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The Cardinal Countdown: 51 Days Until Kickoff

Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

#51 Austin Collins

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-3/270

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Perrysburg, OH

Twitter: @austinc50

Thoughts: Austin Collins, as part of the new staffs first full recruiting class, told Jody Demling he is looking to be part of the class that has “Louisville fighting for a national championship one day”, and Collins would know a thing or two about championships. Collins was part of the 2018 State Champ Christian Academy (CAL) football team before heading off to Ohio last year to play for Perrysburg. In that one season ‘up nort’ Collins was not only named a team captain but finished the year as an all-district and all-state level player.

Collins is projected by the staff to play center, although he did get reps at guard during his high school career, as well as playing on the opposite side of the ball at defensive tackle. In the few short clips below you can see Collins was using good leverage and was able to control his body among contact. You also get a glimpse into his physicality on the defensive side of the ball, something I’m sure Ledford would love to tap more into.

I think Collins is a threat to back up Bentley this year and have a solid chance at winning the job outright in 2021.

Sweet Tweet:

With the shout out I gave to the moms a few days ago on Day 57 I figured I’d balance it out with a little dad love today. Great band name by the way, ‘Little Dad Love’….playing at Headliners this Friday night. Lot’s of khaki and white socks in attendance.

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#51 Keon Johnson

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-0/223

Position: Linebacker

Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Twitter: @johnsonkeon54

Thoughts: Keon will once again look to provide some depth for new Coach Derek Nicholson who is taking over the inside linebackers group from the departed Dale Jones. Keon is a walk-on out of Palm Beach looking for an opportunity in the middle or, as I referenced last season, maybe a chance to get some reps on special teams. Johnson has good size and the ability to deliver a solid hit playing both backer and end while back in high school. Cards still have some quality talent at the top of the heap in the ILB room, but Johnson can certainly continue to play a solid role on the practice field while shooting up the depth chart as he gains more experience at the Division-I level.

Sweet Tweet:

If there is anything we’ve learned in the last few months it’s that football is not guaranteed, and backing up the athletic side of things with academic achievements as well is certainly something to not only be proud of, but to help you plan for the future. This was from last spring, but let’s hope Keon and others have kept up the solid work. My dad used to always say, “Keep your grades up, or I’ll punch you in the face”...wise words, old man.