The Louisville Cardinals had an impressive year despite multiple hiccups along the way which took a major hit to their starting lineup. Near the end of the season, seven key players including star receiver Tutu Atwell and the talented running backs Hassan Hall and Javian Hawkins were lost due to season altering injuries. Although the team was a bit short-handed from there on out, they were still listed under top college football betting odds for a majority of matchups as they continued to possess some great players on their side that proved themselves capable of leading the organization. Let’s take a look at just a few of Louisville’s most influential starting players from the 2020 season.
Fifth year senior Dez Fitzpatrick was hugely influential to Louisville for the entirety of 2020. Just last year, the Cardinals wide receiver rushed for 635 cumulative yards and a total of 6 touchdowns, proving himself to be a valuable member of the Louisville football program from the very start. He continued to demonstrate this during the 2020 season with impactful plays that won important games. Fitzpatrick’s future is uncertain as has his eyes fixed on the NFL draft, but has had an exceptional experience with the Cardinals, especially because he had the opportunity to play alongside his brother, Christian.
With 5 starts, 22 tackles, 14 solos, and 4 tackles for loss under his belt from the 2019 season, defensive tackle Jared Goldwire continued to raise the bar in 2020. In fact, earlier this year in spring training, defensive coordinator Bryan Brown noted that Goldwire seemed to have a different air about him, that he wanted to work even harder for a larger role. The 6-foot-6 lineman became one of the most valuable and productive players on the Cardinals defensive line, helping the team to win games by blocking incoming attackers.
Redshirt junior Caleb Chandler finished the 2019 season with 13 starts playing alongside Mekhi Becton. Since then he continued to develop into an all-around solid player for the Cardinals, anchoring the left side in every game. It’s true that important rookies like Chandler add to Louisville’s overall impact, pushing them towards impressive victories like their last game win of the season, 45-21 against Wake Forest. There is no doubt that big things are in store for the offensive lineman in the future.
Last but certainly not least, the former cornerback Russ Yeast started in 10 games during the 2019 season with a whopping 61 tackles. Moving on to play safety, Yeast has excelled in a entirely different position, even gaining 10 pounds of muscle in the process. With Yeast on their side, the Cardinals may be poised for a future NCAA championship sooner than expected.