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Louisville Football Recruiting Outlook: Secondary

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A young secondary will add some much needed depth.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Disclaimer: The depth chart as well as position changes are just my guess or what I would like to see. There’s no way to know how these things will shake out.

WHO’S COMING BACK

Dee Smith

P.J. Mbanasor

Rodjay Burns

P.J. Blue

Cornelius Sturghill

Russ Yeast

Anthony Johnson

TreSean Smith

Lyn Strange

Rodney Owens

WHO’S COMING IN

Trenell Troutman

Louisville is in desperate need of an enforcer type of player in their back end and I think they found one in Troutman. He’s not a big safety but he plays like he’s 220 pounds. He can cover like a corner so I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up at Star but I think he would be best at free safety. I really love how he closes on the ball and delivers a blow when he meets the ball carrier.

Marcus Riley

I have Riley in the receiver post but as I wrote more I realized that the numbers would suggest that he will be playing corner. Riley is a legit “athlete” as he can play at a high level on either side of the ball. I like him better as a wide receiver, personally, but I think he’ll do well at corner if he ends up there.

Chandler Jones

Jones is another guy that I’m not as high on as some others. However, I can’t really articulate why I feel that way. It’s just a feeling, I guess. Jones does have the perfect size for a corner and shows some good traits in coverage. I might be way off on him but I also don’t think he’s a bad player or anything like that. I just don’t see him as a guy you’d normally see as an Under Armor All-American.

Jarek Campbell

Campbell is listed as an athlete, but I like him best as a safety. He has really good short area speed and I think he plays the ball well in the air. He’s hasn’t been talked about much compared to some others but I see him as a guy that could come in and surprise some people by getting on the field as a freshman.

Telly Plumber

The most underrated kid in the class is Plummer. He’s just looks so good on tape. Plummer has long arms and he runs pretty well. Where he really stands out to me is with his tackling and overall effort. Some guys just love contact and Plummer seems like that kind of guy to me. A big question with Plummer for me is his coverage ability. If it turns out that he can pick up coaching well and show some good skills in coverage, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him on the field next year.

Hasaan Hall

Hall is probably going to end up at running back but he seems to want to play defense in college. With that being the case, I would be pretty surprised if he would flip from Syracuse without being told that he would play the position he wants. I also like him a lot better as a safety personally, so I hope he ends up there. Hall is a “run and hit” guy that Louisville needs. High energy guys that run down plays at full speed and run through guys when they tackle.

POTENTIAL COMMITS

John Huggins

Huggins is a Florida State commit but his only scheduled official visit is to Louisville as of now. Even though he’s not highly rated, he does have a solid offer list and he already has the size needed to come in and play right away. I don’t know if UofL can flip him, but it does say something that he has only scheduled a visit here at this moment.

Dallas Craddieth

UofL recently offered in hopes to get an official visit before Craddieth narrows his list. Safety seems to be the spot that they’re focused on and I think Craddieth would be a good addition. He’s drawing a lot of attention from Big Ten schools as of now.

DEPTH CHART

Field Corner

Russ Yeast

Cornelius Sturghill

Boundary Corner

P.J. Mbanasor

Rodjay Burns

Safety

Khane Pass

Dee Smith

Safety

TreSean Smith

P.J. Blue

OUTLOOK

Louisville will be very young in the secondary next year but they won’t really lack experience. Two transfers that are sitting out this year will shore up some depth concerns at cornerback and that should also allow the defense to play young guys when they want as opposed to out of necessity like we’re seeing this year.

I think that the coaches will move Khane Pass back to safety this year. He played very well there in limited time in 2016 and he has been a complete liability in coverage this year. Putting him back at safety allows him to play deep and come up in run support instead of playing in short space and getting killed by slot receivers and tight ends.

P.J. Blue might be a better fit at Star but the coaches had him with the second group behind Chucky Williams during the spring and I could see him battling TreSean Smith for the starting job. My hope is that Louisville will move Sturghill back to offense where he belongs, but they don’t seem to have any interest in doing so. If he were to move over I would expect Anthony Johnson to be the fourth corner.

Obviously, I don’t see Jaire Alexander returning for another year but crazier things have happened. He’s been injured all year and might want another year to help his draft stock.