Head coach Charlie Strong and his staff have combed through the countless hours of video from the recently dismissed Fall camp and used their own observations, analytical prowess and best conjecture to put together the 2013 season’s first depth chart which was released on Monday morning. At first glance, there aren’t many surprises but there are a couple that I would like to discuss.
First and foremost I don’t think anyone can overlook the fact that Senorise Perry is just over nine months removed from a torn ACL, suffered back on November 10, 2012 versus Syracuse and will be the starter at running back. That alone is remarkable and puts Perry in with some very highly rated company when it comes to recovery of an ACL. “I told him that he was a freak and that the only other running back that I know of recovering that fast coming off that kind of injury was (Minnesota Viking Pro Bowler) Adrian Peterson” said offensive coordinator Shawn Watson. Not only has Perry made it back to the field earlier than expected, he has had an outstanding camp and beat out the very good stable of other backs including Dominique Brown (also coming off a knee injury in 2012), Michael Dyer, Corvin Lamb and Brandon Radcliff, not an easy task for anybody.
Some other chart toppers that I notice are: Robert Clark at the starting H receiver over Eli Rogers, true freshman Cameron Fraser backing up Jamon Brown at the left tackle position, Chris Acosta starting at right guard, Jermaine Reve beating out Andrew Johnson and Charles Gaines at the cornerback spot opposite of Terell Floyd and Lamar Atkins shooting up into the backup spot at middle linebacker behind Preston Brown.
Clark had a great camp and showed his big play ability and great speed to go along with a very good ability to catch the ball. Elli Rogers may be backup as of now but will see many reps and will put up good numbers again as he has in his first two seasons at UofL. Fraser has long arms and a knack for being a quick learner and that is obvious since he rose quickly into the backup left tackle position. Fraser originally committed to USF before signing with the Cards and also had offers from Arkansas, Memphis and UAB among others. Jamon Brown is easily the best left tackle on the team (future NFL left tackle in my opinion) and hopefully will have an injury free season and we won’t have to see Fraser “thrown to the lions” as a true freshman. I think Fraser will be a very good linemen for the Cards in the future but it’ll be hard to see many snaps while behind Brown. Acosta, like Fraser also had a very good Fall camp and is a name not familiar with many Cards fans. The Miami (Hialeah high school) native is familiar with the program and is a hard worker that has taken full advantage of an injury to the thought to be starter at right guard, Kamran Joyer. I look think Acosta will be “the surprise” player of the year on the line. A standout on his high school track and field team and wrestling team, Acosta is very athletic and strong, exactly what you want on the offensive line. Reve has played well as safety and cornerback and was used mainly as a nickel back last season. The former Miami Northwestern high school athlete is a physical player and loves to hit but is also a capable cover guy and proves it by being named the starter at cornerback over proven guys like Andrew Johnson and Stephan Robinson. Finally, my “sleeper” pick of the 2012 class, Lamar Atkins has taken advantage of valuable practice time and an injury to his half- brother Keith Brown, and propelled himself into the conversation at middle linebacker behind Preston Brown. Atkins is built like a brick outhouse and has a very good skill set. He wasn’t as highly rated as his linebacker counterparts Keith Brown, James Burgess and Nick Dawson coming out of high school but could become a household name in the near future for Louisville football.