The 2022 Cardinal Countdown
If you thought a disappointing 2020 pandemic riddled football season and a substandard 2021 football season was gonna kill my vibe on this series, you would be sorely mistaken. I’m like 50 in internet years. You can’t kill me! I only come back stronger with more fun facts and Infomercial posts! But, while I’m not dead yet, I am a realist, and if you want to hit me with some truths about the last two years I’ll be standing firmly beside you sprinkling in head nods and agreeable “Mmm-hmm”s like salt on a ribeye. What that doesn’t mean though is that I’m kicking cans down the street and crying into a Natty Light at the corner bar. In fact, I may be more encouraged about the direction of the program this offseason than I have been the two seasons past. A few weeks ago I asked myself “Self, what do you have to be excited about right now regarding Louisville football?” and I liked what I came up with. In fact, I got a list and here’s the order of the list that it’s in….it goes Reggie, Jay-Z, 2Pac, and Bi-…..sorry wrong list. HERE is the list…
- Staff that stayed: No matter what your thoughts on Satterfield are at this point he is getting an opportunity to build a program. You can dream sweet dreams of Bobby 2.0 but when the dust settled, we had a nightmare scenario when it came to the staff, the roster, and the attitude in the program. This year the overwhelming majority of the roster will have been recruited by Satterfield & Co, so his stamp is on the team without question. No result I can envision in 2022 will be even close to what he inherited just four short seasons ago so some work is being done. Is he still on the hook for results? Absolutely, but he has without question made it a more attractive landing spot than it was when he walked his visor through those front doors, and part of that has been keeping a core staff together across position groups and bringing in new blood when he needed too. Speaking of…
- Staff Additions: No program can consistently sustain a staff year over year, but how you replace those departures off the field is nearly as important as recruiting on the field. In 2022 Satterfield went and grabbed Nic Cardwell back from App State (OL), Coach Crime (Wesley McGriff) from Florida (co-DC/DB), Coach Taylor from Notre Dame (OC), Coach Stepp from Georgia State (TE), John Herron (Recruiting Coord) from Florida, and Coach Sowders from Georgia (Strengh&Cond). Guys from big time programs who have been in the game for awhile and will bring a new look to some key positions. To me, Sowders could be the most impactful addition across the board when talking about getting stronger and punishing teams in the trenches. It’s cliché but games are often won and lost in what you do from January to August, not September to December. Sowders can help change that.
- Transfer Market: While the Cards lost some guys I’m going to deeply miss (Hassan Hall, Greedy Vance, Tyler Harrell) they also swooped in and snagged some P5 talent in positions of need. A few of the guys I’m most excited about based upon where they might fit into the program are Tiyon Evans (RB) from Tennessee, Tyler Hudson (WR) from Central Arkansas, Mohamed “Momo” Sanogo (LB) from Ole Miss, Jarvis Brownlee (CB) from Florida State, and the most recent addition Jermayne Lole (NT) from Arizona State. They also grabbed a couple safeties from Duke and Temple and another wideout from Miami. From this group they have more than a handful of guys who will contribute immediately, which is always the goal in the ever changing landscape of college football. Losing a couple vets in the linebackers room is tough, but Momo has some juice about him and Lole, I think, could alter the entire defensive line with his presence. Excited to see what both can do as leaders.
- NIL Approach: The program, while not huge on publicity, has done an incredible job setting up an internal structure within the University on how to handle the world of NIL and how to get the most for their athletes across the board. No doubt some of the names mentioned above and some of the talent who decided to stick around are a result of the foundation built by the staff in that area. They got a head start on some other ACC programs and there is certainly more to come in the future.
- Recruiting: Speaking of more to come in the future, the Cards snagged a couple four star studs in the 2022 class (Popeye Williams, 12th highest recruit all-time at UofL & Devaughn Mortimer) while also snagging a local star in Selah Brown. They also filled some holes with some under the radar guys like Chance Marrow, Izaiah Reed, and Max Cabana. All of this of course sets the table for what will most likely go down as the best recruiting class in program history in 2023 if they hold it together. Currently two commits in that class (Aaron Williams & Pierce Clarkson) would be Top 10 recruits all-time at UofL, and the class overall as of today sits at #10 nationally.
If that isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, how about we toss in a quarterback returning to the program who is on the verge of breaking even more Louisville records when it comes to overall production and scoring. A running back room with Evans, Mitchell, Cooley, Jordan and others, an O-line returning Chandler, Brown, Hudson, Reid, Boone, Gonzalez, and Kandra, and a tight end room with Marshon (president of fan club).
As for the Countdown itself, I feel like once you get past the eleven year mark in doing something online you got to mix it up a bit, so while the overall foundation will remain the same I’m going to introduce some new things here and there this year to try and “spice things up a bit”. Google told me “spicing things up” involved oils and role playing, so lets get weird in 2022. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no longer time to waste. Football season is right around the corner, and we’re fixin’ to get there together.
100 Days Until Louisville Football. Let’s go!