Spring spotlight: Louisville


Time to check in with Louisville to see what position group is in the spotlight this spring.

Spotlight: Offensive line.

Why: The Cardinals return a majority of their starters, but the one area that takes the biggest hit is the offensive line, where starting center Mario Benavides and starting left tackle Alex Kupper are gone. These guys were no slouches, either -- Benavides was the first-team Big East center in 2012, and Kupper made the second team at tackle. Benavides started every single game he played -- 47 in all -- and Kupper made 27 starts. So you can see the Cardinals are losing some experienced players along its front at two key positions. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will now have to get used to a new center for the first time in his career. Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson says guard Kamran Joyer will move over to center, and Abraham "Nacho" Garcia will get first shot at winning the left tackle job. Though both players have game experience, it is not very extensive. They have each played in seven games. Garcia has never made a start. Joyer has started three games -- including the Sugar Bowl at right guard. There is no question the spring is important for these two players and for the offensive line as a whole, which functions at its highest level when there is great chemistry. Their development is a major story to watch this spring and into the fall.

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