The University of Louisville football team is loaded with veterans and talent.
The Cardinals have some name guys, like Lamar Jackson, Keith Kelsey and Devonte Fields, who should be the leaders on and off the field this season, which begins on Thursday night against Charlotte.
But there will also be a few surprise players give key contributions.
The staff at Cardinal Authority believes we know a few of those players. With this piece, we take a look at five guys who could surprise this season for the Cardinals.
Dee Smith, Sophomore, Safety
One of two Smith's on this list, Dee Smith played in 10 games last season as a true freshman and had one interception. He's going to find his way onto the field because he's a player folks. Smith will mix and match with Josh Harvey-Clemons, Zykiesis Cannon and Chucky Williams and play different positions in the secondary. Smith is physical and has great coverage skills.
Jeremy Smith, Junior, Running Back
This Smith is one of a few guys in the stable of backs who will get a shot to run the ball. We think Smith's improvement in pass blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield will get him more snaps. He'll have a couple of big games.
Jonathan Greenard, Redshirt Freshman, Linebacker
We have heard a lot about the play of Jonathan Greenard in spring practice and also in fall camp. He'll be the backup to Devonte Fields and won't get as many snaps as a starter but he's still going to make a contribution. He has all the skills to be an all-conference guy down the road.
Kiola Mahoni, Senior, Offensive Line
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Kiola Mahoni was up and down last season but not in fall camp. He's going to be one of the key members of the line, playing a lot of snaps and helping the line with communication. We expect a huge season.
Keith Towbridge, Senior, Tight End
A lot of chatter about Cole Hikutini from the tight end position heading into the season, but senior Keith Towbridge has been really good in fall camp and is finally 100 percent healthy. He wasn't healthy last season and missed time in the spring and summer after the same surgery as Devante Parker on his foot. Towbridge is known more as a blocker, but will get some targets from Lamar Jackson.