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The Cardinal Countdown: 10 Days Until Kickoff

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Arnold Jackson #10...

#10 Javian Hawkins

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 5-9/185

Position: Running Back

Hometown: Titusville, FL

Twitter: @JavianHawkins

Thoughts: Hawkins is example #247 on this year’s roster of Petrino and Staff being serious about their ‘Speed City’ initiative out on the recruiting trail. Nearly everyone in the 2018 class came in with high marks in the speed category for their respective position and Hawkins is no exception. The football/track athlete can book it (pizza hut style) dropping times of 4.37 in the 40 and posting a 10.77s 100m time in high school. Javian can mix it up coming out of the backfield or lining up in the slot. He does a little of both below:

Hawkins and Hall (Day 19) have almost been a package deal for Petrino and Smith as they reference both of them at the same time often and typically just shake their head when someone asks how fast they are. As much as the disappearance of Traveon Samuel hurt my heart, I think Hawkins has the playmaking ability to try and help fill that void, turning a 5 yard screen into a 30 yard gain, it will just depend on Petrino utilizing that weapon more than he did Samuel. Against teams like Bama, Clemson, and FSU it’s nearly impossible to match their size and strength for four quarters, but speed…speed can knock off a Goliath or two when used correctly and I think Petrino knows that taking that next step up in the conference may depend on getting some of the fastest kids in the country each and every year.

Hawkins is in a crowded RB room but he’s a pretty atypical back that could certainly see an expanded role as an athlete on offense or on special teams. There is a laundry list of slot revivers and scat backs that have won over Louisville fans through the years by doing nothing more than just making plays happen. Hawkins will look to add his name to that list.

Sweet Tweet:

First time I read this I thought he was saying “sauce watch”....and there was a 100% chance I was going to use the term “sauce watch” at some point today.

***

#10 Rodjay Burns

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-0-195

Position: Cornerback

Hometown: Louisville, KY (Product of Trinity High School)

Twitter: @Roddyb_10

Thoughts: Rodjay Burns came into the Cardinal program last year with quite a bit of fanfare. After playing a season at Ohio State (nothing going on with that program right now) the hometown kid decided to transfer back home to play ball for his local school, trying to get closer to home to spend time with his ailing father. It was a great story coming out of a difficult situation for the Burns family. While one would hope a story like that gets attention no matter what the status of the athlete it certainly didn’t hurt that Rodjay is a heck of football player and will be a nice addition to the Cards secondary.

In his one year at OSU Burns saw the field as a true freshman in seven games and even jumped a route against in state foe Bowling Green taking it to the house for a pick six. I think many wished last season that Burns would have been immediately eligible but alas the dreaded transfer rule kept him out of action in 2017 and forced him to soak up the Peter Sirmon playbook, all 3 pages (I’m joking, I’m joking). The positive spin for Burns is that he will be a piece of a secondary unit I’m starting to get really high on as the days inch closer. The bad news is that a spot many thought was all but guaranteed when he came back is still up for grabs. I know the players don’t get as worked up about starters and non-starters as the nerds who talk about football 100 days before anything even happens, but it is somewhat important to help solidify one as a team leader or position group leader. Last I heard Burns and Marlon Character where still down in the fray for one of the corner spots but one would assume the other would likely slide into the nickel spot or be in a short rotation. Competition breeds excellence…or so I’ve been told, and to imagine having players the caliber of Burns, Mbanasor, and Character competing with each other for three more seasons is a something that gets me excited about the future.

Sweet Tweet:

Just retweets from Burns so lets celebrate ‘10 days until kickoff’ with our very own Top 10 list. Since Rodjay is a cornerback lets go Top 10 Wide Receiver Routes:

10. You

9. Can’t

8. Rank

7. Them

6. In a Petrino

5. Offense

4. Because they

3. Could all go

2. For a Touchdown

1. Wheel Route