The Cardinal countdown: 9 days before kick-off
# 9 Amari Huggins-Bruce
Class: First year student
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 160
Position: wide receiver
Birthplace: Dillon, South Carolina
Thoughts: There’s nothing quite like writing a recap on a fast freshman slot receiver. It’s like we’re reliving 2014-18. Just kidding of course, Huggins-Bruce is just one of two receivers brought in with this class compared to the 3-4s we’ve typically picked up in every round of recruiting under Regime 2.0. The good news is that instead of taking risks on multiple guys, the staff have a great outlook who will be looking to fill a void that probably can’t be replaced by just one man, it may take them a tutu (I’m sorry ).
Amari is someone Coach Brewer and Coach Satterfield targeted because they knew Atwell only had 2020 here in Louisville, and the guys behind him were getting older as well. The COVID eligibility year helped balance the niche a bit more, but Johnson (day 11) and Werts (day 5) are both seniors so looking into 2022 they needed to get support from Braden. The Cards snatched him away from Virginia Tech on singing day like a bully grabbing an old lunch bucket, and Huggins-Bruce pointed out Brewer’s success with the league grooming guys as a big reason. Amari has excellent speed and “elusive” as you would expect for a player with his frame. When I watched the movie, I love how it made the guys miss without having to back up 3-4 yards or make a crazy change of direction across the field. If he’s in a 5 yard zone with the defender, he walks out of the zone with quick movements instead of trying to outrun everyone.
Exhibit A: He (# 9 in black) scored a TD on this game
Exhibit B: He (# 9 in black) scored a TD on this game
For anyone who expects AHB or Braden to step up and fill the production Tutu left behind, let me go ahead and tell you that your expectations are unrealistic, but I think between them, they can have a big impact in that slot position in 2021. Over the next couple of years, as Amari learns about the offense, the playbook, and the staff figure out exactly how to use it, he could be another. top player in this offense.
… .Hard hands no bands, weak arms close farms, clean roads, crowd screams, thick legs ma-… .ok, I’m done.
# 9 CJ Avery
Class: RS Senior
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 227
Birthplace: Granada, MS
Thoughts: After ending an overall lackluster season in 2020, the Cards, and fans, received a major boost for the season ahead a few days after the season ended when CJ Avery announced he would return for his fifth season and lead a Louisville defense that is on the rise. While a player doesn’t make or break a season, Avery was number 1 and 2 on my list of guys I was hoping they would come back to because he’s such a big part of what they’ve built these last two years. Hopefully we can see him leave the program, turning one of the nation’s worst defenses into a Top 25 threat.
If you’re reading this, you not only know Avery, but you probably know him pretty well. The Granada linebacker entered the freshman and has been in all 13 games, catching more than 20 tackles and picking up a fumble this season. He was the first for a big jump in 2018 and that’s exactly what he did, positioning himself as one of the best players on that side of the ball in a season where they needed around 4. -5 more of him. His rise over the past two years was absolutely impacted by Coach Brown and his plan, but Avery was a great player even under poor training. In sophomore, Avery finished second overall in tackles, but mixed up a cornucopia of defensive stats (TFL, sacks, PBU, FF, INT) to showcase his skills and athleticism. As a junior he repeated those efforts, but this time he was the team’s best tackle. Last year he led the team in tackles again and stacked more INT, TFL, Sacks, PBU, FF, QB in a hurry… should I continue?
Avery is a guy who will not only lead on the pitch, but teach off the pitch, and having KJ, Dorian, Monty and others to feed on is immeasurable this year for what they can use in 2022 and beyond. -of the. I couldn’t be more excited to see him release a bullet again.
Is it weird to hang a photo in your house that not only doesn’t include you, but also doesn’t include someone you know personally? That smile, the hair, that good technique for throwing up the “L” … that Marshon Ford is a bad guy. I know, I know, I buried the lead. Sorry CJ, you are so handsome boy, digging the costume. Freshly released stash (also pictured by Katie George).