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‘Preseason’ Cardinal Countdown: The Early Signing Period

Central Arkansas v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Coach Satterfield and the staff he is slowing trying to piece together only had a couple weeks to try and hold on to a few key kids they wanted to keep out of this recruiting class and to go and get a couple more guys they wanted to add. Fortunately the Cards are going to have a small class in 2019 due to the number of available scholarships so the staff didn’t need to go get a ton of players today or later on in February during the traditional signing period, but let’s take a quick look at the handful of guys who they snagged during the early signing period.


Aiden Robbins

Position: Running Back

Ht/Wt: 6-3/220

High School: Dupont Manual

Hometown: Louisville, KY

247Sports Rating: .8655 (3 Star)

Twitter: @theaidanrobbins

Quick Notes: Aiden is a great get for a the Cards for a couple reasons, first of all it’s the first step of many, many, many, long steps for the Cards new coaching staff to create some bonds locally with the high school coaches and local schools in general. I know Aidan was committed to the prior staff but it’s at least a small step in the right direction to keep him home and show other local kids that they actually matter to the school that happens to be within a few miles from where they play today. Coach Satterfield has done great trying to build that bond back up and keeping a talented local kid after only having the job two weeks is a good sign. Secondly, the running back position needs some help. With the Trey Smith transfer and the Jeremy Smith graduation the Cards are losing two of the six total backs that registered at least one carry in 2018. With Satterfield’s new system you would expect a player like Hassan Hall or Javian Hawkins to get plenty of touches but don’t be surprised if a slightly bigger back splits the load. I don’t anticipate Robbins will come in year one and light the world on fire but a 6-3, 220lb back could certainly fill the void left by the departure of ‘Smith and Smith’….attorneys at law.


Zach Williamson

Position: Offensive Tackle

Ht/Wt: 6-6/275

High School: Spring Valley

Hometown: Huntington, WV

247Sports Rating: .8655 (3 Star)

Twitter: N/A

Quick Notes: Zach helps fill a position of need. I typed my way through ‘The Cardinal Countdown’ heaping praises on top of praises for the improvement of the O-line in 2017…and then they totally let me down in 2018. The good news for Zach, and Cardinal fans in general, is the hiring of the well-known and well-respected Offensive Line coach, Dwayne Ledford. That my friends is what they call a win-win. Satterfield pulled Ledford away from NC State after he served in the same role over there for three years. The Cards at a minimum are losing three players in Lukayus McNeil, Kenny Thomas, and Linwood Foy who have at one point or another started games up front for Louisville. At 6-6 and a milkshake over 270 pounds Williamson has the size to be an impact player at the Division-I level. Not necessarily being blown away by what I saw last season I’ll be interested to see if Zach can beat out some current players on the roster and start stealing reps as a true freshman.


Dorian Jones

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-0/219

High School: American Heritage

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

247Sports Rating: .8593 (3 Star)

Twitter: @newera22_

Quick Notes: Jones is the “surprise” of the early signing period for the Card as Coach Satterfield and new DC Bryan Brown have gone after Dorian heavily since making the move to Louisville. Jones had been committed to play for Indiana since early this summer but made a trip to ‘The Ville’ last weekend and apparently it helped seal the deal. Jones flipped his commitment today and one would assume he was promised a real shot at getting some early PT in doing so. The Cards, in my opinion, have some studs at linebacker in Dorian Etheridge, CJ Avery, (Greenard?), and Yasir Abdullah, but what they lack is depth. They’ve lost a few guys to transfer already and a couple of the other twelve linebackers they had on the roster at the end of 2018 just aren’t guys you would consider every down contributors. That leaves a player position, in what we anticipate to be a version of the 3-4 defense, with less than ten players to fill those spots. Jones has good size and some decent speed so don’t be shocked if he gets a chance to play much sooner than one might expect.


Evan Conley

Position: Quarterback

Ht/Wt: 6-1/205

High School: Kell

Hometown: Marietta, GA

247Sports Rating: .8173 (3 Star)

Twitter: @Econ11_

Quick Notes: Conley was a name that had been floating around the last few days as one of the Appalachian State commits that Satterfield wanted to bring along with him to Louisville. Today we find out that his wish was granted. Zac Efron Evan Conley has the feel of a quarterback who would perform very well in the system that Satterfield runs (probably why he was recruiting him) as he has a strong arm to make throws downfield but also shows a level of consistency that he can be relied on to make the short timing throws Satterfield mixes into his offense as well. I wouldn’t say he has over the top impressive speed but he certainly has some elusiveness in the pocket and can avoid the unnecessary sacks we saw far too often this past season. While I think one of the guys already on the roster will get the start in Week 1 of 2019 the quarterback position is such a tossup for me right now nothing is off the table. If it’s not this year, I think Conley will be taking plenty of snaps for the Cards in the future.