With the ACC media day winding down, it now is time to look at what the 2017 Louisville Cardinals Football team will look like, and predict what they will do. For the next few weeks, River City Cards will give a breakdown of what the roster looks like at each position.
This week, River City Cards will look at the offensive line, which will be critical if QB Lamar Jackson is to utilize his passing game more.
The offensive line features some new and old faces, led by LT Geron Christian. The 6’5”, 315lb. junior enters his third season after earning all-ACC honors in his first two. He is the most experienced lineman, after starting 26-straight games since his freshman season. Christian is backed up by freshman Mekhi Becton, who is an absolute beast of a man, at 6’7”, 340 lbs. Louisville’s third string LT is freshman Toryque Bateman.
Newcomer Cole Bentley (6’3”, 316) starts at left guard. It will be interesting to see how he handles the starting position, after dominating at Belfry High School in Lenore, West Virginia. He will be able to learn from the 6’4”, 306lb. redshirt junior Linwood Foy, the JUCO transfer from the College of the Canyons. Freshman Caleb Chandler is the third-string LG.
Center will be one of the more interesting positions. Longtime center Tobijah Hughley graduated last season, and redshirt freshman Robbie Bell (6’5”, 305) looks to fill his shoes. Time will tell if he will do a better job or not. Every Center’s main problem is noise, and Week eight’s road trip to Florida State will be the real test if he can handle the job or not. Backing him up is sophomore Nate Scheler.
The right side will be more experienced. Kenny Thompson will start at RG. The 6’6”, 322lb. junior played in a handful of games in 2015, and will be backed up by JUCO transfer Ronald Rudd. Rudd stands at 6’5”, 331lbs., and is a four-star recruit, according to ESPN.
RT has changed little since 2016. Junior Lukayas McNeil (6’6”, 319lbs.) is first on the depth chart, after starting 21 games his first two seasons. He will be backed up by Junior Danny Burns, (6’6”, 325) the third-string RT from last season. Burns looks to see in-game action, after being redshirted his freshman season, and not playing in 2015. Senior Toriano Roundtree rounds out the RT position.
Next week, River City Cards will give a breakdown of the Running Backs, another group which has changed, since the departure of Brandon Radcliff.