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The Cardinal Countdown: 32 Days Until Kickoff

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

#32 Stacy Thomas

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-1/225

Position: Linebacker

Hometown: Miami, FL

Twitter: @diospimero32

Thoughts: Thomas was a vital piece of the special teams puzzle last season, appearing in all 13 games on that unit as well as filling in at linebacker on occasion. One of Thomas’ big plays last year came before the half at BC when he blocked a punt with 44 seconds left in the first half which lead to a beautifully thrown pass from Bonnafon to Parker for a touchdown and really changed the momentum of the game.

I think since he arrived on campus in 2013 many have pegged Thomas the ‘the next great linebacker’ in our system and nothing really changed when Grantham arrived. In fact, the added importance of the middle linebacker with the 3-4 philosophy has actually got me more excited to see what Thomas can do when thrust into a more prominent role this year. No one is going to take away Burgess or Kelsey’s starting spot, but Thomas and Stewart will provide minimal drop off when they check in for some relief.

We’re 68 days into the countdown and I know I’ve brought this up at least 47 times, but I love these linebackers. The first team, second team, hell, even the projected third team impresses me, which includes some freshman. Thomas got some invaluable experience this spring with Burgess nursing a hand injury and impressed the coaches with his range and ability to cover space. Those spring reps for Thomas cannot be understated and the opportunity to learn the position and get a better handle on the plays will be extremely beneficial this season. Thomas is a budding star who still has three years to prove just how good he can me. I’m pumped.

Sweet Tweet:

I know this is probably some type of profound emotional statement based upon Thomas’ current mood on July 24th but that’s not much fun to talk about. Instead let’s just assume he accidentally hit “Tweet” a little prematurely and didn’t get to finish his thought. Let’s help him out...

“Love deep routes” :Who doesn’t like the go route?! Hit em with the long ball coach

“Love deep dish pizza” :Somewhat questionable at times but never underestimate the power of some Giordanos

"Love Deep Blue Sea” : A hot take from Stacy, but I disagree. LL Cool J and Samuel L Jackson tried to save the movie but there was nothing that could be done. Some of the worst CGI ever. It was so bad in fact I don’t even remember the plot. (If you do remember the plot that joke was awesome)

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#32 Blanton Creque

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 5-11/170

Position: Kicker

Hometown: Shelbyville, KY

Twitter: 

@Bcreque_19

Thoughts: Blanton was a first team all-state punter for Collins High School last season and accepted a spot as a preferred walk-on back in February. (Creque also had walk-on offers from Florida and WKU as well) Coach Klenakis offered Blanton the spot with the opportunity for Creque to win the job next season after the departure of John Wallace. One would assume Creque will redshirt this year and hope to be a four year contributor starting next season. If you’ve followed the countdown this year then you are already familiar with Wallace, as well as the underclassmen Jon Brown, and Anthony George that Blanton expects to compete with in 2016.

Per an article from Steve Jones at the C-J, Creque made 21 field goals in his high school career with a long of 48 yards and was 182/189 on extra points. The big takeaway for me was that he had 81 career touchbacks. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it thirty five times…put the ball in the endzone on kickoffs. A big leg and accuracy are  major factors in who you run out there at the position, especially on kickoffs. Blanton appears he can get in the mix next season with both.

Sweet Tweet:

Head on a swivel young blood. Head. On. A. Swivel.