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The Cardinal Countdown: 22 Days Until Kickoff

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#22 Chucky Williams

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-2/210

Position: Safety

Hometown: Hialeah, FL

Twitter: @_YoungCardinal

Thoughts: I made a joke last year about Chucky’s age, and I’m really not trying to pick on the dude, but Chucky looks like the uncle at the BBQ in Birkenstocks and white socks talking about “these youngbloods don’t know how it used to be round here”. It doesn’t help his cause that Williams has been roaming the sidelines for what seems like four or five seasons already. The curse of being a damn good player from Day 1 I guess.

After taking a redshirt Chucky started to creep into the rotation back in 2014 with pretty good safeties in Holliman and Sample. 2015 set up nicely to see both his production and his role on the team both make a big leap, and that’s exactly what happened. Chucky started 12 games at safety and made his presence known early, even as the team struggled, with two broken up passes and six tackles against Auburn, and seven tackles and an interception against Houston. His size without a doubt created some matchup issues downfield, especially when both he and JHC (6-5) we’re in the two deep. As the season wore on Chucky remained consistent and solidified his newly appointed role back in the secondary. Even though it was his third “calendar year” at Louisville lots of people forget that Auburn was Williams first career start at Safety, and for him to play so well out of the gate was a big relief in a position where the Cards had grown accustomed to fielding NFL level talent.

Sitting just a hair over three weeks from kickoff Williams appears to have only gotten bigger, stronger, and more confident in the offseason (Petrino’s words). While Grantham and Heyward have both hinted that there will be a fair amount of rotation in the secondary this year I think Chucky for the time being will be your starter and get the majority of the reps at Strong safety at the beginning of the season. Heyward said Chucky will also play some free safety at times all in an effort to get “the best eleven guys on the field”. Just my opinion, but if JHC has to slide down to LB or DE and we get both Chucky and Dee Smith or London Iakopo in the two deep coverage…I’m all kinds of cool with that.

Also, word to the wise for any future Petrino recruits. Position flexibility is crucial to your advancement. We’ve seen it probably 20-30 times during his six seasons here but it seems to come up more and more frequently. If you have the talent they WILL find a way to get you on the field, but you have to be open to moving around some. Maybe it’s a small change (guard to tackle, end to outside linebacker, etc) or maybe a complete flip to a different side of the ball (wideout to corner, runningback to linebacker, etc) Reggie, Chris Taylor-Yamanoha, Malik Staples, Lukayus McNeil and others this season will all possibly see the field because they were open to the change and saw the benefit from a personal standpoint as well as one that helps the team get better. Lots of teams do it but Petrino preaches flexibility more and more every single year and Grantham, Heyward, and the rest of the staff all buy in as well…getting the best eleven players on the field is always the goal and having players willing to make the sacrifice is part of the recipe for building championship teams.

Sweet Tweet:

I was just thinking back to my time as a senior in college when I lived in an apartment. I cannot think of a single time that I vacuumed. I’m sure I did at some point or else things would have been looking pretty rough, but it couldn’t have been more than five or six times over the course of 9 months. I know for a fact I never dusted anything other than giving the TV the old t-shirt wipe down on occasion. I didn’t have any animals, lived alone, and was a pretty clean person otherwise…am I a slob? Did anyone else clean like a normal human during college? Maybe that’s why I find it so weird that the Mrs wants to have the house vacuumed like every other day. This just seems obsessive. My poor vacuum’s getting a workout like 3-4 times a week. I tell her it's crazy, I tell her she's a germophobe, and I do what any red-blooded male should do, I put my foot down and let her know...I'd love to vacuum again, honey.