U of L Football: Top Newcomers

The University of Louisville football team travels to Atlanta for the opener on Saturday against Auburn in the Georgia Dome. Here's a look at a few newcomers that should make an impact this fall.

The University of Louisville football team has a lot of experience returning from last season, but head coach Bobby Petrino and his staff are also excited about some of the newcomers.

Petrino could play as many as 10 true freshmen and there are other newcomers who will also see the field.

Here's a look at five top newcomers (not including guys who were on the roster last season and didn't play):

Devonte Fields: The former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a true freshman has fit into the system at Louisville and is thriving from everything we have been told by the staff. If he plays up to the level he did at TCU, Fields will not only be one of the best players on the team but one of the best defenders in the country.

Cole Hikutini: The junior-college transfer tight end is a guy Petrino told the media several weeks ago that "you are really going to like." He's a blue-collar tight end with good speed, great hands and the ability to make plays down the middle of the field. He can also block and the staff is really high on his potential.

Jaire Alexander: Alexander might end up being the most talented freshmen in the class and there's plenty of talent to go around. He was a two-way guy in high school but will play in the secondary. Expect him to make a bunch of plays for the Cardinals and he could end up being the main punt returner with his explosiveness.

Jamari Staples: With a bunch of new names at wide receiver, it's hard to pick out which one or two will have the most impact but we'll go with Staples because he played for Garrick McGee at UAB for one season. He knows the offense and will be able to make some big plays down the field for the Cardinals.

Kenny Thomas and Geron Christian: Petrino and the staff have lumped the two linemen together, so why not leave it that way. They could both start this weekend and eventually I think - maybe next year - will be bookend tackles for the Cardinals.

There are a bunch of others who could see playing time as true freshmen, including wide receivers Devante Peete, Treveon Samuel, Emonee Spence and Jaylen Smith, and also watch for JUCO running back Jeremy Smith.

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