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The Cardinal Countdown: 43 Days Until Kickoff

Charlotte v Louisville

#43 Damien Smith

Class: RS Senior

Ht/Wt: 6-1/224

Position: Linebacker

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

Twitter: @_djsmith

Thoughts: Damien is wrapping up his career at UofL this season and he has been a nice piece on the depth chart for multiple years. Smith saw a good amount of playing time back in 2017 but was limited last year to a single appearance against UVA. Smith came to the program as a walk-on and fought for time at the inside linebacker position, eventually earning some reps in a position of need. As I spoke about yesterday, the quality at the top of this ILB group is solid (Avery/Etheridge) but Coach Jones will need a couple guys like Damien to help provide some depth and a solid second option when the inevitable minor bumps and bruises occur as the weeks wear on.

I wanted to insert the clip below because it was a great microcosm of the entire season.

1st and 10: Damien (#43) makes a nice leg tackle from the behind the play, preventing an additional 1-2 yards.

2nd and 7: QB looks to cut back inside, DDJ makes the tackle….but “doesn’t have to move very much”.

3rd and 8: Perfect 3rd and long scenario. Defense drops into a zone. Watches the TE walk straight down the middle of the field and catch a ball for a 14 yard gain. BVG is pissed.

1st and 10: Defense still reeling from another 3rd down conversion, allows Perkins to break free and then…you just got hurdled.

The great play at the beginning of the drive is totally negated by a blown coverage and then lax effort. Coach Brown has to get this side of the ball in sync and all working with a purpose and a drive that we haven’t seen in a couple seasons. I think he will.

Sweet Tweet:

Hand me the aux cord…

[Immediately starts playing ‘The Very Best of Daryl Hall and John Oates’]