Four impact freshmen

By on September 4, 2015

By Alan Branch–

Traveon Samuel, Wide Receiver, 5-foot-7, 175 pounds

The Cardinals left last season with five graduating seniors at the wide receiver position, which included all-American Devonte Parker, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. What remains now is an apparent vacancy at the wide receiver position that Samuel will compete to fill. Where he lacks in size, he makes up for with his eye-catching explosiveness and route running ability from the slot position.

“He’s a little guy, but very shifty, and he does a lot of things because he’s so quick. He is a lot faster (than one would expect). You think of quick guys as not being fast, but he’s pretty good. He’s an excellent learner,” says wide receiver coach Lamar Thomas.

A four star recruit out of Phenix, Ala., Samuel looks to make an early contribution on the football field.

Emmonnee Spence, Wide Receiver, 6-foot-3, 194 pounds

Another true freshman who looks to help make an impact at the wide receiver position is four-star Florida recruit Emmonnee Spence. Spence has great size which adds another dimension to the offense and depth to the position.

“He has the ability to practice hard every play. He doesn’t get tired and mentally he is tough enough to do it. It puts him a little bit ahead; he has good talent and good ability,” says coach Petrino.

If Spence continues to stay ahead of the game and progresses, the opportunity of seeing playing time will in turn grow as well.

Jaire Alexander, Cornerback, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds

Since spring ball, Alexander has been turning the coaches’ heads. He is a gifted player who has a knack for the ball, especially for a defensive back. Cornerback coach Terrell Buckley says he has ball skills that are “second to none.” Alexander has already gotten some reps with the first-ream rotation and has made an immediate impact.

What makes him even more lethal is the playmaking ability he possesses when returning punts and kickoffs. Coach Petrino has already hinted at using him as a punt or kick returner. Only time will tell, but keep your eyes peeled for number 10 on offense and special teams.

Geron Christian, Offensive Lineman, 6-foot-6, 320 pounds

If Christian’s size isn’t the first thing you notice about him, his versatility will certainly stand out. Brother of former U of L star tight end Gerald Christian, he has already begun to make a name for himself. A few weeks prior, (Geron) Christian had started taking reps with the veterans at both offensive guard and tackle.

“Geron Christian is very big and he is very athletic. But what we have to figure out is if he is a tackle or if he is a guard. Guards get inside and move defensive tackles whereas tackles pass set and block defensive ends. He has the ability to do both, but we have to figure out which is best for us and for him,” says offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.

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