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The Cardinal Countdown: 98 Days Until Kickoff

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 29 Florida State at Louisville Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#98 Ja’Darien Boykin

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-0/246

Position: Defensive End

Hometown: Gray, GA

Twitter: @JadarienB

Thoughts: Boykin announced his commitment to Louisville on February 6th, 2019 as a Senior in high school. And now here we are, nearly two years and three months later, and he is suiting up for the Cards as…a freshman. Crazy world, folks.

When signed Boykin became the first composite four star recruit for the new staff so he had some expectations tied to his name. Last year I thought he could get some reps up front after an abysmal performance from the defensive line in 2019, but we really didn’t see Boykin much beyond the usual “freshman reps” with a bit of “we have nine defensive lineman out this week due to COVID” mixed in as well. Boykin is a bit undersized for an end at the Power 5 level but has great speed and solid reflexes. He finished last year with a handful of tackles in seven appearances but never made any “woah” plays that I could recall. He’s still very young from an eligibility and experience standpoint though, lots of time to grow.

My expectation is that Peterson will still lock up the DE starting spot but I’m hoping we see a similar fall from Ja’Darien as we did last year where coaches were raving about his talent. I do believe the defensive line has the ability to shock some folks this year but expectations are fairly low right now for the group collectively. A few missed assignments or poor outings could see a door open for Boykin sooner than expected.

Sweet Tweet:

One could imply Boykin is talking about establishing a path to play football at a professional level and therefore make enough money that his mother can quit her job…..or maybe he just plans to buy thousands and thousands of lottery tickets. Either sounds like a solid strategy in my book.