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The Cardinal Countdown: 68 Days Until Kickoff

Middle Tennessee v Louisville
Busey, baby
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

#68 Michael Gonzalez

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-4/291

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Indian Trail, NC

Twitter: @mgonzalez_71

Thoughts: Add another name to list of prospects from North Carolina who fell victim to the badassery (it’s a word, look it up) that is Gunter Brewer. Coach Brewer is largely responsible for the North Carolina territory and jumped on Gonzalez early back as a Sophomore. Pulling in Ledford and Satt only helped seal the deal for the 3 star guard out of Sun Valley (former high school of Sam Howell, and a great muni course if you can hit it straight). Gonzalez, like his former QB and former WR (Gavin Blackwell) teammates was a heavy target for a few North Carolina programs as well as Mizzou, Florida, Penn State, and Kentucky, but the Top 40 guard found a home in Louisville over numerous zoom calls and multiple conversations with the staff.

Gonzalez was an early enrollee and participated in Spring practice, and when I say “participated” I mean he came in and showed out on his potential as an early contributor on the line. Satterfield mentioned him by name numerous times and even went so far as to say he was likely a guy that would see the field this season. So what does the 6-4, 291 pound freshman bring to the table? Lets take a peek….

The first thing you’ll likely notice is that the “guard” played a lot at tackle for Sun Valley as well, which is actually where many are projecting him to see time this year (hopefully behind a young man finally reaching his full potential in Trevor Reid). While I do enjoy seeing guys toss bodies around in highlight clips we obviously need to see more than just pure physicality as that edge rusher for Clemson ain’t exactly the same as the 6-0/190 kid lining up across from him in high school. I liked his hand placement and his drive, especially in the run game as when he didn’t just throw someone on the ground he often got a great push downfield. He didn’t have happy feet when pass blocking which is always nice to see but for sure can use some refinement in getting to his spot.

I’ve covered this ad nausea the last ten years but size is important along the line. Yes, we need speed and the ability to get upfield, but having guys trot out there with a 6-4 reach and enough weight to hold their ground is a big piece of building a core in the trenches. Gonzalez is a nice addition to this group and I think he’ll be a leader in that room within a couple seasons.

Sweet Tweet:

I like this a lot. Always look to improve and be a leader. Like I said, could be a special player for the Cards sooner than later.