#2 Jamari Staples
Position: Wide Receiver
Hometown: Lineville, AL
Thoughts: No one will ever complain about adding a big body on the outside, and Staples is just that. For those who follow the Cards closely you’ve probably heard Jamari’s story, but for those of you who missed it I can give you the Cliff’s Notes version (do kids even know what Cliff’s Notes are nowadays?)
In high school Staples played both sides of the ball (wideout/corner) but most colleges recruited him at the wide receiver position, including both Petrino (WKU) and Coach McGee (UAB). Staples was simply known as the “one who got way” from Petrino for quite some time as he joked earlier this year that Jamari was the lone recruit McGee ever beat him out on. Staples performed well as a freshman at UAB, while battling through a few injuries, and consistently competed for a starting spot averaging 14.8 yds/catch while pulling in four touchdowns. His production slowed as a sophomore but signs the program was in trouble had already started to surface. Eventually news broke that the UAB football program would be dissolved and many kids were left hanging without anywhere to go. Staples was fortunate as he wasn’t “school-less” for long. He recently told the story that McGee contacted him the day after the announcement and they discussed his future at Louisville, where he could join both the coach he originally committed to, as well the one who finished second (Petrino) in the process. Both coaches were thrilled to get Staples but when McGee talks about him you can tell he cares about Jamari and his family and what they went through at UAB and is extremely happy to have him in the program. (The story will end well for most of the other players too as it appears UAB is moving towards reinstating their football program as soon as possible, with some outside funding. I wish all those kids who were left without a program, temporarily, nothing but the best as they try and rebuild.)
Not only does Staples have size and good hands but he also has strength and understands the offense, after having been in a similar system for almost three years now. Staples describes himself as a “playmaker” but understands that he is one of many at the position this season and said they will all be ready when their number is called. While we know that you can put about as much stock in a Petrino depth chart as you can a 20 day weather forecast Staples was listed as the clear #1 wideout at the Z position in front of Bagley and Jaylen Smith. I think Ja’Quay Savage received more attention back when he announced his decision to transfer to the Cards from Texas A&M, but don’t be surprised to see Staples as one of the top receivers this year when it’s all said and done.
I can't explain how ready I am for the season to get here!— Jamari Staples (@2_GotDaJuice) June 29, 2015
Two days until the Juice is Loose. Two Days. You ready Juice?