Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander during Louisville's win against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Photo by River City Cards staff.
alexander, Williams look to shine on defense
Repeat after me: One. Week. Left.
That’s all the time left, until the 16th ranked Louisville Cardinals take on Purdue in Indianapolis, and that’s all the time until we have a look at this team, and how well they will do. Their opponent had the 21st passing offense just one year ago, and with former Louisville quarterback Jeff Brohm at the helm, Louisville can expect the Boilermakers to pass first, and test the Cardinal’s secondary.
It’s a good secondary, an experienced secondary. Every starter has been there, and done that.
It will be highlighted by Cornerback Jaire Alexander. Alexander, a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the top cornerbacks in the country. He was on the All-ACC second team last season. He led the team with five interceptions, and tackled 39, including six against Virginia. Two of his picks came against the Clemson Tigers, off Deshaun Watson.
Alexander is good. Someone that doesn’t even know football can see that. He’ll line up opposite of Cornelius Sturghill, a former wideout that converted to the defense after redshirting in 2016. He used to be Louisville’s return man, appearing in seven games in 2015 on special teams. He’ll have help, behind him is Trumaine Washington, a veteran cornerback with a good career. He tackled 30 while making two picks last year, and tackled seven players against Virginia.
Other Cornerbacks are Ronald Walker and newcomer Russ Yeast, a four-star recruit from Greenwood, Indiana. Louisville beat out Oklahoma, Nebraska and Notre Dame to sign him.
While the defense is highlighted by Alexander, it will be led by safety Chucky Williams. He led the defense the past two seasons. Williams finished third on the team with 74 tackles. He also intercepted three, second only to Alexander. He again will take the field against the Boilermakers, and finish his Louisville career this season. Backing up Williams is talented safety Dee Smith. He recorded 42 tackles last year, and proved himself as an aggressive player. While the Houston game was one most Louisville fans want to forget, Smith made ten tackles, shining bright in the otherwise awful game.
The other safety is Zykiesis Cannon, a productive player, and a starter in ten games. The 6’0” senior from Mauldin, South Carolina recorded a career best in tackles in 2016. Freshmen Lyn Strange and TreSean Smith are the backups.
With Football this close, we’ve saved perhaps the best Louisville position for last. Next Wednesday, River City Cards will preview the final position, Quarterback, led by Heisman Award-winner Lamar Jackson.