Mauldin emerges on defense

An unheralded player emerges during spring practice. It happens every year. Last year, offensive guard Jake Smith made his move up the depth chart. This spring, defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin is the guy.

An unheralded player emerges each spring. It happens every year. Last year, offensive guard Jake Smith made his move up the depth chart. This spring, defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin is the guy.

Mauldin, an athletic 6'4, 240 pound sophomore from Atlanta, Ga., showed during Louisville's spring game, recording three sacks, that he's ready to make an impact for the Cardinals defense in 2012.

Mauldin appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman, playing mostly on special teams. The former South Carolina commit started the season at tight end, but moved to defense late in the season, starting the final two regular season games at defensive end against UConn and USF. Though he recorded only five tackles last season, Mauldin appears poised to emerge as a dangerous edge rusher on passing downs next season for the Cardinals.

"We have guys up front that can make plays and rush the passer," Charlie Strong said. "Mauldin showed up a million times [during the Red White game]. He made some plays. But he's so athletic..he's fast and he's physical, he can get off blocks and run to the ball."

Mauldin made tremendous strides this spring under the guidance of defensive line coach Clint Hurtt. After a promising spring, Mauldin should help form a talented group of defensive ends for the Cardinals, along with juniors B.J. Butler and Marcus Smith and sophomore B.J. Dubose.

"I think the technique Coach Hurtt has taught me has helped me become a better pass rusher than I was last year," Mauldin said.

With plenty of depth and talent along the defensive line - tackles Brandon Dunn and Jamaine Brooks also had good springs - Mauldin says Louisville's strength on defense begins up front.

"Right now we look towards ourselves to carry the defense because the defensive line is the core of the defense," Mauldin said.


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