#15 Jalen Mitchell
Class: RS Freshman
Position: Running Back
Hometown: Rockledge, FL
Thoughts: The focus during the offseason on the offensive side of the ball has mainly leaned toward the new receivers, and part of the reason for that was the last couple games of 2020. With Hawkins opting out to look towards his professional career the door was opened for another player to get some reps, and Jalen Mitchell took full advantage.
During 2020 Mitchell saw action in nine games but really didn’t become a piece of the offensive game plan until the last four, and in those last four all he did was run the ball 48 times for 334 rushing yards, at just a tick under seven yards per carry (6.96). While he got double digit attempts in the last three games his performance against Wake was what calmed the concerns of many Cards fans heading into 2021 when thinking about the run game….
While Mitchell has been described as “a walking muscle” every Michael, Brandon, and Javian watching that clip would likely point out the same thing, my man has got to get some nitrous on that supped up frame. Braking into the open field a couple times only to be chased down is discouraging BUT we do have to understand the tradeoff in that he can also carry two or three guys for five yards that you may not see from a “burner”. Of course, Satterfield and Sims have a full stable of backs so if they want to mix it up and go speed over strength they’ve got options. With that said, Mitchell is the clear number one right now during camp and we could have another 1,000 back in the making.
He may be an Alien….and I also may need to hit the gym up a few more times this year.
#15 Kameron Wilson
Class: RS Freshman
Hometown: McDonough, GA
Thoughts: Back in March of 2019 if I could look into the future and see that we had a really strong linebacker group heading into 2021 that I was not only excited about, but could also argue was one of the Top 3 position groups on the team, there is no way I could have envisioned that Kam Wilson would not be a big part of that group, but he’s not, and that’s okay.
Wilson, just prior to finishing his high school career was bumped up to a consensus four star recruit and was tagged as an immediate impact player on defense for the Cards. While Wilson has absolutely seen some reps and looked fine in those opportunities he’s still a freshman fighting for a spot among some very talented upperclassmen. Just looking across the projected starters you have Yaya, CJ, Monty, and Marvin and the backups include Okeke and KJ Cloyd among others. Most of those guys have years under their belt that are tough to replicate and Wilson is still pushing to crack that rotation while also waiting for his opportunity. When you look even deeper and scan the two deep for all linebacking position there is only one freshman and that’s the redshirt Dorian Jones, everyone else has 3-4 years of D-I reps in their bag and that's a great sign not only in 2021 but also in them teaching up the younger group for next year and beyond.
I’m fairly comfortable in saying that Kam will be a solid player for UofL in the long run, and that fact that they don’t absolutely need him to be in 2021 is a good thing to me. Watch out for Wilson this year situationally and be prepared to see him step up into a bigger role next year.
I know it’s small thing that has zero significance on the field, but I like the commitment photos that have the whole fam in them. Makes me think that the young man understands the support he has around him even in a moment that he could very easily make all about him. Doesn’t mean he’ll be a great player or even an average player; but a reflection of character for sure. Good stuff, Kam.