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The Cardinal Countdown: 10 Days Until Kickoff

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North Carolina State v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

#10 Rodjay Burns

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-0/197

Position: Linebacker

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Twitter: @Roddyb_10

Thoughts: Getting Burns back home and suited up last season, despite the unfortunate circumstances behind it, was a huge blessing to two of the three phases of the game for Louisville. Burns, although not over the top impressive, played well at corner and provided a solid option in the secondary that was lacking with the departure of a few guys that graduated the season prior. Where Burns seemed to leave a bigger impression last year was his contribution on special teams. Burns returned all 13 punts last year for the Cards with a return average of 15.15yds, tied for 4th all-time at UofL and 3rd nationally in 2018. A big contributor to that total was when Burns, in knee deep water (I’m still drying out) took one to the house against the fighting Larry Birds.

The big news for Burns this year, as I’ve discussed on previous posts, is his transition to linebacker and even more specifically the “Card” position in coach Browns defense (Think “star” in Grantham defense). Burns will be expected to do a little of everything including down field coverage, outside contain, rushing the passer, picking the 3rd down music, getting fans off the party deck, etc. Burns has “officially” added seven pounds since last year but I’ve seen some photos that I looked at in a very non-creepy manner and my man is looking yacked up. I love the move for the athletic Burns as I think he has showed he can play coverage but has enough size he can cause some headaches up around the line of scrimmage as well. Looking forward to seeing how his new role suits him in 2019.

Sweet Tweet:

Pretty sweet video……sorry guys, we’re 90 days in, that’s all I got.

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#10 Javian Hawkins

Class: RS Freshman

Ht/Wt: 5-9/182

Position: Running Back

Hometown: Titusville, FL

Twitter: @JavianHawkins

Thoughts: With all the chit chat about Hassan Hall during the offseason people kind of just glossed over the fact that Hawkins has worked himself right into that backup role as if that was completely expected. I mean, Hawkins is talented, but if you said at the end of last year that he would undoubtedly be sitting at #2 I’m not sure where you would be pulling that from. Hawkins had 2 attempts last season for eight yards. Two. That’s it. And now, ten days until kickoff he appears to be the backup or number two option for this staff with out hesitation. To be clear, this isn’t a shot or a dig at Hawkins at all, this is a big fat “atta boy” to the young man who worked his way into a very big role in this new offense even with limited production up until the point the new staff walked through the door.

With all the talk about running backs I’m not sure that most casual fans know that Petrino actually did very nice thing last year in shutting down Javian after only three appearances. Thanks to BP Hawkins fell below the four game limit and was able to take a redshirt last season. That means we get four years of Hawkins in the Satterfield offense. Since we don’t have much 2018 tape to look at lets roll that beautiful bean footage of Hawkins back in 2017 as a senior at Cocoa High School.

JHawk has speed to burn, showed he could fight through those arm tackles without issue, and has added close to 30lbs since arriving on campus. While Hawkins has a slightly smaller frame than the projected starter (Hall) their skill sets do overlap in many areas which is a bonus for this staff who has seemed to fall in love with both guys since they stepped on campus. Hall and Hawkins will be critical in helping Pass, or whoever is taking snaps, get the offense rolling this season. We’re not exactly talking three yards and a cloud of dust type stuff but the backs will undoubtedly be featured more than we’ve seen around here in quite some time.

Sweet Tweet:

Roll out to the crib man. I got some connects over at JC Penney, they can loan me the big white blocks,a few teddy bears, and that starburst backdrop. I gotchu.