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The Cardinal Countdown: 7 Days Until Kickoff

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Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

#7 Monty Montgomery

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 5-11/214

Position: Linebacker

Hometown: Norcross, GA

Twitter: @MontyTBE1

Thoughts: If you didn’t know who Monty Montgomery was back in June, you likely know him now. Listen to just about any interview, read any article, or scroll through any blog and almost everyone on that side of the ball (defense) is highlighting Monty as a player to watch. Coming out of the Jayhawk Conference (Last Chance U Season 3/4) playing for Hutchinson CC Monty was named the Conference Defensive player of the year last season, and finished 2018 ranked as the 19th best JUCO linebacker in the country. If that doesn’t sell you that he has something to offer, maybe this will….want to know one of Cort Dennison’s first calls when he got on campus? Mr. Monty Montgomery.

Monty came in as one would expect with a lot to learn at this level, but with Dales Jones, Dennison, and the starter at his position (Avery) all being very knowledgeable and eager to teach, Month has started to excel and make plays, which is exactly what the staff brought him in to do. Montgomery is a little smaller than what a prototypical inside backer may look like but the reports I referenced earlier all say he is flying around the field, making tackles, creating pressure, and being a general nuisance to the offense.

Want to see a great example of Monty in action? Watch the short clip below of his performance against Indy last year. The :28 mark is the beginning of an incredible sequence. Monty fakes pressure, drops into coverage, tips the pass, catches his own tip, returns it for 5-6 yards, gets spun around by defender, tosses it back to teammate, stands up and throws a block, and then drops a double hand clap celebration as his man sprints in for the score. Yeah, that happened.

Sweet Tweet:

Sooo…Is Monty going to start doing the sheriff’s inspection at the DMV because I think he’d actually let me get by with the darker tint on my front windows. You got me, MM?

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#7 Dez Fitzpatrick

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-2/204

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI

Twitter: @dezfitz8

Thoughts: Dez Fitzpatrick, in my brain, was the most underutilized player on the entire team last season. Fitzpatrick is oozing talent and athleticism and rarely had a chance to impact the game at all in 2018. I could break it down in a bit more detail but keeping it at a high level let’s just peep the statistics from his freshman season to last year:

2017: 45rec, 699yds, 9TDs, 15.53yd/rec

2018: 31 rec, 422yds, 3TDs, 13.61yd/rec

The reception totals are relatively close (-14) but one of the more challenging aspects for the receivers group as a whole was downfield coverage. We spoke about quite a few things last year in regards to how Lamar’s absence impacted the offense but one thing I never touched on very much was how the defense routinely dropped 7 or 8 guys into coverage because they didn’t respect the run game and they were getting pressure without having to send the house. Watch Fitzpatrick’s highlights from last season and pay close attention to his YAC (yards after catch ), or lack thereof. Nearly every time he caught the ball he was brought down immediately. That was the same issue for all wideouts. Fitz had his avg drop nearly 2 yards per catch and he wasn’t alone (Dawkins -2, Jaylen -1, Crum -2,etc). That adds up over time and resulted in 1,365 less passing yards than 2017 from the season prior.

The encouraging stat for me is that both seasons Dez has been on the field for Louisville he has lead the team in receiving touchdowns. He is without question a threat to score every time he touches the ball, and a more established run game and (fingers crossed) better O-line play should actually create more space 10-15 yards off the LOS. We’ve been saying it all off-season but if the quarterback can get a little time and make some throws he has the weapons to slice some teams up in the passing game. This group of ‘freaks’ will win a game this year on their play alone, and I’m counting on at least two multi touchdown games from Dez this season. Satterfield knows what he has with this group, and is ready to use them.

Sweet Tweet:

UPDATE: It’s actually one week!