U of L's early football depth chart big change ahead of ACC event

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- Offering more proof that things have, indeed, changed around the Louisville football program, new head coach Scott Satterfield took a step toward improved transparency by releasing the Cardinals' first preseason depth chart this week.

Under the Bobby Petrino regime, the depth chart was guarded like the gold at Fort Knox.

There aren't many surprises, but that's not the point. At least UofL fans and the media will have a good idea of where things stand heading into fall camp next month.

Satterfield is expected to elaborate and address other topics during his time at the podium Wednesday afternoon on the opening day of the ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte, N.C. Wide receiver Seth Dawkins and middle linebacker Dorian Ethridge are the two players who will accompany their coach to Charlotte.

Here are the depth chart highlights at the most interesting and unsettled positions:

It is certainly no shock that the chart lists Jawon Pass "or" Malik Cunningham at quarterback. Those two are expected to battle thoughout August to determine the starter for UofL's opner against Notre Dame on Sept. 2.

Hassan Hall is listed as the starting running back after leading the backs last year with 339 yards on 70 carries. No surprise there either. His closest competitors are Javian Hawkins and Maurice Burkely. Hawkins carried just twice for eight yards last season, while Burkely is a former walk-on who earned a scholarship this past spring.

Wide receiver is considered the deepest position on the team, but as of today Dawkins, Dez Fitzpatrick and Tutu Atwell are in the starting spots and should remain there throughout August, barring injury. They are the top three returning receivers with a combined 77 catches for 1,137 yards and six touchdowns.

The offensive line is set at this point with the exception of center, where Cole Bentley is battling TJ McCoy, a graduate transfer from Florida. Bentley started at both center and guard last season.

Defensively, the stalwarts are weakside linebacker C.J. Avery, Etheridge, nose tackle G.G. Robinson and free safety Khane Pass. None of the starting spots are listed as either/or heading into fall camp.

On the first day of the Kickoff, coaches scheduled to appear besides Satterfield are Willie Taggart, Florida State; Steve Addazio, Boston College; Dave Doeren, NC State; Dino Babers, Syracuse; and Dave Clawson, Wake Forest; and Dabo Swinney, Clemson.

On Thursday, the lineup is David Cutcliffe, Duke; Manny Diaz, Miami; Pat Narduzzi, Pitt; Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech; Mack Brown, North Carolina; Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech; and Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia.

Among the storylines at the Kickoff will be:

(1) Clemson, the overwhelming favorite to win the Atlantic Division again, and its quest for a second straight national championship.

(2) Taggart's hot seat after Florida State's worst season in 36 years in his disappointing debut. Taggart hired Kendall Briles as offensive coordinator to address shortcomings in that area, and the Seminoles return 18 defensive starters. Florida State will be Louisville's opening ACC opponent on Oct. 5 in Tallahassee.

(3) Newcomers Satterfield, Manny Diaz at Miami, Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech and Mack Brown at North Carolina.

(4) Hype for the long-awaited ACC Network, which is scheduled to launch on Aug.
22.

ACC Commissioner John Swafford will update the media on where the league stands with its negotiations for distribution, along with other matters.

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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