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An anonymous Power 5 head coach told ESPN: "That [Louisville sophomore QB Lamar Jackson] is the next big thing in college football. Phenomenal talent."

Jackson is a dynamic rushing talent who piled up 412 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in wins against the SEC's Kentucky and Texas A&M to close out the season. The 6-foot-3, 196-pounder finished his freshman campaign as the undisputed starter after a mid-season rocky patch due to inconsistencies in the passing game. That aspect of Jackson's game has accelerated quickly. He threw for 519 yards and eight touchdowns in the spring game. "Oh, he can throw it," the Power 5 coach said. "He’s going to blow up this year. Knew he was really good, but he’s a freak show talent-wise."
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 18 - 1:11 PM

Louisville returns nine of its 17 interceptions from last season and 33 passes defended in total.

The group is led by CB Trumaine Washington, who had a team-leading four interceptions and 10 passes defended last season. He earned third-team all-conference honors for that showing. With an uber-athletic, deep offense and an attacking, versatile defense, Louisville will be a highly dangerous team this fall.
Jun 10 - 8:13 PM

Louisville senior WR Ja'Quay Savage "earned all sorts of praise from the Cardinals’ coaches this spring for breaking out at receiver," according to ESPN's Matt Fortuna.

The Cardinals offense will be greatly improved in 2016. Lamar Jackson is everybody's favorite breakout pick and an already strong receiving corps has been bolstered by Reggie Bonafon's addition and Savage's emergence.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 7 - 4:53 PM

ESPN's KC Joyner wrote that "[t]he ACC is stocked with quarterback talent, but [Louisville sophomore QB] Lamar Jackson has a chance to become the best field general in the conference."

"[HC Bobby] Petrino said that Jackson, who was rough around the edges with his fundamentals last season, has been doing a much better job with his footwork, lead shoulder, drops and sets this spring," Joyner noted. The 6-foot-3, 196-pounder translated that work into 518 yards and eight touchdown passes during the team's spring game. Not much can be read into spring numbers, of course, but that performance could stand as a marker for Jackson's progression. Along with Joyner, ESPN's Jared Shanker and Travis Haney have both tabbed him as a potential supernova candidate for 2016, with Shanker going so far as to call him a Heisman sleeper.
Jun 6 - 3:31 PM

CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli wrote that "some doubts should remain" regarding Louisville as a potential top-25 team in 2016.

Fornelli views last season's late push (six wins in last seven games) to be at least partially the result of the schedule. The six victories in question came against teams that finished a combined 27-46. The Cardinals went 2-4 against squads that made bowls. "Now, there's nothing wrong with beating up on bad teams. Good teams do that all the time," Fornelli wrote. "I'd just like to see Louisville have a bit more success against teams in the top 25 before I decide it belongs in the top 25." He is seriously running against trend, here. Louisville has received a mountain of buzz as not only a top-25 program for 2016, but also a potential Playoff sleeper.
Source: CBS Sports
May 22 - 1:46 PM

Louisville HC Bobby Petrino called junior WR Reggie Bonnafon "one of the greatest kids in the world to coach."

"For [Bonnafon], it was a matter of -- he didn’t have a lot of experience playing the position [of wide receiver]," Petrino said, "so he was working hard to learn everything. This really gives him a chance to use his natural ability." The 6-foot-3, 206-pounder switched over to receiver from quarterback this spring. He offers a silly amount of athletic talent -- 43.5-inch vertical jump during offseason testing -- and could thrive as a receiver if he can make the full adjustment. While the Cardinals initially recruited (and played) him as a quarterback, Bonnafon is no stranger to the outside, having suited up at receiver for several years in high school prior to a position shift his senior year. If you aren't already on the Louisville bandwagon, it is going to be full-up by the time August camp rolls around. Find your seats now.
Source: ESPN.com
May 20 - 1:17 PM

ESPN's Jared Shanker believes that Louisville HC Bobby Petrino "needs a fast start to preserve the Cardinals’ chances for a breakthrough season in the ACC."

"Hailed as a sleeper with 18 returning starters this upcoming season," Shanker wrote, "the Cardinals’ conference hopes will be decided by the morning of Oct. 2, after they play ACC favorites Florida State and Clemson in a three-week stretch." Petrino's crew will hook up with the Seminoles on September 17 and will clash with Clemson on October 1. Louisville is an offseason darling of many in the media, but be careful about crowning paper tigers.
Source: ESPN.com
May 19 - 7:10 PM

ESPN's Jared Shanker tabbed Louisville sophomore QB Lamar Jackson as a potential sleeper for the Heisman.

"Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has finally settled on the dual-threat star," Shanker wrote, "and Jackson could reward Petrino’s trust by becoming the midseason Heisman favorite in 2016." Big performances against Florida State (September 17) and Clemson (October 1) are musts if the 6-foot-3, 196-pounder is legitimately going to crash the end-of-season awards party. Last season, he threw for 1,840 yards (54.7% completions) with a 12/8 TD/INT ratio while rushing for 960 yards and 11 touchdowns. Jackson's rushing prowess is already evident. He will need to make considerable progress as a passer if he is to cash in on some of the considerable preseason hype.
Source: ESPN.com
May 18 - 1:08 PM

ESPN's Andrea Adelson sees Louisville as a potential Playoff sleeper out of the ACC.

There has been a low rumble of buzz (assuming that a buzz can come in rumbling form) around Louisville through spring practice, one that is unlikely to abate as we roll into the summer. Sophomore QB Lamar Jackson dumped a whole lot of gasoline on that hype fire when he completed 24-of-29 passes for 518 yards and eight touchdowns in the team's mid-April spring game. Adelson is concerned with the Cardinals' schedule -- they will face potential top-10 teams in Florida State, Houston and Clemson this season -- but reminded that they "lost to Clemson by a combined nine points the past two seasons and hung with Florida State early in both games."
Source: ESPN.com
May 17 - 10:29 PM

ESPN's Travis Haney named Louisville sophomore QB Lamar Jackson the sport's biggest breakout candidate.

The hyper-athletic Jackson is on quite the heater, running for 412 yards and four touchdowns in the final two games last season and then laying utter waste to a talented Louisville defense in going 24-of-29 for 518 yards and eight touchdowns this spring. An ESPN colleague of Haney's told Bobby Petrino that he might have the best quarterback in the ACC outside of Deshaun Watson. Petrino smiled and said: "I guess we'll see."
Source: ESPN.com
May 12 - 7:20 PM

The Saints received a C+ for their 2016 draft class from Rotoworld's Evan Silva.

"I expect New Orleans to get immediate returns on [Rd. 1 DT Sheldon] Rankins and [Rd. 2 WR Michael] Thomas, and quite possibly [Rd. 2 S Vonn] Bell in 'big nickel' packages," Silva wrote. "Rankins is a pro-ready and complete three-technique tackle, while Thomas should figure into the Saints' three-receiver sets right away." New Orleans only had two picks after that, but Silva liked what they did with those two, taking intriguing upside-types in Manitoba DT David Onyemata and California RB Daniel Lasco.
Source: Rotoworld
May 7 - 11:20 AM

Dolphins signed Louisville LB James Burgess.

Burgess (6'0/229) started for three-plus years at U of L, finishing his senior season as a third-team All-ACC pick on the strength of 9.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, and an interception. Burgess was evaluated by some NFL teams as a safety prospect, and his measurables are indeed that of a linebacker/strong safety 'tweener with 4.61/4.65 speed and average agility. Ultimately, Burgess looks the part of an NFL special teamer.
May 3 - 5:13 PM

Saints selected Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

The Saints had to find pass-rush help in the draft, and they landed perhaps the best interior disruptor available. Rankins (6'1/299) made 29 starts in four seasons at Louisville, compiling 31.5 career tackles for loss and 18 sacks. He turned in a strong Combine workout, running 5.03 with a 34 1/2-inch vertical and 28 bench-press reps. An explosive gap shooter with power and a strong base for run defense, Rankins is a complete defensive tackle despite a shortage of height and body mass. Compared to Kawann Short by Rotoworld's Josh Norris, Rankins should make an immediate impact, either at one or three technique.
Apr 28 - 9:40 PM

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins is still rising up draft boards, according to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Paulins.

"A'Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed and Vernon Butler are good players, but not nearly the pass rushers of Rankins or [Chris] Jones," he wrote in explanations. Rankins' ceiling is probably the Bucs at No. 9, as Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported earlier this week.
Apr 28 - 1:20 PM

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins is in play for the Bucs at No. 9, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports.

"Gonna depend how some things fall," Garafolo tweeted. The "chalk" pick for the Bucs has been Vernon Hargreaves III, with Shaq Lawson as option No. 2. Some might say Rankins and Gerald McCoy would fill the same slot. However, the Bucs need to create disruption in any means necessary, and interior pressure can destroy an offense. We absolutely believe Rankins is worthy of the selection.
Apr 27 - 9:02 AM


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