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The Cardinal Countdown: 11 Days Until Kickoff

TaxSlayer Bowl - Mississippi State v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

2021 Season Recap: Dorian got an opportunity to see “next man up” play out right in front of his eyes in 2021. With Monty Montgomery going down in only the third game of the season the staff looked to Jones and others to fill the void. Alderman stepped up to the challenge literally the next play with a pick-six to seal a win over UCF, but you knew it would take the committee approach to replace the production of Monty. Jones, Alderman and Cloyd filled in rotationally the next few games until Jones earned his first start against NC State and never looked back the rest of the year. Jones finished with 40 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack, and 3 QB hurries. While still a freshman in terms of eligibility the Plantation, FL native had been in the program for three years already and took advantage of that window to step up and show out. It should also be noted that Dorian is responsible for a Top 5 Louisville gif of all time last year (tip of visor to our own Conor Shea).

2022 Season Outlook: While the start of 2022 looks similar to the start of 2021 for Jones, sitting behind Monty on the depth chart, he knows first hand one play can change that very quickly. While I still believe there will be situational play calling with Monty, Jones, Alderman, etc we will absolutely see a mixture of these guys in the middle all season long. Statistically you may something similar in terms of numbers but you would assume his actually minutes will drop with a healthy #7 in the middle. I think the “backup” who stands out this year really positions himself to be a top dog in ’23. Dorian (strict orders from Deputy Editor, Keith to only refer to him as Deebo from now on) should be in a good spot to make that move.

Sweet Tweet:

Shout to those folks who still watch ‘The Walking Dead’ in the year of our Lord, 2022. I guarantee you are married, been at the same job for 10 years, and still got underwear from college, because your level of commitment is off the charts.


2021 Season Recap: Josh Johnson finally got a full season. The young man from Atlanta has been on that Michalee Harris UofL career path since he arrived on campus, and that's not a good thing. The Top 100 wideout nationally arrived at UofL back in 2017 (yes, 2017) and actually saw some good production from him that first year in 10 games, grabbing a handful of catches as a true freshman. Then everything changed. A 2018 offseason workout resulted in a torn ACL and forced him to miss the whole year, then a few games into 2019 another torn ACL derailed his progress and set him back for an extended period of time, working his way back to 100% during the COVID year of 2020. But in 2021, the old JJ was back in action and was coming out hot with 8 receptions for over 80yds in the first two games. While some of his production slowed as the year progressed Johnson reintroduced himself on the offense, and it was great to see him making plays, including a TD against Kentucky in the last regular season game.

2022 Season Outlook: The “Super Redshirt Graduate Student Plus” (that's official) is entering his sixth season in the program and is looking like he may get a decent number of reps this year battling with Dee Wiggins on the outside. Johnson saw more action in 2021 than he had seen in nearly his entire career combined up to that point, so I like the prospect of him continuing to push for PT and finish up his career as a Top 3-4 guy in a room that needs some leadership and experience from someone who has been in the program for more than a cup of coffee. From all reports his attitude and confidence has never wavered through all this, even when given multiple excuses to let it. Happy to have him back in the fold and hope he comes out hot once again in 2022.

Sweet Tweet:

If anyone can say they have exercised patience on this team, it would be JJ. Cheering you on this year more than even to go do big things.