#23 K.J. Cloyd
Hometown: Columbia, MS
Thoughts: Cloyd is the most recent addition to the Cardinal’s roster, joining the program as recent as one month ago, back in late July. Cloyd was in a bit of a unique situation and Louisville took advantage of a guy who actually qualified academically out of high school but went the JUCO route instead (Jones College). With that being the case Jones can now come in and play immediately, and still has three years of eligibility left to complete.
Jones will likely be suiting up at the inside linebacker spot for the Cards, and even though the 2020 forecast is looking pretty solid up top with both C.J. Avery and Dorian Etheridge returning for their senior seasons, they needed some younger depth beyond the upperclassmen Monty Montgomery and Robert Hicks. According to his Hudl (which players never lie) Cloyd has some great speed for an inside backer (4.5), but the more impressive takeaway for me when watching some of his film was that he was a sure tackler in open space. More often than not inside backers can get put on an island with their coverage as they are responsible for QB spy or coverage of a back, and if you always need help to bring a guy down or corner him into a tight spot it can be a real problem. Cloyd consistently seemed to square up his body, wrap up nicely, and bring down his man. But you can watch for yourself.
While K.J. may not be the man in 2020 he has a legit shot at being a significant contributor in 2021 and beyond. Congrats to new ILB Coach Derek Nicholson for finding a guy who was Top 5 at his position on the JUCO level and helping him spurn other Power 5 offers to come play for the Cards. A nice pickup for sure.
It’s hand timed buuuuut ♂️ . For all the coaches asking if I can run pic.twitter.com/ou5AUdrmdi— Kj (@Kj_Cloyd) April 22, 2020
Ok, ok….I feel like this is a direct shot at me questioning his wheels above. I apologize. Next year let’s implement “three yards and Cloyd of dust”.