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The Cardinal Countdown: 30 Days Until Kickoff

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Indiana State v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

#30 Khane Pass

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-1/206

Position: Safety

Hometown: Columbus, GA

Twitter: @pass_khane

Thoughts: Khane’s name has been around the Cardinal program since back in 2014. His recruitment was considered a tad “higher profile” than your run of the mill safety for two reasons. 1: He was a really good player and 2: He has a brother who is a really good QB. When the Cards landed Khane I think the excitement over #2 surpassed the joy of #1. In fact, I hadn’t seen so much excitement over #2 since my daughter was potty trained. I talked about this the last couple seasons but until it’s considered a well known fact I’ll keep bringing it up...Khane Pass can play some damn good football.

Khane took a redshirt in 2015 to get adjusted to the college life and then in 2016 the coaches “lets ease him into this role” plan took a major hit as the secondary was decimated with injury after injury. Khane was thrown in the fire and after a few bumps in the road he seemed to settle down and get his feet under him, even getting the start against LSU in the “I Choose to No Longer Remember This Game” Bowl. Flash back to this time last season and I was excited about Pass seeing the field with a bit more regularity, but was confused with a potential position change to linebacker in the early depth chart. (I’ll chalk that up to another head scratching act in the cult of “Sirmonism”). Khane did in fact play in all 13 games (in the secondary thankfully) and even started the first three games of the year, finishing week 1 against the Boilermakers with 6 tackles. As the season progressed Khane was always in the rotation at safety and made a few quality plays when the Cards needed a boost. He also made some quality plays when the Cards did not need a boost, including his first career interception that came against Syracuse with the Cards up 46 points….

I spoke on it a few days ago but the safety position is still a mystery to me in terms of starters or who gets the majority of the reps. I think most of us can pinpoint the group of guys in the rotation but how the PT will be spread out is yet to be determined heading into the fall. I liked what we saw from Dee Smith last year and once TreSean Smith gets back to 100% he’ll be tough to keep off the field, but don’t underestimate Khane’s improvement over the last two years. His knowledge as an upperclassman who’s been in the program for three seasons now is tough to beat and my gut says that if he isn’t a starter at safety he is the first guy off the bench when the Cards go to nickel package or want three coverage players on the field.

Lots of fans are going to be looking at Puma Pass to determine how 2018 may play out, but in my mind the play of Khane Pass, and the rest of the defensive secondary, may be even more impactful in terms of how we remember this season.

Sweet Tweet:

Khane, you see the media picked the cards to finish 5th in the ATLANTIC??

Yep, move y’all up about two or three spots, know what I’m saying?

I guess you guys got something to prove then, right?

I hear ya. Show that media they don’t know what they’re talking about...

I DO know how it go. I know this is gonna be the year y’all surprise some folks out there…

It’s pretty cool that I get to control this imaginary conversation. You hear the one about the cell phone wearing glasses…because it lost all its contacts.

What did the duck say when she bought lipstick? Put it on my bill!

This is awesome.

***

#30 Jeffrey “Jay” Banks

Class: Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-2/218

Position: Tight End

Hometown: Olive Branch, MS

Twitter: @_Jaybanks_11

Thoughts: Banks came to the Cards last season as a preferred walk-on via Pearl River Community College down in Mississippi. Banks was the leading wide out on his high school squad and remained at that position during his stint in JUCO and his first year at Louisville last season. During the spring the coaches gave Banks some reps at tight end, one would assume due to the depth the Cards currently have at wide receiver, and Banks performed well enough to get some praise from Petrino about his ability to adapt to the new position.

With the more balanced offense in 2018 (which are now officially Coach Petrino’s words and not just my hot take) one would assume that includes getting the ball into the hands of the tight end with more frequency than last season. I spoke on it back when I covered Micky Crum and Jordan Davis, but the group took a hit last year in overall production, and not just “we miss Hikutini” type production, but “we had fewer catches and touchdowns than any year since 2013” and “we had fewer receiving yards than any team since 2014” type production. With the exception of two years ago when Cole was playing out of his mind, Petrino loves to spread the ball to three or more tight ends during the season. One would assume Crum, Davis, and Averett are those three with the departure of Charles Standberry, but one injury could easily slide Banks or Crowe into that spot, and as much as I love the talent of those three guys they didn’t exactly light the world on fire when healthy in 2017. Fall camp should be a good indicator of who is ready to play and if Coach Klenakis can get the group back to being a heavy contributor into the overall success of the offense.

Sweet Tweet:

Growing up you could find me at the Champs Rollerdrome over on Gagel Ave. Backward skate, couple skate, dodgeball, crisscross, moonwalks, skate races……these were all things OTHER people could do. Me, I stayed up on the carpet trying to beat that stupid Ninja Turtles Arcade game. “Yeah, yeah, Happy Birthday and everything Bobby but Michelangelo needs my help over here…call me when ya cut the cake.”