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The Wynnedbag: Spring Edition

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 28 Louisville at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s been a while but I figured with spring practice ending it was a good time to put together a mailbag.

Recruiting is going to be flat-out weird this cycle. Louisville remade their recruiting staff over the last couple of months and they’ve put a focus on three areas that I think are important. They brought in David Cooper to be the Recruiting Coordinator. Cooper is a guy who has great connections with players around the southeast and should help Lousiville get in the door with some high-level players in their recruiting footprint.

Louisville also brought in Caroline McMurray as the Director of On-Campus Recruiting. McMurray comes from Oklahoma where she held the same position. Louisville has put a focus on getting kids on campus and blowing them away while they are on visits. McMurray should only help with that goal going forward.

The other aspect of recruiting that I think Louisville has done well with is social media and digital content. Louisville lost Ian McFarland to Georgia Tech but they added multiple members to the team from around the country and I think they’ll look to do more edits and video content to send to kids who are on their phones most of their lives.

Part of the reason things will be weird is that UofL will only be taking 10-15 players in this class and there’s no way to know how many of those spots will go to high school players. So I’m not sure when they take their first commitment because they may be waiting to do proper evaluations this summer. When you have a limited number of spots, you can’t miss.

With all that being said I still think Selah Brown out of Male will likely be the first prospect to pull the trigger. He’s a four-star Defensive Lineman who can play multiple spots along the line. If the staff could get started with a pickup like Brown, I think it would bode well for the class.

I think there are layers to this answer. The easy answer is just to win games but I think that you have to find a way to not only win back the fans but also excite them enough to come back to the stadium. I think time helps him because it will be the better part of a year before the season starts and a good amount of fans will have forgotten about the S.C. stuff.

We all tend to put a little too much stock into how the internet reacts to things like this. I haven’t ever read a message board but if I had to take a guess, it includes a segment of the fanbase that doesn’t speak for the whole just like Twitter and just like the comments here. That’s not to say what happened wasn’t worth the reaction, but I think the reaction doesn’t really represent the fanbase as a whole.

If Satterfield gets a couple of recruiting wins before the season and then beats Ole Miss, I think fans will start to swing back his way. If he starts the season 1-3, fans will start to buy the narrative that he’s either in over his head or not totally committed.

Coaching at this level requires a balance of what you do on the field and behind the scenes with how you handle the fans and community. Satterfield absolutely killed it when he first got here and his staff did the same. For whatever reason, he decided to take a torch to all of the goodwill that he built during that time. He can get the fans back if he wins. He will get the contract that he feels he earned and fans get what they expected after year one.

You won’t find a UofL fan that respects what Stoops has done at UK more than I do but my honest answer to this is absolutely not. Stoops should have another very good season in 2021 if the QB situation gets worked out but he’s a sub-.500 coach right now with one very good season under his belt. Even if Satterfield goes on to be a failure here, I don’t know that Stoops being consistently average would be enough for the fans.

I’ll concede that Satterfield really handled the S.C. stuff horribly and he didn’t help himself by throwing Javian Hawkins under the bus. However, I’m still going to die on the hill that UofL was a good football team outside of the turnovers last season. I also still believe that this was a rebuild that had the expectations shifted by the results in year one. So I think the jury is still out on Satterfield at this point.

They go hand-in-hand. UofL’s defense is all about getting teams in third and long and forcing punts. They were at their best last year when they could stop or slow the run and then defend the pass well once they forced those passing situations. In turn, that forces a punt and gives your offense the potential for good field position.

UofL’s biggest issue last season was that they would get teams into obvious passing situations and then not get a stop. That improved later in the season but it’s still a major concern. Getting a transfer Nose Tackle is a big deal because they have young talent but no veteran run stuffer like Jared Goldwire. If they can stuff the run this year, I think the improved secondary and potentially improved pass rush should help them get off the field.

Scott Satterfield’s winter/spring practice schedule has been explained a good amount and I do think it makes sense for what he’s looking for. However, it makes it impossible to get attention with basketball season going on. Satterfield has been able to move past the debacle he created so we did get some actual information from the coaches over the last few weeks. Here are some of the things that stood out to me.

  • Jack Bicknell stressed how deep the Offensive Line is. Trevor Reid was a guy that he and Satterfield both mentioned as a guy that stood out there.
  • The running back group is in really good shape with Greg Desrosiers being a pleasant surprise. Desrosiers is a former walk-on who chose Lousiville because he could play football and run track. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t one of the kick returners this fall.
  • The rest of the offense is as to be expected but Shai Wertz has impressed coaches with his move to Wide Receiver. Satterfield said that they borrowed some ball control drills from the New England Patriots to help the offense.
  • Kendrick Duncan is the guy that was most talked about on the defensive side of the ball. If you have a chance to check out any of the pictures or videos UofL has posted online you’ll see why as he is a freakishly large human. Bryan Brown talked a good amount about how familiar he is with the system and how that has helped him become a leader already.
  • Satterfield named Safety and Nose Tackle as two positions that they will look to add depth via the transfer portal. Lovie Jenkins will likely start next to Duncan but Josh Minkins is the only other player with experience and he missed the spring.
  • Ashton Gillotte is your “freshman the staff can’t stop talking about”. Mark Ivey, Bryan Brown, and Scott Satterfield all mentioned him by name and all of them perked up when they talked about him. I see Gillotte as a pass rusher in passing situations but the way they’re talking about him makes me wonder if he will have a bigger role.
  • Mark Ivey thinks that Yaya Diaby will be an All-Conference type of player this year.
  • Jack Fagot has moved to “Card” and Satterfield noted it as a position that needs depth. I have a suspicion that T.J. Quinn is playing there this spring as he didn’t get a mention from the safeties when they mentioned the young guys.