By Dalton Ray–
In any sport, the biggest jump in production typically comes from junior to senior year. The combination of being in the system for three years mixed with realizing they may never play their favorite sport again creates extra drive. Here are four seniors that can make the biggest impact to their team if they have a standout year.
Jeremy Smith, football
The running back rushed for 387 yards last season and scored eight touchdowns. With Brandon Radcliff graduating, LJ Scott transferring and Dae Williams tearing his ACL, the running back position has seen better days. With deceptive speed, Smith can break away from defenders when he finds a crease. If Smith can hit the 1,200-yard mark next season, some pressure will be taken off quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Tess Clark, volleyball
Clark has earned All-ACC Second Team honors in her three years at U of L. One of the best middle blockers in the ACC, Clark ranked seventh in the conference in hitting percentage (.336). Clark has a chance to flourish under the new coach. No one on the team has played in more sets than Clark over her career, giving her a huge experience advantage. Louisville will look to avoid their first back-to-back losing season since the 1980s behind Clark.
Quentin Snider, men’s basketball
Snider is the first four-year hometown player since PRP’s Terrence Farley (2004-2007). The Ballard product has stepped up his production each year for U of L and was second in scoring last season. His controlled play and calm demeanor is the driving force for the Cardinals. No matter who the Cardinals lose or don’t lose to the NBA draft, the Cardinals could have a successful season if Snider continues progressing.
Brittany Read, women’s lacrosse
A staple for Kellie Young’s team, Read has over 300 career saves and is the last line of defense for U of L. Any game can be make-or-break for the Cardinals depending on Read’s performance. Read could return to her 2016 form as five of six defenders return. The goalkeeper has final say on whether the ball goes in or not, but a synchronized unit in front of Read eases her trouble. If Read plays to the level she’s capable of, the Cardinals could be a difficult team to score on.
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal