With a roster that needs to replace the majority of its starters on both sides of the ball, fans attending the University of Louisville spring game on Friday night will need a roster to keep track of the many new faces filling the Cardinals first and second teams.
Player turnover creates opportunity for others and many have jumped at the opportunity to compete for the open spots. Here's a few names to watch for during the program's annual Red-White game.
LB Stacy Thomas
Thomas has taken advantage of an opportunity to get more reps in practice due to a hand injury to first team linebacker James Burgess. Thomas has been impressive since the start of spring, drawing praise from multiple coaches. Thomas' performance this spring has him poised for a breakout season in 2015.
S Josh Harvey-Clemons
The former Georgia safety and five-star prospect has been impressive all spring. The size of the junior, 6-foot-5, 230-pounds, creates immediate match-up problems for the usual smaller receivers, with his length and athleticism also causing issues for quarterbacks wishing to throw over the top.
WR Jamari Staples
One of a number of new receivers for the Cardinals, Staples, a transfer from UAB, is expected to become one of the primary targets in the passing game this season. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior has worked with the first team since spring began and performed well.
RB Jeremy Smith
The Cardinals didn't need to sign a junior college running back in the most recent signing class, but after watching film of Smith perform at Fresno City College, the coaches quickly went after the 6-foot-2, 225-pound athlete. He's been working quickly to understand the offense and he had his best performance of the spring in the team's scrimmage last Saturday.
CB Jaire Alexander
Alexander has certainly benefited from enrolling early. The true freshman from Charlotte, N.C., has adapted quickly and has been making plays throughout spring. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound corner has seen his amount of reps increase during the four weeks of drills and his continued development almost assures that he'll see the field in 2015.