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The Cardinal Countdown: 77 Days Until Kickoff

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Camping World Kickoff - Alabama v Louisville Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#77 Kobe Baynes

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-4/306

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Twitter: @baynes_kobe

Thoughts: Something you’ll see me reiterate a few times over the next couple weeks is how imperative it was for Ledford and Satterfield to come in and recruit at the Offensive Line position. I’m an O-line apologist without question but even through my Cardinal red colored glasses I saw some bad football for a few years up along the line and it really needed to change to give Louisville a shot at adding some trophies to the case in the upcoming years.

I know it’s a bit overplayed but there is some truth in the fact the Lamar Jackson hid a lot of inconsistencies up front and turned sacks in to 10 yard gains or a poorly blocked read play into a 30 yard touchdown but, the scramble and “make every play a highlight” also resulted in quite a few sacks and TFL. In the new offense Malik is much more calculated with his runs and it allows the line to provide protection that is planned and not reactionary in nature, it also allows for a more systematic approach to run blocking and pass protection.

Apologies to Kobe for high jacking his post for a minute but all that above is important baseline data to understand why a player like Baynes can be a big part of what Louisville can do in 2020 and beyond. Baynes, who will mostly get reps at guard, has good feet, good size, and has shown he can overpower opposing lineman especially in run block situations. You’ll see in the clip below that as the pancakes stack up many of them are not simply due to him being a larger physical presence but because he gets his hands outside the number, up under the pads and refuses to let the defender gain any momentum or footing. The first couple minutes are just a montage of him putting kids on their butts like it’s amateur hour at the skate park, but if you keep watching you can see him being used in pulls and a sampling of his pass protection.

Coming off a knee injury that limited his senior season to five games Kobe will likely not see the field too often in 2020 as he completes rehab and gets in D-I shape. With that said, don’t be surprised if the ‘Sandman’ is competing for a starting spot as soon as next season.

Sweet Tweet:

In all fairness to Kobe this is from four years ago, but parents do be tripping…..unfortunately for Baynes, since I joined that team nearly eight years ago, they have my full support. Now go clean up your room. And put some respect on my name!