Louisville football roster undergoing changes, just as Satterfield predicted

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Call it cleaning house, attrition, or whatever term you prefer, but it adds up to the same thing:


Louisville's football roster has undergone a significant shakeup since Scott Satterfield took over as head coach last December. And that's not surprising, really, given a new scheme and a new culture that apparently is much more demanding than that of previous coach Bobby Petrino.


In fact, in a February press conference prior to the start of spring practice, Satterfield warned that turnover was to be expected.


As far as can be determined, at least 13 players have left the program because that is how many have entered their name in the NCAA's transfer portal since the end of last season. But the number could be even larger considering that some may have left or been asked to leave and haven't filled out transfer paperwork.


In a radio interview with 93.9 The Ville this past week, Satterfield addressed the situation, saying he and his staff have been "open and honest" with the players about where they stand on the depth chart and expectations of the new regime.


Satterfield characterized their demands as "nothing out of the ordinary. Eat your meals when you're supposed to, go to class, do your study hall, and if you're not living up to that, there's going to be consequences. Some of the guys maybe didn't want to live up to some of that stuff, so they're moving on.


"If guys want to be a part of our team and if they do the things we're asking them to do, we want them to be here. But if they don't and if they can go play at another school, we'll support them and really try to help them find their way. . ."


Players among those departing include defensive linemen Michael Boykin, Jonathan Greenard and Allen Love; wide receivers Jatavious Harris, Corey Reed and Marcus Riley; running backs Trey Smith and Colin Wilson; linebackers Kam Jones and Malik Staples; offensive lineman Wyatt Smock; quarterback Jordan Travis and cornerback Jairus Brents.


For the most part, those players were low on the depth chart. Even so, Satterfield acknowledged during the radio interview that the departures will weaken the Cardinals' depth. He said he's confident about running back, wide receiver, defensive line and linebacker, but concerned about the offensive line and tight end.


"We all know that in this game you're going to get some guys dinged-up," Satterfield said. "The next guy up needs to be just as good as the guy who is starting. We've got to continue to build up that depth."


Scheme-wise, Satterfield uses more of a spread and run-heavy attack as opposed to Petrino's balanced run-pass offense. Defensively, the Cards are shifting from a 4-3 to a 3-4 base, which requires better athletes on the edges and at outside linebacker.


Satterfield said that although he and his assistant coaches are concentrating on the 2020 high school class, they are also studying the transfer portal to determine if there are players there who could be reinforcements for the coming season.


"We're recruiting like crazy, in all aspects," Satterfield said. "And if someone fits for this year, then we'll certainly look at that. We do have room, there's no question about it."


Satterfield also commented on the progress of several players, singling out running back Hassan Hall and wide receiver Tutu Atwell as two who have been impressive.


As for quarterbacks, Jawon Pass and Malik Cunningham, Satterfield said Pass has shown improvement since the end of last season and Cunningham will be valuable because of his athleticism, possibly at spots other than quarterback.


"We'll try to find ways to get him in the game wherever that may be," Satterfield said. "He's too good of an athlete to be standing on the sideline."


Russ Brown, a former sportswriter for The Courier-Journal and USA Today, covers University of Louisville sports and college football and basketball for Kentucky Today. He can be contacted at 0926.russ.brown@gmail.com.

 

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