Position Breakdown: Secondary

The 2011 football season is quickly approaching and Louisville begins fall camp next month. Today, InsideTheVille.com breaks down the secondary, where questions abound about the cornerbacks.


Shenard Holton
Charles Gaines, 5'11, 170, FR
Darius Ashley, 5'9, 186, JR
Preston Pace, 6'1, 200, SR
Andrew Johnson, 5'9, 175, FR
Titus Teague, 5'11, 170, SO
Terrell Floyd, 5'10, 170, FR
Jordon Paschal, 5'8, 180, FR
Calvin Pryor, 6'2, 200, FR
Zed Evans, 5'11, 175, SO
Jermaine Reve, 6'0, 180, FR
Hakeem Smith, 6'1, 183, SO
Mike Evans, 5'10, 190, SR
Anthony Conner, 5'11, 190, SR
Shenard Holton, 6'1, 190, JR
Rashad Stewart, 6'0, 185, SO
Agyei Williams, 5'11, 185, JR
Stephan Robinson, 5'10, 170, FR

OVERVIEW: The biggest question mark on the Louisville defense is the secondary. The Cardinals should be in good shape at safety with Big East Freshman of the Year Hakeem Smith and Shenard Holton returning as starters. Cornerback is another matter. Both starting corners from last year graduated and Charlie Strong is counting on several freshman to contribute this season and help shore up the position.

GOING, GOING, GONE: Johnny Patrick, Louisville's top cornerback, is gone. His loss might be the biggest one for the UofL defense, which has major questions at corner. The Cardinals also lost Bobby Burns, who started opposite Patrick, and held his own in the secondary.

NOTABLE NEWCOMERS: Freshman corner Charles Gaines moved from wide receiver during spring drills. One of the top defensive back prospects in south Florida, Gaines could help shore up a position of need if he's ready to contribute. Though he lacks game experience, Gaines has the size, speed and athleticism to make an impact. Freshmen Andrew Johnson and Terrell Floyd were two of the top defensive back prospects in the state of Florida last season and could also see action at cornerback this year.

MAJOR STORYLINES:

Can Hakeem Smith build on an outstanding freshman campaign and help lead a young Louisville secondary that lacks established players at cornerback?

Junior Shenard Holton established himself as a starter at safety in 2010. Is he ready to take the next step and become an All-Big East-caliber player?

Who will emerge at cornerback in place of Patrick and Burns? Will seniors Preston Pace and Anthony Conner step up and emerge as contributors? Or will the job fall to freshmen Charles Gaines, Andrew Johnson and Terrell Floyd?

Will Darius Ashley play this year? After his second DUI this summer, Ashley is on indefinite suspension and his status with the team is uncertain?

Nevada transfer Mike Evans played in 11 games last season and recorded 20 tackles, including 13 solos. Can he make a bigger contribution as a senior?

Freshmen Andrew Johnson, Charles Gaines and Calvin Pryor were highly-regarded prospects in Florida last season. Will they be ready to contribute in the Big East immediately?


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