Louisville Football has a shutdown Cornerback again. It’s been a while since Jaire Alexander dominated his side of the field for Louisville but they now have another player who has the potential to do the same. Kei’Trel Clark showed up to campus about a year ago and immediately became a favorite of the coaching staff. He then went on to become one of the best corners in the ACC and has been named to the Jim Thorpe award Watch List.
Louisville having a shutdown corner on one side of the field is a very big deal because Bryan Brown likes to put his corners on an island which allows him to be more aggressive with his pass rush and other coverages. Clark has openly admitted to the fact that he didn’t even know the defense last year and was just operating on his assignment as a corner. Now he understands what the Safeties will be doing on each call and what pressures are called. That will only help him when it comes to knowing wif and when he can take chances and when he needs to just keep things in front of him.
Chandler Jones will line up opposite Clark for another year and the veteran corner should be in for a big year. Jones is the most veteran defender on the roster outside of CJ Avery and he truly knows this defense inside and out. That experience has led to him being utilized as a package/backup Safety this year to give Bryan Brown more flexibility and depth. It’s not crazy to say that Jones could have the biggest impact on the defense.
The third corner spot will be manned by Greedy Vance and the fact that Jones will play some Safety this year says a lot about how Brown feels about Greedy. In limited time last year, Vance showed that he was comfortable playing at the college level and he made a few plays where he was in the right spot but just a moment late to the ball or the play. With a full offseason, I predict that Vance will be on the field nearly as much as a starter and he will be a mainstay on third downs.
The youth really jumps out once you get past Greedy. The Cards lost two corners to the transfer portal so that means that two of the three freshmen that they just signed will likely see the field a good amount this year. I would expect those two to be Kani Walker and Derrick Edwards. Both got to campus in the winter and have had plenty of time to work on their bodies as well as learn the defense. Rance Conner arrived before camp so he naturally is at a disadvantage. However, Brown will have to use his youth and things always change when the games actually start.
I have been very high on Greedy Vance since he was a recruit. He has great length and he is a true ballhawk. Brown wants guys who know how to be aggressive while being smart and he likes guys that can be sticky in coverage. Greedy can do both of those things and as a true freshman he displayed that even though it was a very small sample size. With a year under his belt, I think he will allow Brown to play five Defensive Backs more often and he will be tested because Clark will be across the field. He’ll pass that test with flying colors, in my opinion.