August 22, 2018

Football position breakdown: Safeties

By Weston Payne —

Last with our position breakdowns are the safeties. While this group is youthful, there is quite a bit of experience and potential across the board. The toughest player to replace from last year’s squad will be Chucky Williams, long-time starter and leader of the defense.

Losing Williams was a big blow, but Brian Van Gorder has several players with game-time experience returning this season.

Projected Starters:

Khane Pass, R-Jr.

The most experienced of this unit, Pass looks to build upon what he did last season. In 2017 he played in all 13 games, starting five of them. The redshirt junior compiled 38 total tackles, three for a loss and one interception. Overall, Pass looks to be a leader on the defensive side of the ball, just as his brother Jawon will lead on offense at quarterback.

TreSean Smith, So.

Smith is an exciting player to talk about this season. As a true freshman, he played all 13 games and notched 34 tackles, four for a loss and a pair of interceptions. With hopes of gaining the starting job, those numbers should only increase. After all, it will be a joint effort between both him and Pass to replace what Williams was for this Louisville defense.

Key Backups:

London Iakopo, R-Sr.

Iakopo is a JUCO transfer (junior college) from Long Beach City College, where he was recruited as a four-star prospect. In 2016, he played in five games and recorded six tackles before tearing his ACL. He bounced back last season with 12 games played and almost doubled his tackle total. As an older member of this group he looks to add experience to the rotation.

Quen Head, So.

This JUCO transfer is the newest member to the squad, enrolling at U of L in December of 2017. Head was actually recruited as an outside linebacker, but Van Gorder may give him a try at safety. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 206 lbs., Head is one of the longer athletes in the secondary.

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Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

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