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The Cardinal Countdown: 97 Days Until Kickoff

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Oregon State Beavers v Louisville Cardinals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

#97 Nick Okeke

Class: RS Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-3/252

Position: Linebacker

Hometown: Smyrna, TN

Twitter: @nickokeke

Thoughts: The story on Okeke is an interesting one, as this time last year he had just recently found out he would be playing Division I football for the 2017 season. After passing on an offer to play at the FCS level Okeke had plans to go the prep school route and reclassify into the 2018 class…then a call with Peter Sirmon changed everything. Not only did Louisville want him, they wanted him “this year”. Okeke joined the squad last summer and worked hard to get caught up with the other incoming freshman, but the task was a tad bit demanding. As somewhat expected Okeke took a redshirt last year and has used the past 10 months to get adjusted to college life, learn the defense, and put on some size, adding over 20 pounds from his listed weight in high school.

During the Spring Petrino singled out Okeke on a couple different occasions for his ability to shed blocks and make tackles, and he even gave him the “Defensive Grinder” title nine days into camp. The linebacker position has some young depth, having ten guys who classify as Sophomores or Freshman, so I expect the two deep to change frequently as new players emerge and start to understand the BVG playbook. I’d anticipate we see Okeke sporadically in 2018 with an opportunity to take on a much larger role next year, maybe even getting some run on special teams. Good size, the ability to tackle in open space, and a strong drive to prove himself will typical translate to solid production. He’ll be one to keep an eye on for sure.

Sweet Tweet:

I like that jersey combo in the video but I’m still team “All Reds”. Gonna be tough to ever beat it in my book. To me, the black chrome helmet with red cardinal is just too dark to differentiate the colors but the kids love it so....I guess I just have old man eyes.

What do you think? (See reference pics below poll)

Poll

Favorite football uniform combination in 2017

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Chrome Red/White/White
    (50 votes)
  • 27%
    Chrome Red/Black/Black
    (65 votes)
  • 16%
    White/Red/White
    (40 votes)
  • 4%
    Chrome Black/White/White
    (11 votes)
  • 12%
    Chrome Black/Black Flag/Black
    (29 votes)
  • 18%
    Chrome Red/Red/Red
    (43 votes)
238 votes total Vote Now

Chrome Red/White/White

NCAA Football: Louisville vs Purdue Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Chrome Red/Black/Black

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

White/Red/White

Boston College v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Chrome Black/White/White

Louisville v Florida State Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Chrome Black/Black Flag/Black

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

Red Chrome/Red/Red

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