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The Cardinal Countdown: 55 Days Until Kickoff

Franklin American Mortgage - Louisville v Texas A&M

#55 Micah Bland

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-2/300

Position: Defensive Line

Hometown: Louisville, KY (Product of Male High School)

Twitter: @blandmicah

Thoughts: Bland is a local kid from Male who joined the Cards a few seasons back after a quick journey through the prep route. Bland had been limited to the practice squad up until last season and actually “broke his maiden” the first game of 2019 getting some reps against Notre Dame. Bland ended up appearing in six games last year continuing to provide support along the line and if I remember correctly he got some special teams reps as well (although it may have been Chandler, I couldn’t verify it).

Bland will likely back up guys like Peterson, Kinnaird, Diaby, etc on the ends. He has good size as one of only eight players on the roster at 3 bills or over so I think he could be a situational guy if called upon this year. With incoming freshman and JUCO additions the defensive line room is getting a bit crowded but Micah has a shot to expand upon his play from 2019 into a larger role in either phase of the game.

Sweet Tweet:

Micah retweeted this and this joke will never not be funny….because it aint a joke. #Truth

****

#55 Caleb Chandler

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-4/310

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Jefferson, GA

Twitter: @DatBoyCC

Thoughts: Only eight players for the University of Louisville started all 13 games in 2019. If I had you start to rattle off those names I would assume Caleb Chandler would be one of your later guesses or may not even make your list at all, but here we are. Chandler earned the starting spot beside Becton at left guard and never relinquished that job the entire season.

Being a guy who pays more attention to O-line play than the common fan Chandler’s play is not a shock to me, but even I could not have expected him to play as well as he did. We use the metaphor that someone is “playing in the shadows of player x” often, but Chandler actually was, lingering in the shadows of a 6-7, 369lb specimen named Mekhi Becton all season. I think it was Keith Wynne who fist made mention earlier this year about observing Chandlers play while watching Becton and my man was right once again. Rather than try and chase down a bunch of Chandler highlights we can just watch this Becton reel and observe his neighbor Mr. 55 who makes play after play right next to him.

On the left side of the line Caleb Chandler will become the anchor this season, carrying the weight of the departed Becton likely with Adonis Boone at left tackle. While the clip below was just a couple minutes (I figured you would pass on the 9:00 version) there are endless examples of Chandler in action by searching for Becton tape, and Chandler seems to do his job each and every highlight. While it may be a bit of a reach I don’t think it’s crazy to say Chandler will be the next offensive lineman to hear his name in the NFL draft from Louisville, I think he can be that good in 2020.

Sweet Tweet:

After combing through Caleb’s tweets I find that he is not only a Cowboys fan but also a Braves fan. Toss in the Bulls and Chandler is like 75% of the kids I grew up with in the 90s.