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The Cardinal Countdown: 35 Days Until Kickoff

Louisville v Rutgers Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

#35 Lamarques Thomas

Class: RS Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-0/184

Position: Defensive Back/Linebacker

Hometown: Clinton, MS

Twitter: @LamarquesThomas

Thoughts: Lamarques came into the program last year from Clinton High down in Mississippi. The 3 star recruit, considered a Top 40 corner nationally, was a big get for Cards who saw the secondary becoming quickly depleted over the course of the next couple years through graduation and early departures (Alexander). Last season the plan was to redshirt Thomas but the brash of injuries late in the year forced Thomas to play in both the UK and LSU games. Fortunately, those two games kept him under the threshold and it appears the redshirt was kept intact.

As I mentioned last year, one big selling point for Thomas was his position flexibility, and flexible he has become. Thomas was fighting during the Spring with true freshman CJ Avery for a starting spot on the outside at linebacker. When camp wrapped up I think Avery had the slight edge but I fully expected Thomas (and still do) to get some significant time in that spot. (He even had a pick on Puma in the Spring game) The layer of confusion added onto this position for me was the recently released depth chart showing Khane Pass as the #1 OLB, ahead of Avery and Thomas. Ummm…okay. No disrespect to Khane, I really like his game actually, but did not expect to see him as a starter in 2017, nor did I expect to see him at OLB. (I think Petrino is just messing with me).

If you’re asking me to place wagers on OLB I still think Avery and Thomas are the two who will get the majority of the reps by seasons end with Pass playing there some but likely sliding back into the secondary on occasion as well. It will be interesting to see if Thomas or Avery can emerge as a solid contributor and position themselves to be either 3 or 4 year players on what are projected to be very good defenses.

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