U of L Football: 5 Breakout Performers

As the Cardinals prepare to host Miami on Monday, September 1, here's a look at 5 players that are poised to become impact players this fall.

University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino has a lot of talent on the roster to work with. In addition to a host of experienced players, there are many that seem on the cusp of a breakout season.

Here's a look at 5 players that have an opportunity to fill a larger role and be impact performers for the Cardinals offense or defense this fall.

Gerald Christian
Senior, Tight End

At 6-foot-3, 245-pounds, Christian is a tight end that provides solid run support and is an excellent threat in the passing game.

The former Florida Gator played in all 13 games last season, starting 11. Christian finished 2013 as the team's fourth leading receiver with 28 receptions for 426 yards and 4 touchdowns. While impressive numbers, playing in the Petrino offense, which utilizes the tight end even more in the passing attack, should result in higher numbers in 2014.

Christian is on the John Macky Award preseason watch list, an annual honor that is awarded to the nation's top tight end.

Michael Dyer
Senior, Running Back

Dyer's journey to becoming a senior at the University of Louisville has had it's share of twists and turns. A pair of 1,000-yard seasons and an MVP Award in the BCS title game help make a resume that seemed destined to eventually include the National Football League. After a year away from the game, Dyer resurfaced at U of L and after an injury plagued junior season, is poised for a breakout performance in 2014.

However, bit the injury bug once again during fall camp, suffering a thigh contusion, Dyer is questionable for the Cardinals season-opener against Miami. Should he remain healthy throughout the season, Dyer could finish as the team's leading rusher and see his name climb in the NFL Draft projections.

As a junior, Dyer saw action in 8 games and rushed for 223 yards on 44 carries.

Keith Kelsey
Sophomore, Linebacker

While Kelsey was limited to special teams and reserve duty as a true freshman, his ability to locate the ball and deliver a hard hit were evident.

Due in part to the injury to junior Keith Brown, Kelsey has taken first team snaps throughout spring and fall camp, and has performed well enough to receive the start at MIKE linebacker in the opener against Miami.

He'll certainly split time with Brown, but the 6-foot-1, 225-pound sophomore will be an impact player for the Cardinals defense this season.

He recorded 24 tackles, including one for a loss, in 12 appearances last season. He also totaled 2 pass breakups.

Deiontrez Mount
Senior, Linebacker

Playing behind Marcus Smith, a Philadelphia Eagles first-round draft choice, limited Mount's opportunities the past few seasons, but the product of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is now a starter in the Cardinals defense.

Moved from defensive end to outside linebacker during the spring, Mount's athletic 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame can create havoc whether he's rushing the quarterback or helping in pass coverage.

Also slowed by injury last season, Mount played in 10 games, registering 9 tackles. The senior has appeared in 31 career games, with 8 starts. He has 8 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks among his 45 career stops.

James Quick
Sophomore, Wide Receiver

After an All-American career at Louisville Trinity, Quick spent his freshman season playing sparingly. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound wide receiver played in 9 games last season, totaling 6 catches for 73 yards.

Now with a year under his belt, the speedster has worked with the first team all camp and will start against the Hurricanes on September 1. With the loss of DeVante Parker for a few weeks, Quick will be counted upon to become a go-to receiver from the start.

Petrino has used Quick in a number of formations throughout fall camp and may utilize his abilities in multiple ways this season.

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