Position Series: Cornerbacks

Cardinal Authority is running a position series as a preseason football feature to help you get familiar with the entire University of Louisville roster. Our seventh installment provides a look at the cornerback position for the Cardinals.


With the move of Terell Floyd from cornerback to safety, the University of Louisville football team isn’t the deepest of squads at cornerback.

But with two potential stars and a few quality young players, there’s more than enough for Terrell Buckley to work with at corner.

”We have to build this brick-by-brick,” Buckley said. “We have some guys, everybody has potential, everybody. But I want to see what they can do when we get out there (in a game). I want to see it in week eight.

”We have talent, they just have to do it.”

Buckley said Charles Gaines has “raised his game to another level,” and will be a leader of the cornerback group. Gaines has been getting a lot of preseason attention, including some All-ACC chatter.

”Yes he does,” Buckley said when asked if he had NFL talent.

Andrew Johnson has struggled some with injuries during his career but will have to come through, while Devontre Parnell was injured a bit early in camp but has come on in recent weeks.

Buckley said the young guys “start at the bottom and earn their way up,” noting that he’s “old school” in that regards.

”And that’s what you want,” he said. “Guys have to earn it.”


Charles Gaines, Junior

Gaines had his first breakout season last year, making a ton of big plays for the Cardinals during a 12-1 run. But this time, he should be that much better.

Gaines is one of the most exciting players in the country and is on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in America.

The speedy and talkative Gaines scored on an interception return, a fumble return and a punt return last season. Buckley said he’s not only improved his ball skills and leadership but he’s more under control this season.

Several outlets have tabbed Gaines as a potential player who could leave school after his junior season the NFL Draft.

As a sophomore, Gaines had five interceptions and 22 tackles.


Devontre Parnell

We have heard about Parnell and his athleticism and speed but are still waiting for him to break out and show it on the field.

But this could be the season.

Parnell is one of the fastest players on the team but missed all of last season with an illness. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound redshirt sophomore is going to be needed to help this season and he’s capable.

A good game or two and that should help his confidence, but look for Parnell to play just behind Gaines and Johnson as a key corner.


***Johnson and Gaines are the starters for now, but Parnell will likely see some action and then it’s young guys backing them up.

***Sophomore Kevin Houchins has the potential to jump into the mix after a solid fall camp. He played in three games last season before an injury.

***True freshmen Trumaine Washington and De’Eric Culver have both generated some good talk in fall camp and could see the field.

***Even if some of the young guys don’t play early on defense, there’s a good bet they could see time on special teams.


***Watch later today for a video preview of the cornerback position and feature stories on Andrew Johnson and Charles Gaines.

***Our position series rolls on tomorrow with running backs.

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