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The Cardinal Countdown: 3 Days Until Kickoff

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Boise State Broncos v Louisville Cardinals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

#3 Cornelius Sturghill

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 5-11/180

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Twitter: @boomane_6

Thoughts: I'm really hoping that 365 days from now, I'm talking about the redemption story of Cornelius Sturghill. Coming into the program back in 2014 Sturghill, a former Wisconsin commit, had some buzz around him as he had success playing both sides of the ball in high school and had incredible "road runner" speed. After not seeing any action in 2014 Sturghill got to cut teeth on special teams in 2015 and actually got the opportunity to return a few punts about midway through the season. In the 2016 offseason Sturghill was putting up solid testing numbers, once again credited as the "fastest man on the team" running a 4.2sec 40, and all signs pointed to him breaking into the rotation just a few weeks out from kickoff. Then news broke that on a quick trip back home to Memphis Sturghill was struck by a stray bullet in his foot and would miss the entire 2016 season as he recovered. The one thing that I remember vividly is the expression on Petrino's face during the announcement, as if it was a mixture of relief he was okay but disappointed because he knew how hard Cornelius had worked to get to that spot.

Fast forward to the last month or so and Sturghill was in a knock down battle with Trumaine Washington for the outside corner spot opposite Jaire. Petrino and Sirmon both said it was neck and neck until the last week or so and, as I predicted back on Trumaine's post, Tru won the job. The surprising result wasn't that the experienced Washington won the job, it was that Sturghill was then immediately moved back to offense as a wideout. This was the physically embodiment of "that’s my man", watching Bobby snatch him back to his side of the ball as soon as possible. On the Purdue depth chart Sturghill was on the 3 deep in the slot but you have to remember that he just moved back to that position less than 7 days ago. As the year wears on I'd expect him to get more familiar with the playbook and steal some reps from Samuel and Johnson on occasion. While I'm not predicting a major breakout role this year, I certainly hope Sturghill can contribute offensively in addition to his special teams play. I realize it’s only a small part of the game, but having a guy on the sideline that has more straight line speed than Lamar is pure craziness.

Sweet Tweet:

If any Cards fans need a push on the way up to Indy, I got you. I’m gonna be so pumped pretty sure I could push three or four cars the 115 miles to Lucas Oil. I have a feeling I-65 will be painted red come Saturday morning.

***

#3 Malik Cunningham

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-1/171

Position: Quarterback

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

Twitter: @MalikMalikc10

Thoughts: Ten years ago landing a kid like Cunningham would have been front page news for a week straight on every Louisville website, and although his recruitment and eventual signing was obviously celebrated, the Louisville football program is in a different place now, and Malik’s commitment was just added to the long list of other talented athletes who have recently made that same decision, and that’s a good thing for both Malik and us as fans.

Malik was rated the top quarterback in the state of Alabama last year, and a Top 10 QB nationally by a few services. He racked up multiple player of the year nods, multiple All-Alabama team nods, and of course, multiple offers from schools all over the country. Malik finished his high school career with 6,276 passing yards and 71 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,926 yards and another 32 scores. The kid can play, and he choose Louisville with the understanding that he will likely not play in 2017, and will have to compete for time in 2018. Petrino is a freaking QB magnet, and I love it.

Since arriving on campus I haven't read a ton about Malik. A few press clippings have pointed out that he needs to work on the typical freshman issues like taking snaps under center, improving his footwork, and dialing in his accuracy, but these are all very teachable traits, and if he has the desire to learn he could be something very special when his time comes. Lamar got the early hype, Puma followed it up the next season, and now Malik, who was actually rated equally to both of them in some recruiting services, is looking to carry on the tradition at quarterback moving forward. I say we shoot for winning like 5 or 6 Heisman Trophies in a row? Ya'll cool with that?

I scramble like Malik with his, Cunningham but the only thing running is numbers fam, Heisman's locked down six summers, damn, where's the love?

(1500 Chron points to anyone who recognizes that song)

Sweet Tweet:

“Well wake your ass up...we gotta game to win Saturday”