2021 Season Recap: The 4-star freshman came in last year looking to make an impact early in a room that already had some established players in Hassan Hall and Jalen Mitchell, as well as the vet Maurice Burkley. The speedster from North Carolina (raise up) played in twelve games last year and ended up being a Top 3 option in the run game (86 att/431yds/1 TD) and just outside the Top 5 options as a receiving threat as well (12rec/173yds/2TD). The true freshman made his presence known in a crowded room and his speed was on display in a couple big plays last year against UCF and then later in the year against Duke
2022 Season Outlook: While the “ORs” have it on the current depth chart there is no doubt Cooley is very much in the mix to get significant time this year from the tailback position both running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. One of the big things Cooley, Evans, and other have talked about this fall is being a better all around player. Sure you can make cuts and break a tackle, but can you block? Sure you can help block, but can you make a difficult catch across the middle? With literally four guys fighting for time there will be situational players and from what we saw last season, at a minimum, Cooley is a nice back to get into space and let him do work. I’m a big Jawhar Jordan guy, and Cooley is right there just a hair in front of him in my mind….and both of them are probably projected as backups to Mitchell or Evans if you ask the casual fan. The room and the talent is deep this year. I hope Cooley gets an opportunity to get more involved in the offense but only time will time at this point how the balls are distributed.
Shout out to the giraffes and little Fitz the elephant over at the Louisville Zoo. Would love to have some of that giraffe length at wideout and my dude Fitz getting some reps in at linebacker. Big issue is that he’s a huge liability when left in open space. Can’t tackle for crap….speaking of crap, the dung would not go over well. We had enough guys step in last year figuratively, lets leave the literal possibility off the board.
2021 Season Recap: In the COVID shortened 2020 season the Cards got Cloyd in the mix on defense and special teams, and continued that trend last year as we saw him appear in all 13 games, including getting a start against Virginia at linebacker opposite Yasir. Finishing the year with 12 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBUs, and 2 QB hurries Cloyd made some great plays when given the opportunity which should position him well this year.
2022 Season Outlook: Back in the Spring, and even as recent as a few months ago, Cloyd was deep in the mix to actually be a starter this year if not for two big events. First, the Cards grabbed Momo Sanago from the transfer portal to replace CJ Avery, and then Monty Montgomery got clearance to get back to the field from his injury. If one of those things didn’t happen I think KJ may be fighting for a starting spot right now. With that said, he’s still in the mix for significant reps and that goal of being on the top line may only be delayed a year with both of those aforementioned guys only having one season left. Cloyd has shown he can make a tackle, and has good speed for a 230lb backer in the middle. I’d really like to see him “get in the mud” this year and have his name called a few times in some big spots. I think he can be the next guy up to step into a leadership role in ’23 but need to see flashes this year.
I just pulled a hammy reading this…