Devonte Fields: The Cardinal flying under the radar

By on October 20, 2016

By Beau Kilpatrick–

Cardinal linebacker Devonte Fields has been flying under the radar so far this season. The 6-foot-4 pass rusher signed with U of L in 2015 after playing a year at Trinity Valley Community College.

Fields finished 2015 strong in the later half of his debut season as a Cardinal. He finished with 63 total tackles, 22 of which were for a loss. He also had 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Fields’ elevated his performance in week eight and the momentum carried throughout the rest of last season. In the first seven weeks of 2015, Fields averaged 3.7 tackles per game and accrued only a single sack. However, during the final six games of the season he averaged 6.1 tackles per game, piled up 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Something clicked for No. 92 in the game against Wake Forest, and fans are hoping for the same second-half performance this year. While he might not be putting up the big numbers as people expected, Fields is getting approval from coach Bobby Petrino.

“I think (Fields) is doing a good job, silently. He hasn’t had that breakout game, the big sack game,” Petrino said

The 2015 season rewarded Fields with the third best national ranking in tackles for a loss with 22. He also finished fourth in the country with 10 sacks.

Throughout seven games of the 2016 season, the numbers look similar to those that Fields had at this time last year. He is averaging 4.5 total tackles per game, 27 total and he has a single interception. Fields does not have any forced fumbles to his credit but he has recovered two so far.

The Louisville linebacker has the talent to play professionally on the next level. His actions on the field are impressive and demand the attention of NFL scouts and opposing coaches. However, his behavior off the field has pro scouts questioning his judgment and character.

“Fields may go on to be the next Von Miller, but the off-field stories I hear from area scouts digging into his background and the police report on file from his assault complaint in Texas are enough to give me major concerns about Fields as a person. And that still matters more than how well he plays football,” NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller said.

Since 2012, he has finished in the top five three times for tackles for a loss and twice for sacks. His stats suggest that he is getting better in his final two seasons at Louisville, compared to his first two at TCU.

“We’re hoping that we get those breakout games that he had here the last part of the season last year,” Petrino said.

Fields exited the game against NC State with a shoulder inury. The senior failed to register a stat before leaving the game.

Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal

About Beau Kilpatrick

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