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The Cardinal Countdown: 53 Days Until Kickoff

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NCAA Football: Louisville at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

#53 Amonte Caban

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-1/252

Position: Defensive Line

Hometown: Smiths Station, AL

Twitter: @amonte_caban

Thoughts: Caban appeared in ten games last season and grabbed a handful of tackles over the course of the year. This time last year I fully expected Caban to be a no question starter on the line, or at least a guy you have penciled in that spot with some underclassmen pushing him. Instead, Caban is currently sitting in that 2nd string role and working his way up to become an every down player in the trenches. A spot I still think he can reach before seasons end.

The defensive positioning is always a bit erratic and can cause confusion to many fans trying to assign classic defensive position titles to certain players. The Cards frequently have linebackers with their hand in the dirt or linebackers who can drop into coverage in a dime package, and of course we had the ‘star’ position in the Grantham defense made popular by Josh Harvey-Clemons. Do we consider those guys defensive ends or defensive backs, respectively? I don’t, but some depth charts do, and to further complicate things we still don’t know for sure just how our new Defensive Coordinator BVG plans on aligning his standard defense. For example, in my mind Caban is a true defensive lineman this season who will mostly be playing on the end, but he could also be flanked by a linebacker…who is in the three point stance. I know, I know. Before we all get caught up on position names let’s just say the Cards typical defense will have a front 7 that consists of linebackers and defensive linemen. Call them linemen, call them backers, call them Shirley, we know who they are and what they are supposed to do. Nobody lose sleep over it anymore.

For Amonte I’d expect another season of growth with him likely getting action every week this year and maybe getting more time each game than in seasons past. I think he has shown he can make plays and has good strength on the line without sacrificing speed. I remember watching a Spring recap video and seeing at the end of it Amonte big-body Kemari Averett, yes the 6-6 265lb Averett, in the CARD drill. (Stick around for the Becton/Greenard battle after)

Although my ‘sky is the limit’ approach for Caban in 2017 may have been slightly overstated I still think he has the skill to become more than just a contributor on defense and more of a foundation piece late this year moving into 2019. BUT…..with that said, the line in 2018 is still up for grabs in some regards and we may see some shifting during the fall if the ‘projected’ guys don’t’ step up. Most are pointing to the line as one of the question marks this year and you better believe if ‘player X’ isn’t getting it done the leash will be short with two or three guys grinding behind him to get that spot. We often see a group with no “studs” turn into a solid unit due to competition making everyone better, let’s hope the 2018 D-line is just another example of that.

Sweet Tweet:

I was gonna raise some hell if you guys didn’t put Mississippi State into the next round of the LCPT, but….”Y’all knew better”