ACC Football: Every team’s most important newcomers for 2021

Dabo Swinney, Clemson football (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson football (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Nov 14, 2020; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Scott Satterfield (M) leads his team onto the field before their game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2020; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Scott Satterfield (M) leads his team onto the field before their game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Louisville Cardinals (4-7)

The Louisville Cardinals showed lots of improvement last season in year two under Scott Satterfield. Their biggest leap came defensively at a place like Louisville, which usually means large losses on the roster. The Cardinals lose five defensive players.

Offensively, the Cardinals lose their three best offensive skill players from last season. Javian Hawkins, Chatarius “Tutu” Atwell, and Dez Fitzpatrick are all off to the green pastures of the NFL. These three players could help replace Louisville’s offensive and defensive production.

  • Benjamin Perry, S: Mount Carmell product Benjamin Perry is the Cardinal’s highest-rated recruit this fall. Perry spurned Oregon and Michigan State to sign with Louisville. The Cardinals get a long, natural athlete that can cover his deep half or quarter but is also a thumper in the run game. Perry has room to add weight to his 190-pound frame and could develop into a rover-type hybrid or pure safety as his man coverage skills improve.
  • Ahmari Huggins-Bruce, WR: If you have watched a Scott Satterfield offense either with Appalachian State or at Louisville, he likes small gadget-type players. Don’t be put off by Huggins-Bruce’s slight (163-pound) frame. The South Carolina high school standout can fly. Huggins-Bruce puts you in the mind of Atwell and expects Satterfield to use him as such.
  • Safari “Shai” Werts (transfer), QB/WR: The Georgia Southern transfer is one of the more intriguing transfers anywhere in the country. Werts transfers from the Sun Belt as their all-time rushing leader at quarterback. This season, Werts makes the transition to wide receiver as a graduate transfer. Expect to see Werts used in various ways, maybe even at quarterback for some option plays.