Position Series: Defensive line

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 latest installment provides a look at the Cardinals defensive line.


The position on the Louisville football team many questioned depth a year ago that is now considered among the strongest for the Cardinals' with a lot of depth and talent.

Defensive line coach L.D. Scott said he was "really excited" to work with a group that "wanted to get better, wanted to learn and wanted to be the best." The Cardinals' front seven is stacked.

Sheldon Rankins is an All-ACC performer and we'll consider him a defensive end, so for this position series pieces we will talk about defensive linemen as the interior guys.

And the leader of the interior line is senior DeAngelo Brown.

The 310-pound Brown will clog up the middle and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he "will be huge again for us because he will take on so many double teams. He's so strong and is big for this defense."

Pio Vatuvei will be used some on the interior and on the outside of the line, while Kyle Shortridge is an improving sophomore and freshman G.G. Robinson is a talented true freshman.


DeAngelo Brown, Senior

The 6-foot, 310-pound Brown only had 20 tackles last season but was huge for the U of L defense.

Brown, who bench presses around 500 pounds, said he wants to make more tackles but also noted that when someone else makes a tackle he gets excited. Brown takes on a lot of double-teams, freeing up the linebackers and defensive ends.

"You're taking on double teams each and every play, stopping the run and freeing up linebackers to make tackles," Brown said at media day. "I enjoy what I do. I love what I do. I really do love it. I know on some plays I'm going to have my opportunities to make plays, and when I do I'll have to go in there and make them."

Brown is one of the strongest players on the team and a leader with Rankins noting, "he does so much for us," Brown said he is reminded all the time by Rankins that he intercepted two passes last season and Brown said, "I want one."


G.G. Robinson, Freshman

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound true freshman picked U of L over Auburn on signing day and is one of the newcomers who was physically ready to play as a freshman when he walked on to campus.

Robinson, whose father starred at Auburn, has the size and strength to play as a freshman. He is going to be a star on the line in the future and could get some reps this season.


***L.D. Scott said Robinson has "a real chance to be a great player. He listens and learns every day."

***Sophomore Johnny Richardson is out for the season after tearing a ligament in his knee this summer.

***Shortridge played in four games last season but had a solid spring and will see some reps.


***Check out from today a video about the defensive line position.

***Our eighth day of the position series comes with a look at the defensive end position.

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