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The Cardinal Countdown: 11 Days Until Kickoff

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Louisville v Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#11 Nick Okeke

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-3/246

Position: Linebacker

Hometown: Smyrna, TN

Twitter: @nickokeke

Thoughts: The story on Okeke is an interesting one. As I touched on last season Sirmon brought in Nick as close to the last minute as possible due to a reclassification and after taking a redshirt Okeke was looking to come into 2018 as a freshman, in terms of eligibility, and make a mark early. After working hard all Spring/Fall last year Okeke was penciled in as a starter in Game 1 against the Tide when Petrino released the depth chart surprising many around the program. Okeke wound of starting five games last year but more importantly got significant reps in all twelve contests. Playing mostly on the outside in 2018 Okeke finished with 42 tackles, including a season high 8 against the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech.

I’d look for Okeke to keep his momentum going under Brown’s new system and under the direction of one of the best young coaches in the game, Cort Dennison. The Cards loose Dee Smith and London Iakopo but return the remaining Top 10 tacklers from a season ago. While we have talked before that tackles aren’t always a great measure of success it is an indication that those guys were involved in the play and have the ability to bring down the ball handler. Okeke was still getting backup reps at the time of this post but I’ve got no doubt he will be in the rotation on the outside

Sweet Tweet:

-Lighting ring [check]

-Back light [check]

-Expensive camera [check]

-Mean mug on blast [check]

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#11 Josh Johnson

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 5-11/175

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Twitter: @josh_johnson234

Thoughts: Johnson was a solid pickup at wide out for the Cards in 2016, ranked as a Top 100 receiver nationally and a Top 20 wide out in the football rich state of Georgia. We saw some of what Johnson could do back in 2017 as a true freshman, getting to see the field in 10 games and pulling in a few balls when the games were mostly in hand. If you forgot about Johnson, you’re probably not the only one. After getting those reps two years ago Johnson took a redshirt last year and din’t see the field all year. I thought I remember an early season report on a knee injury or leg injury for Josh but couldn’t confirm that in my investigative research (darn you interwebs!!). Johnson is another speedy wideout who can be a real threat over the middle or in open space. While Tutu emerged as a fan favorite last year Johnson brings a lot of the same intangibles with a slightly bigger frame.

If you’ve seen some of the highlight clips from the spring/fall both on the field and in the weight room Johnson has made numerous appearances and looks like he is ready to go for 2019. While I’m still not sure how the wide receivers will shake out in the slot I’d imagine we’ll see a good mix of Atwell, Johnson, and Jackson with a sprinkle of Wakefield. Too much potential to keep any of them on the sidelines for long.

Sweet Tweet:

Oh no Josh…..Oh no……