Over the last few years, Louisville football has seen two receivers put up an individual season that has landed in the record books. Tutu Atwell and Tyler Hudson both had 1,000+ yard seasons but the passing game overall struggled when those players were taken away by opposing defenses. Jeff Brohm’s offense is known for producing star receivers but what has been underrated is his ability to spread the wealth. He set out this winter to add talent to the receiver room and from what we’ve been able to see, the new depth will improve the group instantly.
While Brohm does well to spread the wealth, he also always has a go-to guy. That will be Jamari Thrash for the Cardinals this year. Thrash was one of the best receivers in the country last season though he played at the G5 level. However, Thrash had some of his best games against P5 teams and I think he will transition well for the Cards. His speed and size are prototype-level for receivers and he does a great job after the catch, which should bode well for his production.
Kevin Coleman will likely be the first option in the slot after transferring in from Jackson State. He had a solid freshman season and from what I saw in the spring and fall, he should have no issue transitioning to the P5 level. He and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce should be a great combo in the slot. AHB was hobbled for much of the season last year but he looks fully healthy and finally ready to reach his potential.
Things get interesting once you get past the most experienced players. The third receiver spot is up for grabs, in my opinion. Jimmy Calloway manned the spot in the spring but Chris Bell was out with an injury and so was Jadon Thompson. From what I’ve seen personally, I’d expect either of those two to be the starter against Georgia Tech. But the fact that they have all of these options is a welcomed change.
Other players who could see the field and make an impact are William Fowles and Cataurus Hicks. Both arrived for spring practice and at one point I made the argument for both to be starters. I think the transition to college ball will hold both of them back a bit but I would be very surprised if these guys redshirted this season. They both look the part as freshmen who can contribute and both will be needed as reserves next season.
I try to avoid picking a top player in this spot but Jamari Thrash could honestly be a first-team All-American this season. He has the talent and this offense is built to make number one receivers into stars. Look for Trash to put up big numbers thanks to the other receivers on the team taking some attention away from him. It’s very hard to stop one guy when everyone else can also beat you.