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The Cardinal Countdown: 1 Day Until Kickoff

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NCAA Football: Charlotte at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Traveon Samuel

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 5-7/170

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Phenix, AL

Twitter: @TraDay_DoThis

Thoughts: As you all know, I am a card-carrying member of the Micky Crum fanclub. We basically just gather round in a basement and spear each other into the wall like Crum did that Clemson safety a couple years ago . What you may not know though is that behind that card in my wallet is an old...Book-It card. I'm waiting for the right time to cash in that personal pan pizza. Behind the Book-It card though, that's where I keep a folded up version of my post from 2016, that I printed out, talking about my boy T. Samuel. If you missed it, check it out right here. I'll wait while you go read it. Seriously, go read it again, then come back.

Welcome back. You agree, right? I mean, get him the damn ball Bobby! If I didn't see Samuel get involved early in 2017 I may have been forced to write a letter to the athletics office (pen and paper show I mean business, none of this email crap). Fortunately, 2017 started off looking like Petrino had also printed a copy of my post and stuck it on his "To-Do" list, as Samuel had 5 receptions for 55 yards and a TD, in the first two games. Oh, and he also had a single rushing attempt...that went for 21 YARDS AND A TOUCHDOWN! We were finally gonna get the heavy dosing of T. Samuel that we deserved. I'm talking, "after 4 hours consult a physician" type medicine. Then we didn’t. The rest of the year, with only his 5 catch game against UVA being the outlier, he was basically held to either one or two touches each week. The frustrating part, once again, it that he seemed to perform well when he had the ball. Samuel finished 2017 with 18 receptions for 230 yards, or a 12.78yds/rec average. He also tacked on 8 rushing attempts for 54 yards. In laymans terms, the young man got us a first down nearly every single time he touched the ball.

I'm a realist, I know my bias is showing right now. As much as I tout Samuel I'm well aware of the multitude of other targets Lamar had at his disposal in 2016. Hikutini, Quick, Staples, Jaylen, Dawkins.... All very impressive in their own right, and they deserved catches as well, but as we enter 2017, three of those targets are now gone, and while new young bloods will emerge we know what we have in the speedy and shifty Samuel. Listed as a starter in the slot Samuel should see the field with more regularity this year. Let's hope that increase in playing time translates into more touches, and more points. He is a weapon, lets unleash him. Besides, I’m running out of space in my wallet.

Get Samuel the ball.

Sweet Tweet:

Not a tweet from Traveon, but had to share. The whole clip is just like a blury figure catching balls and weaving in and out of cones.


#1 PJ Mbanasor

Class: Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-1/190

Position: Defensive Back

Hometown: Pflugerville, TX

Twitter: @Him_Jayy

Thoughts: If you weren't elbows deep into the offseason newsfeed there is the potential you could have no clue as to who PJ Mbanasor is. Well, that’s why I'm here. Welcome to the countdown....on the last damn day, jerk. Better late than never, I guess.

Mbanasor is another transfer into the Louisville program, coming over from Boomer Sooner country playing in 10 games as a true freshman for Oklahoma back in 2015. PJ ended up taking a redshirt last season before ultimately making the decision to transfer. Louisville was actually the only program PJ visited after making his announcement and was very forthcoming with the information that playing time was a huge factor in his decision to head east.

Mbanasor is not only a very good football player (4 star recruit) but also very intelligent, knowing that the Cards will lose Trumaine Washington and Ronald Walker due to graduation and potentially lose Jaire to the NFL. Those three would make the corner spot WIDE OPEN in 2018 and PJ is ready to take that spot. In talking with Steve Jones back in July PJ was well aware who the Cards open with when he becomes eligible next season, and he's ready to earn that spot and make some big plays against the Crimson Tide. Welcome to The Ville, PJ. You have a front row seat to hopefully a very exciting 2017 season.

Sweet Tweet:

I've spent the last 100 days searching everywhere for college football, literally counting down until the day it would return, and now we're here. We made it. Tomorrow evening the Cards will start what we all hope to be a very special season for the team, and Lamar individually. Please stop back here tomorrow while you’re enjoying your tailgate or a day on the couch watching football and check out the "0 Days" post where I highlight some of my favorites from this summer. As always, it's been a fun ride, thanks for coming along with me.