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The Cardinal Countdown: 27 Days Until Kickoff

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Louisville v Syracuse
“You seen the defense?”
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

#27 Anthony Johnson

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-1/187

Position: Defensive Back

Hometown: Coconut Creek, FL

Twitter: @aj_ballout

Thoughts: I think Anthony Johnson is a victim of the dreaded ‘John Smith Compex’. What exactly is the ‘John Smith Complex’ you may ask? Well, since I just made it up I expected that question to come up. ‘JSC’ is my theory that people who have very common names, even when they perform at a high level in their respective field, are often overlooked by their peers and/or those who evaluate their performance. If Anthony Johnson was named Antonio Josiah you’re grandma would be talking about him and he’d have ‘Tonio Island’ t-shirts. But, because Anthony Johnson is a very common/forgettable name my man AJ is going to have to work extra hard to get that recognition.

The question is, does he deserve that recognition? I think so. As a freshman last season Johnson played in eleven games and got the start in four of them. Playing on the outside mostly Johnson had a few bumps along the way but his aggressiveness and open field coverage kept him getting PT the whole season. While tackles isn’t a great stat in regards to the corner position he did finish with 14 tackles, including a couple tackles for loss, and he had a couple pass breakups credited to his name as well. If that isn’t enough to get you fired up about Antonio Anthony, how you like these apples…..

Trevor “Maybe he’s born with it, maybe its Maybelline PEDs” Lawrence only had four interceptions in the entire 2018 season and Johnson was one of those four. In other words, Anthony Johnson had 25% of all Lawrence interceptions in 2018. What makes this clip even better is that ESPN was already in their filler material with a picture in picture of a Dabo press conference as the interception took place. “Meditate” on that Swinney!

Although the first depth chart had Johnson backing up Sturghill I think he slides onto the other side of the field and beats out Chandler Jones for that second spot. The new staff should help the secondary as a whole in terms of technique and execution, and the younger guys will benefit even more getting longer to soak in the defensive playbook moving forward. Anthony still has three years of eligibility, plenty of time for your grandma to learn his name.

Sweet Tweet:

Nice little 2018 mixtape, but I expect the 2019 version to be longer than a minute. #TonioTape

***

#27 Tobias Little

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-0/237

Position: Tight End

Hometown: Tucker, GA

Twitter: @bigwee27

Thoughts: If you’re keeping a running list of things that made you sad in 2018, go ahead and add the absence of Tobias Little to the list. I went back and read my post last year on Tobias and I was super excited about the possibility of Petrino utilizing a fullback more in the run game with Lamar out of the picture. I could see it in my head clear as the nose on my face….[enter dream sequence]…. “Cards up big here on Clemson, having completely dominated the line of scrimmage today. The Tigers defensive line was thinking NFL Draft, now they’re mapping out their proximity to the nearest JUCO. Pass will be under center once again with the Cards up by 35 here in the 4th. Jawon takes the snap, turns around and hands it’s off to Hall who looks right and now cuts back left. Tobias Little out in front and OH MY SWEET ROASTED TOMATOES, I think Little just killed a man opening up a big hole for Hall to scamper for another 12 yard gain towards the Cardinal sideline. Please call that young mans mother. She needs to see her son one more time and I’m pretty sure Tobias Little is now her husband. That’s how this works nowadays. Cards will take over at the 32 once they clean up the smelling salts from the field…” [end dream sequence]

I love fullbacks. I love their grit, their no fear mentality, and if they strap on a neck roll before they leave the locker room they just gained 10 pounds of pure unadulterated strength. The problem with this fantasy of course (one of many, likely) was that Little was probably practicing without his neck roll last fall, and torn his ACL the second day of Fall camp. We never got to see him blast someone up the middle. We never got to see him seal the edge, and we never got to see one of the most beautiful plays in college football, the fullback dive. In Satterfield’s offense the H-back takes on a very similar role to that of the fullback, playing off the line, used as blocker but also an offensive threat in both the run game and pashing game. An update was made to the roster Sunday (damn you , Satterfield!!!!!) so now officially Little is listed as a tight end, but in our hearts…we know, we know.

Sweet Tweet: Tobias has his twitter all locked up so instead I’ll just slip back into the dream sequence where Little goes for 5 yards up the gut and punches it in for a score.