the lead back, by only four, with 3:46 left in the game. It wasn’t a runaway). Pio was a surprise to some, but he was highly touted coming out of high school and a great addition to a line who needed some depth after moving a few of the ends out to linebacker in the 3-4. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Pio but he came in and played hard from day one. Pio’s play all season is another reason I have no qualms with bringing in talented JUCO players if we need help somewhere. They can have an instant impact and he proved that from the start.

While most have the Pio/Brown/Rankins starting front three chiseled in stone (I do as well) don’t be surprised to see Shortridge, Richardson and Bailey get some significant time this season. If Pio plays similar to how he did in 2014 (18 tackles/1 sack) he could flirt with a pro career, adding another two linemen (w/ Rankins) heading to the draft after this season. (Don’t rule out D Brown either) The second team needs to grow up when asked to perform, and they will be asked, and prepare to take the torch in 2016.

Sweet Tweet: No twitter for Pio but feel free to check out this interview below which is part of the Red Zone series presented by UofL. If you haven’t checked out the Red Zone videos before head over to YouTube and do a search for ‘Louisville Cardinals Athletics’. Each video is only 2 or 3 minutes long and it’s a nice look into some of the veterans on our team as well as a few of the new guys coming into the program. Well worth your time. Plus, his beard game is unrivaled.

#44 Paul Logsdon

Class: Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-3/210

Position: Tight End

Hometown: Louisville, KY (Product of Butler High School)

Twitter: @OG_paull

Thoughts: Paul is a local walk-on from Butler High School, via the University of the Cumberlands, who has some size and skill to help out at tight end if needed. With Towbridge, Cole and Crum in our bag of tricks currently I’m not sure if 2015 is the season we’ll need that help, but he could potentially get some reps down the road. Jody Demling of Cardinal Authority actually singled out Logsdon about five or six days into spring practice as making some nice catches and playing well among the position group. We all know how much Petrino likes to use the tight end, evidenced in my ‘Day 89’ post earlier this summer, so while Logsdon may not be the go to option anytime soon, he can certainly use this opportunity to learn the position from one of the best in the business. You never know when your number may be called (ask Kyle Bolin) so keep working Paul…and go PRP (who doesn’t love southend high school smack talk?)

Sweet Tweet:

This is a tough situation for sure. There were numerous occasions I had a joke lined up in a presentation and bailed on it because everyone in the class was half asleep or the professor already looked pissed. Plus, as an engineering major half of these jokes were groan worthy to begin with. You have to play the room and there is nothing worse than falling flat on your face and then trying to transition back into whatever you were talking about…

“…after calculating the necessary torque requirements it was determined that I needed a gear ratio of 9:1. A similar ratio to the number of people who put this presentation together last night compared to those who actually planned ahead….[crickets]…..Sooooooo, about that gear box…”