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Sizing up the Rivalry-Secondary
June 15, 2012KentuckySports.co
In the first portion of sizing up the rivalry, I discussed and compared both Kentucky’s and Louisville’s front seven on defense. This week we are going to look at the two football squad’s secondary’s.
First we look at Kentucky, whom is starting a somewhat experienced secondary with one senior, one junior, one sophomore, and one redshirt freshmen. At Cornerback UK’s depth charts currently have RS FR 5’11”, 201 pound Marcus Caffey as well as JR 5’10”, 187 pound Cartier Rice starting. Originally committed to Purdue, Caffey was recruited as a three star RB. In his redshirt season, UK switched his position to CB and added 25 pounds on him. Since Caffey changed positions and has no prior stats, it is hard to analyze how well he will perform at CB. However, being that he is in the starting role in his RS FR year…I would assume that he has impressed. The other starting CB for the Cats is Cartier Rice, whom is starting for his first year but has had playing time in previous seasons. Rice was a three star CB recruits out of SC and has shown flashes of great play. Rice has the potential to have a breakout year and has the size and speed to do so. Also at the CB position are 6’0”, 200 pound Soph Eric Simmons, 5’11”, 187 pound Soph Eric Dixon, and 6’0”, 181 pound Junior Christian Hudnell. Newcomers include a lot of talent in the likes of 5’9”, 175 pound Jonathan Reed, 5’10”, 175 pound Cody Quinn, and 5’11”, 173 pound Shawn Blaylock.
At the Safety position, UK has a lot to replace in the likes of Winston Guy whom graduated and left for the NFL. Another guy many believe will also be heading for the NFL after his senior season in Martavius Neloms (see pic). Neloms is a 6’1” 188 pound Strong Safety moving to Free Safety this year that can also play the C B position if needed. Backing up Neloms at FS is 6’1”, 209 pound Soph. Ashely Lowery. Starting at SS is 6’2”, 223 Soph. Miles Simpson. Simpson recorded some playing time last season and takes over the starting spot since Winston Guy graduated. Backing up Simpson is the converted TE to SS (RS FR) 6’3”, 226 pound Josh Forrest. Forrest has huge upside as he is a very large yet fast SS who was known for his hands coming out of high school. Newcomers include 5’11”, 190 pound Zack Blaylock, 5’11”, 200 pound Sterling Wright (JUCO), and 6’1”, 200 pound Kory Brown (JUCO).
Next we look at Louisville, who starts two sophomores, one junior, and one senior in their secondary. At cornerback UL’s depth charts currently have 5’9”, 187 pound Soph. Andrew Johnson and 5’11”, 184 pound Senior Adrian Bushell (see pic) starting. Both Bushell and Johnson were UL’s starters last year and should return quite a bit of experience for this years secondary. Backing up UL’s starters are 5’11”, 176 pound RS FR Charles Gaines, 5’11”, 170 pound JR Titus Teague, and 5’8”, 180 pound Soph. Jordan Paschal. Newcomers include great talent in the likes of 5’10”, 170 pound Devontre Parnell, 5’10”, and 177 pound Kevin Houchins Jr.
At the Safety position, UL starts once again their same starters as last year’s season. 6’1”, 183 pound JR Hakeem Smith starts at SS and is backed up by 6’0”, 180 RS FR Jermaine Reve. Hakeem Smith comes back as a very experienced SS with two valuable years of playing time. 6’2”, 210 pound Soph. Calvin Pryor starts as FS and is backed up by 6’0”, 209 pound Soph. Kamal Hogan. Calvin Pryor also comes back with a year of valuable starting experience. The only safety newcomer is 6’0”, 185 pound 4 star recruit Gerod Holliman.
Louisville comes back with a lot of young experience but both teams have good talent when it comes to the secondary. Both UK and UL also have newcomers that could possibly make an impact in the respective positions. I believe that the secondary is going to play a huge role in the September 2nd matchup. The secondary to watch is Kentucky’s though since Louisville is going to be running a spread offense which can tie up inexperienced secondaries. The key player for this matchup is the Safety position and in this particular game is Martavius Neloms. If Neloms can play a smart game and run his secondary as the senior leader, Kentucky could possibly keep up with Louisville’s spread style offense. However, in years past UK has always struggled when competing against the spread offense (See Florida, year after year).
As for Louisville, we know that their secondary will play well as they are experienced and are playing against a traditional power offense scheme. UK’s quarterback is a pocket passer and UL’s secondary doesn’t have to change up their playing scheme in this game. The only thing that UK could do to change up their play scheme and confuse the secondary is run some wildcat offense, which is always a possibility but not traditional Joker Phillips football. UK does have more of a spread option if they play Patrick Towles but I can’t see that happening being that he is a true freshman.
*Note: Obviously depth charts are subject to change at any time and the data in this article may or may not change. Information taken from both Rivals and ESPN on positional information.