Originally written on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 8/27/13
I already gave some thoughts on the Louisville offense, now let’s talk about the defense. Along the defensive front, no shockers here. Louisville will have Lorenzo Mauldin and Marcus Smith starting at defensive end, with Brandon Dunn and Roy Philon holding it down in the middle. I expect those four to be very productive for the Cards this year, and in particular, I believe Marcus Smith is set to really open some eyes after he gave Florida a ton of problems in the Sugar Bowl. Remember, he came to Louisville as a quarterback, then moved to linebacker before settling at end; just wait until he finally completely understands how to play that position. As far as the back-ups go up front, I am really interested to see how freshman De’Asian Richardson perform. De’Asian Richardson is a highly touted recruit out of Jacksonville, Florida who many recruiting experts pointed to as a huge get for Louisville. He has great size at 6-3 and 285 lbs, but is reputed to be very quick. He’s currently the only true freshman on the defensive side listed on the two-deep roster. It’ll be interested to see how many snaps he gets. At the linebacker spot, senior Preston Brown will start at middle linebacker, and will be flanked by senior George Durant and sophomore James Burgess. Backing them up will be Lamar Atkins (Brown), Champ Lee (Durant), and Deon Rogers (Burgess). This group is a bit thin, which is probably why we’ve heard of sophomore Nick Dawson, a former four-star recruit at linebacker who is currently listed as a defensive end, getting some practice reps at linebacker. I’ve said before on numerous occasions, I believe Preston Brown is in line for a strong season, but I think his leadership will be just as important as his play. Charlie Strong has spoken highly of Preston’s leadership during fall camp, and let’s hope that continues throughout the season. In the secondary, Terell Floyd and Jermaine Reve get the nods at cornerback. They will be backed-up by Stephan Robinson and Andrew Johnson. Converted wide receiver Charles Gaines, who led UofL in interceptions during fall camp, currently sits third behind Johnson. At safety, Louisville is in really good shape with Calvin Pryor and Hakeem Smith. Calvin Pryor has been solid since he got to Louisville, and Hakeem is a potential All-American, but the guy I’m most looking forward to seeing is Gerod Holliman. Holliman received very positive reviews during camp, is reputed to be a vicious hitter, and let’s not forget, he is one of Charlie Strong’s highest rated recruits at UofL. I expect a solid season for him if he can stay healthy. FULL UOFL DEPTH CHART
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