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Notes on Cardinals’ 2020 UCFAs

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NCAA Football: Army at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
  • SMU TE Ryan Becker—-6-5, 248—-only 4 catches for 30 yards and 1 TD in 2019—-is from Marble Falls, TX, so it’s likely that Kliff once tried to recruit him.
  • Wake Forest OL Jake Benzinger—-6-7 7/8, 295, ran 5.27 40—-3 years starter mostly at RT—All-ACC Hon. mention in 2019—-he’s at RT #73 in this video—-good size and strength, plays a little upright, needs more flex to his game:
  • Youngstown St. WR Jermiah Braswell—-6-0, 210 big play threat from Toledo (24/515/21.5ave./7tds in 2019_—-19.3 ave a catch and 11tds in career).
  • Kentucky DL T.J. Carter—-6-4, 289—-during his last year as a Wildcat, Carter recorded 26 total tackles (six for a loss), two sacks and four quarterback hurries — all career-high marks. He recorded a career-best five tackles during UK’s win over Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl. (kentucky.com)

Holy Cross OL Jackson Dennis—-6-6, 310, 5.10 40—-er telegram.com: In 2019, Dennis started all 12 games at right tackle and was one of the top players on an offensive line that helped the Patriot League-champion Crusaders average 345.8 yards of total offense, 135.9 rushing yards and 22.8 points. Dennis, who played in 40 career games for the Crusaders, said his dreams of playing professionally became realistic his senior season at HC. “I’ve been working for it my whole football career,” he said, “but they didn’t start showing the dividends until this past year when I started getting contacted by teams and scouts started showing up, and then I really started thinking, ‘Wow. I can really do this.’” Dennis, who did his own virtual pro day at a local high school field near his home, said the opportunity with the Cardinals “seemed like the perfect fit for me.”

Findlay OL Drew Dickinson—-6-2, 300—.

2019 - Appeared and started in all 11 games...Named second team all-G-MAC for the third consecutive season...Blocked for an offensive line that helped the rushing attack average 221.4 yards per game and 37.7 points per game...Has started in 43 of 45 games in his career.

2018 - Appeared and started in all 11 games...Named second team all-G-MAC...Blocked for an offensive line that allowed just 7 sacks this season (eighth in the country)...Helped pave the way for the top producing offense in the region at 41.2 ppg, 494.2 yards per game, and 292 first downs (fourth in the country)...Blocked for a rushing offense that averaged 267.1 yards per game...Has started in 32 out of 34 games in three years.

  • 2017 - Appeared and started in all 13 games...Named second team all-G-MAC...Helped block for an offense line that ranked third in the country in total offense (515.5 ypg), seventh in the country in rushing (260.9 ypg), fifth in the nation scoring offense (44.5), fifth in the nation in time of possession (34:26), third in the nation in 3rd down percentage (.524), and led the nation in first downs (359).
  • Virginia Tech S Reggie Floyd—-6-0, 222. Floyd was a three-year starter for Virginia Tech, recording 36 starts over the past three seasons. He played in 51 games total during his four-year stay in Blacksburg, recording 230 career tackles, including 14.0 for loss, and snagging five interceptions during his time at Virginia Tech.
  • Penn State OL Steven Gonzalez—-6-4, 331, 42 starts in 3 seasonsPFF 1st Team All-Big Ten G in 2017 and 2nd Team All Big 10 at G in 2019. Here he is at LG #74 vs. Michigan in 2018:
  • Portland State RB Sirgeo Hoffman—6-0, 215, plays with blend of quick elusiveness and sneaky power:
  • San Diego State TE Parker Houston—-6-3, 250. He was a second-team All-Mountain West Conference pick as a senior, setting a career high with 18 receptions (154 yards, 8.6 per) and performing well as a lead blocker in all 13 of the Aztecs’ games (10 starts). Projects as an H-Back for Cardinals.
  • Towson WR Shane Leatherbury—-All CAA in 2019 667 yards, 12 TDs—-projects as slot WR.
  • Air Force CB Zane Lewis—-6-1, 190 4.45 40, 15 pass breakups, 45 tackles, 1 int.in 2019 (pictured above)—-Cards gave him more money to sign than any other UCFA and made his signing a priority.

Cincinnati WR Rashad Medaris—-5-11, 185. The quick-footed Medaris played 2 1/2 seasons for the Bearcats after transferring from Western Illinois. He closed out his career with 57 receptions for 887 yards and five TDs in 31 games at UC, according to gobearcats.com.

Shepherd WR Devin Phelps—-6-2, 190. 2019 Third Team Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Region. 2019 First Team All-PSAC East.2019: Appeared and started in all 13 games ... gained first team All-PSAC East honors as he hauled in 61 receptions for 1,104 yards and a team-best 14 touchdown grabs.

  • Florida DL Adam Shuler—-6-5, 280, West Virginia transfer, 3.5 sacks in 2019, 9 in career, 58 tackles past two seasons.
  • Kansas State LB Reggie Walker—-6-2, 256—productive Big 12 edge player, with 140 career tackles (100 solo), 35 tackles for loss, 18 sacks and 9 forced fumbles.
  • Hawaii WR JoJo Ward—-5-9, 167, last 2 seasons, 1, 999 yds. and 20 TDs. 4.42 speed, 13 catches of 30+ yds. in 2019.
  • Central Michigan RB Jonathan Ward—-2nd Team All-MAC, Ward, played in 42 games with the Chippewas throughout his four-year career. He twice crossed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau, running for 1,019 yards as a sophomore and a career-high 1,108 as a senior. He was twice named All-Mid-American Conference, a second-teamer as a sophomore and third-teamer as a senior. Added 909 career yards receiving and 4 TDs.
  • Arizona CB Jace Whittaker—-5-11, 185, 4.47 speed. Chad Reuter had him going at pick #217 in his 7 round mock. 55 tackles, 3 ints. in 2019, 34 career pass breakups, 4th best in school history—-has smooth backpedal, can flip his hips and break quickly on the ball. Here’s his 2 int. game versus Hawaii:
  • Albany CB Jarren Williams—-5-10, 187. 45 tackles (33 solo) 2 tackles for loss. 1 63 yard int. return, 6 pass breakups, 7 passes defended in 2019 as a one season transfer from St Francis (PA). Per the Albany Times-Union, an Arizona Cardinals regional scout saw Williams at a UAlbany practice during the season. Their favorable opinion of Williams reinforced by film study, they decided to sign him.
  • Liberty CB Bejour Wilson—-5-11, 170. Past 2 seasons 55 solo tackles, 19 assisted tackles, 6 interceptions.

In my opinion, the signees with the best chance to make the roster:

  1. Zane Lewis, CB, Air Force
  2. Jonathan Ward, RB, Central Michigan
  3. Jace Whittaker, CB, Arizona
  4. Reggie Walker, OLB/DE, Kansas St.
  5. Steven Gonzalez, G, Penn St.
  6. Jo Jo Ward, WR, Hawaii
  7. Adam Shuler, DE, Florida
  8. T.J. Carter, DT/DE, Kentucky
  9. Andrew Dickinson, G, Findlay
  10. Ryan Becker, TE, SMU

The rest of the players may have a chance to make the Cardinals’ 12 man PS.

What do you guys think? Any players here you like? I think it’s a good group.