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The Cardinal Countdown: 70 Days Until Kickoff

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Louisville v Houston Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

#70 Toriano Roundtree

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-6/315

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Gainesville, FL

Twitter: @jr_toriano

Thoughts: Roundtree was a JUCO addition back in the summer of 2015 but did not become academically eligible until last season, forced to sit out a year but allowed to remain on campus. As the offensive line struggled in 2016 Roundtree still had a difficult time getting on the field, only appearing in four games (the blowouts) last season as he still learned the offense. Roundtree is, well, a large human…listed at 6-6 but on television he appears to be a little taller than Geron Christian and Kenny Thomas who are listed at the same height (does TV add 10lbs and 2 inches?). As we enter 2017 Roundtree was in a constant rotation with Linwood Foy during the spring, with both getting an equal amount of first team reps at tackle while McNeil was experimenting at guard. Coach Summers loves the size on Roundtree and he seemed to perform well during spring ball, but predicting a starting offensive line on June 24th may be a big waste of time….but what in the hell else are we doing? Let’s give it a shot.

Even though Foy and Roundtree split time at tackle in the Spring that was prior to Summers and Petrino moving McNeil back to his more natural position at tackle as the session wound down. Assuming Christian holds down the other tackle spot and Kenny Thomas finally wins the battle at one of the guards, you still have two “open” spots heading into the fall. I’d peg Robbie Bell as the center and if forced I’d say either Cole Bentley or one of the Foy/Roundtree combo makes the shift inside to wrap up that last guard spot.

While somewhat encouraging to see a couple new faces up front it can be concerning that players with such little experience (freshman or JUCO) could crack the rotation so quickly. As much heat as the O-line has taken the last couple years let’s just take a second to remember that Charlie didn’t leave much for Petrino in that position group and the staff has been playing catch-up for three years now. I’m encouraged by Klenakis’ continued recruiting efforts and the Summers hire in the offseason. If we’re still in the bottom 10% this year in sacks allowed and tackles for loss allowed I would be shocked. I honestly believe the upward trajectory starts this year for the O-line and we have the horses in the last two classes (Bell, Bentley, Becton, Chandler, Rudd…) to keep it going in the right direction.

***

Game 7: Boston College Golden Eagle

Key Player: Darius Wade, Junior, Quarterback

I guess if you wanted to make the argument for me picking a defensive lineman or linebacker every week I’d listen. The play of the offensive line will be that important this year as we saw what happened when Houston and LSU got pressure…the offense sputtered. BC has a young man good enough to warrant a mention in Harold Landry, a defensive lineman who is on the long list for numerous preseason defensive awards and has a nose for the football. Landry lead the ACC in sacks (16.5), was second in TFL (22) and was the head of the #1 rushing defense in the conference, but he also watched as his defense gave up 52 points to the Cards a year ago…in their house. For BC to have a shot they will have to score and the winner of the QB battle will be critical in them doing so. Out of the Spring many folks “up nort” think the mobile Junior Darius Wade has the slight advantage over the RS Freshman Anthony Brown. Wade was pegged as the starter back in 2015 but has battled injuries and ultimately lost his gig to Louisville fan favorite Patrick Towles last season. A group effort at running back will try and take some of the load off the new starter but he will be required to make some throws and go above and beyond expectations to give them a shot inside PJCS. Cards have struggled with mobile QBs in the past but let me be clear that Darius Wade is no Greg Ward Jr and Boston College is certainly no Houston. If Wade plays out of his mind….Cards still win by two touchdowns.

Sweet Tweet:

I’ve covered this topic before on the countdown and my recommendation has always been, if you haven’t starting playing golf yet…don’t. It’s a nasty, nasty drug where one good hit all day after hacking it all over the course for four hours will have you crawling back again the next weekend, and the next, and the next. If you’ve got 4 hours to kill, like to be outside, and want to drink a beer or two…pull up an old football game on YouTube and kick your feet up on the porch. You’ll likely be in a much better mood after and saved yourself $50.

I’m already hooked, it’s too late for me and Toriano, but you can stop before you ever start. Knowledge is power.