Will freshman LBers see the field at U of L?

The University of Louisville football team has a solid group of 24 freshmen coming into the program this fall, including a pair of four-star linebackers. Assistant coach Brian Jean-Mary talked about those two trying to get onto the field.

Nick Dawson and Keith Brown both picked the Cardinals at the U.S. Army All-American game last January and have a ton of potential.

But will either see the field this season?

Jean-Mary said he's looking for depth in the linebacker position and both players would be "in the mix" for playing time. Brown participated in spring drills, while Dawson has been on campus this summer.

"Both of those kids coming out of high school were as talented as any set of linebackers coming out," Jean-Mary said. "We're going to throw them out and see what they can do. They're definitely going to be in the mix.

"We'll just have to see where they fit in but they're going to get every opportunity possible to earn some playing time or a starting role."

The 6-foot-1, 229-pound Brown is from Miami Norland and picked U of L over 30 other BCS offers. Scout.com ranked Brown as the No. 7 outside linebacker in the Class of 2012.

Brown led Norland to an undefeated season and Class 5-A state championship.

"Keith had a little injury at the end of the spring, but he's been full go with coach (Pat) Moorer in the weight room, running and lifting," Jean-Mary said.

The 6-3, 228-pound Dawson is from Charlotte, N.C., Phillip O'Berry and was the No. 13 outside linebacker prospect by Scout.com nationally.

Dawson was a two-time All-State selection and had 126 tackles as a senior.

He's come right in, passed his physical and not missed a thing," Jean-Mary said.

While there are some veterans returning at linebacker, Jean-Mary said he's excited to see what the young guys can do on the field.

"I'm curious what we have with both," he said. "They have been working hard with coach Moorer. If they are going to help us win every game, we're going to put them out there.

Football practice starts on Aug. 3 and Cardinal Authority will be there for all the latest news before the Sept. 2 kickoff.

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