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The Cardinal Countdown: 81 Days Until Kickoff

Pittsburgh v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

#81 Emonee Spence

Class: RS Senior

Ht/Wt: 6-3/189

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Pembroke Pines, FL

Twitter: @Emonee_NikeMan

Thoughts: Emonee’s journey here at UofL has been quite the roller coaster. Coming in as one of the highest rated prospects in the 2015 class Emonee got a few reps his freshman season but had to battle against the likes of Jamari Staples, James Quick, Ja’Quay Savage, and fellow freshman Jaylen Smith. The following season was setting up to provide an opportunity for Spence to become a quality back up behind Staples and Quick and being prepared to take over that spot the following season when they graduated, but a Jones fracture (foot) forced Spence to miss the entire year and fall behind the rest of the guys in the room in terms of experience and conditioning. When 2017 rolled around Emonee was still working to get back to full health and earn those reps, but if there was one position in the entire Petrino offense you risked getting recruited over it was at wideout. No disrespect to Spence but in the season he sat out and the year he came back (2016/2017) the Cards brought in both Seth Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick to help on the outside. Both of those guys finished in the Top 3 in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns in 2017. Now, not only was Emonee fighting against his health but also against some talented players who are tough to replace on the field.

In 2018 Emonee got some PT against Georgia Tech and caught a ball late in the 4th to get his name on the stat sheet. The problem once again though was not a lack of talent but battling daily in one of the deepest spots on the roster. With Jaylen gone there will be an opportunity for a player like Spence to slide into that #3 spot but he will have to fend off Devante Peete and the young one in the group, Justin Marshall. It’s always good to have competition and I’ve got no doubt Spence, a player who will have been in the program 5 years, will be fighting it out to earn his reps in this his final season.

Sweet Tweet:

Not only did I juke door frames as a kid but I still cross up my 3 year old in the middle of the living room on the regular. Taken him to Kosair for broken ankles five times.


Season 1, Episode 2 of “Hi, My Name Is…”

Hi, My Name Is: Bryan Brown

I grew up in: Corinth, MS

I played football at: Ole Miss (Defensive Back)

I previously coached at: Appalachian State (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs)

I am now the: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs

I’ve been a coach for: 11 seasons at the collegiate level

I am: Married, with two kids

Fun Fact: The last four seasons (2015-2018) with Brown coaching up the corners, Appalachian State has had no fewer than 17 interceptions in a single season, and all four years they finished in the Top 12 nationally in that same category.

CardinalStrong says: The Defensive Coordinator position is a tricky one for me because I’ve been burned here before. As one might assume I was a big Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford fan back in the day and they kind of ruined me for judging defensive performances. Full disclosure, I didn’t love the 14-6 victories any more than the next guy, but you just knew the defense was going to shut down whatever was thrown at them every week. We have been promised improvement on that side of the ball for three seasons and have statistically gotten worse three years in a row. Forgive my cynicism. When Satterfield was hired I dug into Brown’s past some, assuming he would join Scott on the Cards staff. I liked his defensive approach, especially in a league where we see tons of talent at the QB position, to slide that extra man back from the line and play with 4 and sometimes 5 players at the second level. With really only one full season under his belt with the same title Brown fielded a defense in 2018 that finished #6 nationally in total defense, #5 nationally in passing defense, and #4 nationally in scoring defense. They we’re no joke. This past winter our own Keith Wynne killed it when going over how Brown likes to mix things up down in the trenches and has an affinity for putting quarterbacks in a spot where they have to make a tough throw. If you missed his App State game recaps go back and check them out.

While my expectations are somewhat compressed, I do think Brown has some “dudes” on that side of the ball and while the bar may be extremely low they will undoubtedly improve over the last couple years. A competent unit that knows the plan and executes it even just the majority of the time will be a sight for my defense-loving eyes.