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The Cardinal Countdown: 2 Days Until Kickoff

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Jamari Staples

Class: Senior

Ht/Wt: 6-4/195

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Lineville, AL

Twitter: @2_GotDaJuice

Thoughts: Last season we were so young at wide receiver that we knew there would be one or two guys step up and take on a big role to assist Quick and Towbridge as receiving threats. Many pointed at Staples to be that guy in Fall camp, but an injury just days prior to the season starting shut him down for the first month of the year. Little did we know that 7 of the Top 10 receivers would wind up be players who had never played a down for Louisville before 2015. The young guns stepped up early (Crum, Samuel, Smith, Peete) and set the tone as legitimate threats downfield and out of the slot. I was impressed with what I saw from the new guys but was interested to see what Staples could do when he got back to 100%.

“Man, am I glad we called THAT guy”

After taking a game (NC State) to back into the flow of the offense Staples put up some receiving numbers that rivaled those who many considered the best in the conference. The last eight games of the year Staples had 35 receptions, 616 receiving yards, averaged 17.6 yds/rec, and had three touchdowns. If we extrapolate those numbers for the 4 games he missed at the beginning of the year he would have finished with 53 receptions (11th in conf), 924 receiving yards (3rd in conf), kept his spot at 4th in the conference with a 17.6 yds/rec average, 3rd in the conference in yds/game (77), and been in a tie for 13th with 5 touchdowns. In three straight games (BC, Wake, Cuse) and then again against Pitt, Staples was nearly unstoppable on the outside. Of course, as the offense shifted to a “Lamar first” attack the receiving statistics took a few fits, thus limiting Staples impact down the stretch. Just as I’ve said for nearly every single receiver this summer, I think Staple’s stats take a bump now that Lamar, you know, actually knows the plays. I saw Jamari get a little preseason All-conference love but I think some are underestimating his potential impact on the outside, forgetting it’s just HIS second year in the offense as well. In my opinion Staples and Quick battle the whole season for the top line in both receiving yardage and receptions, and the winner will be…the offense, because I think both are going to put up big numbers. Like “post season award” type numbers.

Sweet Tweet:

Staples has gone from someone who didn’t get a lot of recruiting interest out of high school, who then went to a college that shut down its football program, to a player who can make his name well known nationally with a good season and potentially position himself to get drafted into the NFL. Lots of twists and turns on his journey for sure but excited to see how things pan out for Jamari in his last season as a Card.