Demling: U of L's top 10 players

Cardinal Authority continues to prep for Louisville's season-opener in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Bowl against Auburn. Publisher Jody Demling projects his top 10 players for the season.

Cardinal Authority continues to prepare for the new season for the University of Louisville.

Publisher Jody Demling takes a look at the U of L roster and projects the top 10 players for the season. The Cardinals have a lot of talent and it was a tough list to break down.

But here's the list from 10-1 with a line on why each player made the list:

10. DeAngelo Brown, defensive lineman: We'll start the list with the guy that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham called "one of the most important." Brown is the big guy in the middle of the line. The more double-teams he takes on this season, the more plays that frees the linebackers up to make plays. Brown is a stud.

9. Chucky Williams, safety: After the reports from last week's scrimmage, Williams has moved way up in our minds. He had multiple interceptions and will be the guy opposite of Josh Harvey-Clemons. Williams is a talented individual.

8. James Quick, wide receiver: Sounds like it could be his year. He's been catching it more often - lack of drops - in fall camp and making plays after he catches it. He has the talent, just needs to put it all together and if he can, he's one of the best on the team.

7. JaQuay Savage, wide receiver: Quick might lead the team in catches but the projection is Savage will lead the team in receiving yards this season because he'll make a lot of big plays down the field.

6. Keith Kelsey, linebacker: Seems crazy to have him this low on the list but that shows you just how much talent is on this team. Kelsey is a junior and will make a ton of plays from his linebacker position.

5. James Burgess, linebacker: Burgess is a senior leader and has two years in a row with 71 tackles. I think he'll make more this season because the front seven will be so dominating that he'll be able to roam free once again in the middle.

4. Brandon Radcliff, running back: The leading rusher from last season and he'll do it again. Radcliff could carry the ball 25-30 times a game - if they need it - and will be good in short yardage and also catching the ball out of the backfield.

3. Sheldon Rankins, defensive end: At 305 pounds, Rankins is the perfect guys for the Grantham defense because of his size and mobility. He creates a lot of matchup problems for opponents and could have likely been drafted after last season, but opted to return and is in for a big season.

2. Devonte Fields, linebacker: Just look at his freshman season at TCU. If he plays back to that level he's likely to be a high first-round draft pick in April. Fields has been a monster in the preseason for the U of L defense. Expect big numbers.

1. Josh Harvey-Clemons, safety: JHC sat out last season after transferring from Georgia and has been ready to get back on the field for a while. He's as talented as any player U of L has had in recent years and will be the highest NFL draft pick on the roster come next spring. He's going to be the best overall player.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories