A key component of the Bobby Petrino offense, the tight end spot is expected to see an even larger role this fall than it did in 2014.
Returning is junior Keith Towbridge, who at 6-foot-5, 260-pounds proved to vital in the Cardinals blocking schemes. He also hauled in nine receptions for 107 yards, a total that is likely to increase this fall. Also back is sophomore Charles Standberry, who played in all 13 games, totaling seven catches for 57 yards. Micky Crum will see his first game action this season after redshirting his freshman year.
Joining the Cardinals crop of tight ends is junior college transfer Cole Hikutini.
Cole Hikutini, junior
Hikutini is a wide receiver turned tight end, which has made him an excellent pass-catching threat for the Cardinals offense.
“I think I have good hands,” he said. “As a receiver I think I can get down the field with my speed and cause some mismatches.”
Hikutini enrolled at Louisville in January and was impressive during spring practice before an injury sidelined him. He proved to be a dangerous target, starting four games and making 21 catches as a freshman at Sacramento State in 2013. He spent 2014 at City College of San Francisco, where he total 40 receptions for 658 yards and four touchdowns.
Micky Crum, r-freshman
Crum, a former three-star prospect out of Columbus (Oh.) Hamilton, spent his rookie season with the Cardinals as redshirt, so he'll be seeing his first game action this fall.
At 6-foot-4, 257-pounds, Crum is an athletic big body who has displayed nice hands in the passing game. He's expected to play a large role in the Cardinals offense, especially in multiple tight end sets.
** It would have an easy choice to place Standberry as the 'breakout player,' as he is poised to have a big season, especially in the passing game. With that said, the 6-foot-3, 226-pound sophomore is likely to contribute from multiple positions on the field.
** Keith Towbridge missed the a large portion of fall camp recovering from a toe injury suffered during the off season. The injury was similar to the one that sidelined DeVante Parker last season.
** A look at the Cardinals special teams unit.
** Player features on both Cole Hikutini and Micky Crum.