#22 Yasir Abdullah
Hometown: Miramar, FL
Thoughts: When the Cards signed Yasir before the 2018 season I really liked his film and projected him to get some reps as a freshman but likely stay under the four game redshirt cap….he played in eleven. His second season I was singing his praises and figured he would be a solid contributor for the outside backers….he played in all thirteen games and started eight of the last nine. I keep hyping him up, he keeps surpassing my expectations.
In 2019 Yasir did what the staff was looking for in the Coach Brown defense, and that’s create disruption. Finishing the year with 45 tackles is nice, but it was the sack, interception, and tackles for loss that bring a smile to my face. But in 2020 they need more. The Cards defense has struggled for multiple seasons now with making the opposition uncomfortable. Pressure on the QB, forcing turnovers, and getting in the backfield is a huge piece of any successful defense, and Yasir is part of the group moving Louisville up the rankings in those areas. Last year in one of the Cards most significant victories (@ Wake) Yasir had some under the radar solid pays and some in your face solid plays that helped secure the W. I picked a couple below...
Yasir, lined up at bottom of line just off LOS, absorbs block from the tackle, maintains leverage and keeps the outside edge locked up. As the back tries to turn the corner he grabs him with one arm and forces him out bounds for a loss. Not to sexy, but put Wake in 2nd and long deep in their own territory.
Yasir once again at bottom of line just off LOS, directs some traffic pre-play, and then drops back into coverage. Newman tries to loft it over his head but he didn’t realize Yasir had been wearing ‘Jumpsoles’ all off season and steals a scoring opportunity away right before half. Those points off the board were huge late in the game.
Yasir was highlighted a couple weeks ago by Coach Dennison as really stepping up as a vocal leader on defense and the additional 10-15 pounds of muscle he has added will be a huge help on the edge. I’ve learned my lesson, and no matter how much I love this kid I’m not going to get caught somehow underselling Yasir again. I think we see him as a Top 3 impact player on that side of the ball this year and collecting ‘disruption’ plays like it’s his hobby.
Sweet Tweet: It appears Yasir’s twitter account hasn’t been active for a couple years, much like Bobby Petrino actually winning football games. As painful as no football in 2020 would be for me...2018 would still be worse.