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The Cardinal Countdown: 78 Days until Kickoff

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NCAA Football: Music City Bowl-Texas A&M vs Louisville Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

#78 Max Martin

Class: RS Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-3/293

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Louisville, KY (Product of Trinity High School)

Twitter: @MMartin5379

Thoughts: Max, a local kid from Trinity, was extremely excited last year to accept a preferred walk-on spot at Louisville over a similar offer from WKU, and a scholarship offer from the University of Indianapolis. Martin, who had some family who played for the Cards previously, and had multiple former Rock teammates (Reggie, Quick, Vince Lococo) already on the roster, couldn’t wait to suit up for his hometown team.

Martin played Guard in high school but I’ll be interested to see how that translates to the D-I level, as he is slightly undersized in my opinion. One positive for Max is that the offensive line is wide-freaking-open when it comes to position stability. While it may be surprising to see Max crack the heavy rotation this year as a freshman I’ll be interested to see how he develops and competes the next few seasons. Not many folks pegged former Trinity walk-ons Scott Radcliff and Alex Kupper as heavy contributors when they joined the program but both left as key pieces of the 2012 team. Martin will look to be the third Trinity star in the last few years to take that same path.

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Game 2: North Carolina Tarheels

Key Player: Cole Holcomb, Junior, Linebacker

The simple pick in this game would be the guy who ends up replacing Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, as the offense will likely only go as far as Nathan Elliot or Chazz Surratt can take them. But, I’m no “take the easy way out” kind of writer and I know you didn’t come here to get some half-assed answer to this key player question I just made up yesterday, so that’s why I pegged Cole as the guy to watch.

Last year UNC finished first in the conference in passing defense and Cole was a big part of limiting opposing offenses as he had a team leading 115 tackles (4th in conf), multiple pass break ups, and a few QB hurries in 2016. Although Purdue isn’t sending out tackling dummies in Week 1 it’s fair to say that UNC will be a step up in terms of challenging the Cardinals offense both up front and in the secondary. The defensive line has a few bodies that could challenge the Cards big uglies but the chess match between Lamar and Cole (and the other two upperclassman LBs) should be interesting to watch and provide a preview as to how LJ might fair the following week when Clemson rolls into PJCS.

Sweet Tweet:

Happens to the best of Max. Usually when I get bored I go read some of my favorite articles…Like, this cool post about the “Unsung Heroes” of the team a month into the season last year. Or this Syracuse Game Recap which was a great read/watch of some top plays the week Lamar jumped onto the national stage.

Good context, excellent writer (self-promotion is his weakness).