Image Credit: Louisville Athletics
Scott Satterfield’s offenses have always incorporated a strong dose of the running game. Louisville’s own 2019 season proves this. The Cardinals, led by redshirt freshman Javian Hawkins and sophomore Hassan Hall, produced an exceptionally strong run game in Satterfield’s first season in the ‘Ville. This run game was a key reason why Louisville improved by 5 games and won Satt ACC Coach of the Year.
The young men who fought for every yard to drive the Cardinal offense were imperative to this. Louisville was much more physical in 2019, and, as the saying goes, “slammed the rock down their throat.” So we must recognize who will be the key playmakers in the committee of pigskin ponies for the next few seasons.
Javian “Playstation” Hawkins
We can’t start anywhere else but the main workhorse for the Cardinal Express. Hawkins produced over 1400 yards for the season, along with 8 touchdowns. Becoming a fan favorite for not only his grit and fight for every inch, but also his exceptionally athletic moves that earned him the nickname “PlayStation.” Hawkins has cemented himself a key role in the running back room for the foreseeable future. Hawkins joined the Cardinal program from his hometown of Titusville, Florida. A 3-star recruit, Hawkins also held offers from Nebraska, Mizzou, Syracuse, and Boston College, among others.
The shifty speed sensation from Atlanta joined the Cards in the 2018 recruiting class. Hall is known for his exceptional speed, a much-appreciated weapon in the Louisville offense. Hall also complements Hawkins’ physical style with track speed. After all, you can’t tackle what you can’t catch. Hall rushed for 497 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on the season. Hall is primed to be a key member of the Louisville offense for the foreseeable future. With his athletic ability, I firmly believe we’ll see Hassan on Sundays. Hall was a 3-star recruit,, holding offers from Syracuse, Navy, Georgia Tech and Appalachian State before joining the Cardinal program.
A member of the 2019 class, Mitchell has yet to see the gridiron for the Cardinals. This speaks more to the level of talent ahead of him than anything else. Though we have yet to see much of Jalen, we will in the future. His speed stands out to most onlookers, but he’s not simply a speed back. He won’t shy away from a hit. Since Mitchell didn’t see the field, he will be able to redshirt. So, unfortunately, we will have to wait another offseason to see the young man at work. But when he does take the field, we’re in for a treat. Jalen signed with the Cards over offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, and Purdue.
Robbins was a key member of the 2019 class. Amidst massive turnover in the coaching staff and a 2-10 record, the talent in the Louisville area seemed destined elsewhere. One of the city’s deepest pools of talent in recent memory couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Cards. The four 4-star recruits went elsewhere, thanks to the recruiting (or lack thereof) efforts of Petrino. But Robbins stayed with the Cards through thick and thin.
Robbins was the first local recruit to accept a scholarship offer from Satt and staff. Robbins, a highly touted running back, suffered a shoulder injury his senior season of high school; and will redshirt his first season. Robbins would be considered by many to be a running back focused more on power than speed. Robbins signed with the Cardinals over offers from Kentucky, South Carolina, Mizzou, Purdue, BYU, and others.