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The Cardinal Countdown: 5 Days Until Kickoff

Louisville v Connecticut Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

2021 Season Recap: If you asked the casual fan to name all 22 projected starters on the Louisville football team I feel like most of them could get to 14-15 range without issue, but my guess would be that Josh Minkins would be one of the names they leave off. No offense to Josh because this would be his first full season going into the year as a starter, but the 20 game vet is still looking to make a big impact on the defensive side of the ball. Last year Minkins, a local prospect from Ballard, played mostly backup duty to Q Cole at free safety but appeared in twelve games and even got the start in the bowl game against the pilots with footballs. Josh finished last year with 17 tackles, but also had a pick against Boston College in the 4th to help create some separation late.

2022 Season Outlook: When you talk about listing out guys needing to take that next step, Minkins is on the cover of the book. While safe play the last couple years has kept him from getting put on a poster, Coach Brown is gonna need more from the third year guy taking on some big responsibility as the last man back with some big arm QBs in the league. Josh has added around 17lbs since last season and has also become more vocal according to Coach Crime. Part of becoming a big time program is having guys who have got good reps in years past slide into a starters role and we see either no drop-off or better yet, improvement from seasons past. Minkins is one to keep an eye on as I think he can be another good one in a long line of safeties that have made a name for themselves in this program the last 20 years. Good length, good speed, and good hops....

Sweet Tweet:

When Josh isn’t catching interceptions, he’s catching bodies on the hardwood. I know this is a one on one challenge but in a game environment, never jump with dudes who look like they rolled out of bed but can still drop 40 in sweatpants and slides.


2021 Season Recap: I’m not saying the two local Ballard grads got together in the offseason and decided to both change their number to 5, but that seems like a mighty big coincidence if not. Also, as the acting president of the ‘Marshon Ford Fan Club’ I’m a little hurt I didn’t get the heads up back in the spring about the forthcoming number change after I already sprung for the tattoo. Come on Marshon, hit them DMs.

As far as ’21 is concerned, Marshon continued to grow his legacy as one of the most surprising superstars the program has seen in quite some time. From an unknown in 2019 who burst on the scene in a “new to you” H back role that went for 20 catches and 7 tuddys, to a a COVID year with 25 receptions and 6 touchdowns, to becoming the teams leading receiver last year with 49 grabs and 550yds, along with two more scores. Marshon became one of the more reliable targets for Malik as the season progressed, mostly out of the backfield but also along the line. Ford didn’t get in the endzone as much as years past but his production from redzone to redzone was unequaled.

2022 Season Outlook: For those who questioned if 2019 was a flash in the pan, 2020 proved you were wrong, and for those who thought he would never eclipse those numbers 2021 showed you should really stop betting against him. Marshon walks into 2022 as one of the more respected tight ends in the conference and has seen some pre-season pub on a national level as a real offensive weapon. Nothing I type here will be groundbreaking because we’ve seen it all at this point and I would not dare put restrictions on what we may see from Marshon this season. If I had to take a guess I say we see a bit more of the 2020 Marshon emerge this year as a redzone threat since I think Hudson, AHB, and Braden make take some pressure off him as a primary target between the 20s but if Malik is comfortable with him catching the ball and making plays, maybe we see reception and yardage numbers like last year AND the touchdowns to match? The story of the rise of Marshon, the local unknown prospect who turned into a threat (in my opinion) to play at the next level is inspiring, and I’m glad to see the young man make it happen. I know Ford still has another season of eligibility after this but just in case this is the last appearance on the countdown, been a real pleasure, man. Now about that tattoo....

Sweet Tweet:

On top of everything else we have confirmed Marshon Ford will also tickle your baby. I see a run for office in the future.