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The Cardinal Countdown: 1 Day Until Kickoff

The Crunch Zone

#1 Alphonso Carter

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-3/206

Position: Cornerback

Hometown: Fort Washington, MD

Twitter: @HollaAtchGwolla

Thoughts: It’s been tough to track the progression of Carter (formerly Paul Harris) due to his unfortunate history of one injury after another. Carter was a solid prospect out of High School, went to Tennessee for a season, then went the JUCO route, then landed at Louisville, and then made the switch to the defensive side of the ball. For all four of those career “jumps” he had some type of hamstring injury to go along with each. Can’t imagine how frustrating that must be for a kid trying to improve and make his mark on the squad each year, only to be derailed by a nagging hammy. I lose my mind when the damn printer doesn't work, can't imagine having to sit out multiple game each year for the same injury.

Last season Carter was a special teams player who returned a few punts in the middle of the year when Alexander was banged up, and got a few reps at wideout in certain situations as well. In the Spring Petrino said they were shifting Carter to the defensive side of the ball (one would assume due to depth) and Carter seemed to take to it pretty well. As you would expect for a kid who had never played defense the learning curve was steep, but Petrino and Coach Heyward both praised his attitude and willingness to learn the position. In fact, at the media day a couple weeks back Heyward singled out Carter for being one of the more physical corners on the team, saying that he was using his size to move the wideouts and get a better position on the ball.

As we saw with the similar shift of Chris Taylor-Yamanoha to the defensive side of the ball, Petrino and Grantham like the idea of having some big bodies in the secondary. CTY is listed at 6-2/185 and Carter is sitting at 6-3/206. While the smaller more experienced guys appear to have the starting roles locked down right now don’t be surprised to see Carter get some run this year, as long as he can stay healthy of course. I really like our secondary but adding Carter is like adding a new weapon to the defense. We all saw more than few times last year when the opposition started picking on Washington or Alexander when they were guarding a much taller wideout (bowl game comes to mind), so having the option to throw the bigger, and still very athletic, Carter in there is a nice advantage to have.

Sweet Tweet:

99 times out of 100 you go Bobby on this, no doubt.

Captain Insano shows no mercy.



#1 Traveon Samuel

Class: Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 5-7/170

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Phenix City, AL

Twitter: @TraDay_DoThis

Thoughts: Let me sum up games 4-13 of the Louisville Cardinal football season in the CardinalStrong household…

“Get Samuel the damn ball!” [end scene]

Traveon came out swinging in 2015, racking up some nice plays the first three games and was actually leading the team in receptions (12) and receiving yardage (118). While this beauty got the attention of most of the fanbase…

I actually feel in love with his shiftiness and speed two weeks prior against Auburn.

I went back and read my post on Samuel last year and was extremely relived that I loved what I saw from him in High School and expected big things from him even as a true freshman (I wouldn’t have told you if I had said he wasn’t going to do much). I found it funny because I said last year that it looked like he could run a bubble screen or sweep on nearly every play and get 10-15 yards. One year later I’ve seen nothing that would change my opinion.

I know after the third and fourth game we got back the talents of Staples, Hikutini, and Quick (pretty solid trio) who took receptions away from Samuel but man I was letting Petrino have it when the offense was struggling. Why not run another sweep…why not hit Samuel on a screen…for the first time in seven years I felt as if I was better at calling plays than Bobby (we’ll just assume I’m not).

Here is the truth of the matter though…stats, very rarely, lie and Samuel running the football was nothing short of impressive. You saw the Auburn run above (21yds) which was his only attempt in that game, but I bet you didn’t realize he only had four more attempts on the season. Five rushes, 62 yards…12.04yds/carry.

Give Samuel the damn ball!

Because Bobby reads the countdown religiously (prove he doesn’t, jerk) I’m sure he’ll heed my warnings and incorporate Traveon into the offense a little more this season. I know you don’t want to run the risk of getting one of the best kickoff return men in the country injured running a post route or something crazy but I think his speed and elusiveness is now worth the risk. We’ve seen what he can do in open space and I’d love to give him as many opportunities as possible to put on a show.

I went back and forth a couple times about whether or not I should call him ‘Reggie Jr’ in this post because of his flexibility on the field and since you literally just read it, I guess you know what my final decision was. My only hesitation was because I like Reggie so much that I didn’t want to compare someone else on this same team to what he can do. [Reggie, you can stop reading now] I also didn’t want to bring it up because honestly [looks left, looks right] I think he’ll be better than Reggie before he leaves.

Sweet Tweet:

We did it fam. 100 days…

Please check back in for tomorrows ‘0 Days’ post where I highlight my ten favorite posts of the summer just in case you missed one here or there, and if you did catch them all I’ll expect you to re-read through all ten again…there will be a quiz.