Louisville footballl

Scott Satterfield takes the field with his Louisville football team before a 2019 win over Syracuse.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If you are searching for another reason to believe the University of Louisville could exceed expectations in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, college football insider Bruce Feldman of The Athletic should be your go-to guy.

Feldman, who is also a member of the FoxSports TV crew, has built his following with inside information, sharp analysis and interesting content like his annual College Football Freaks List. The list has been around for more than a decade, and Feldman confirmed its popularity by expanding it from 50 to 101 players this season.

What qualifies as a College Football Freak?

There’s no right or wrong answer. Most observers will tell you that you’ll know one when you see one: superior speed, leaping ability or weight-lifting stardom helps. Feldman defines it as “guys who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the rare physical abilities that wow even those who observe gifted athletes every day.”

Here is the most interesting takeaway from Feldman’s list for the 2021 season:

Only four programs put three players on the list. One was Notre Dame. The second was Cincinnati (and the Bearcats were represented by former St. Xavier High School quarterback Desmond Ridder). The third was Wisconsin.

Those three teams are ranked in the USA college football coaches preseason top 25.

The fourth team with a trio of freaks was Louisville: wide receiver Tyler Harrell at No. 11, offensive lineman Trevor Reid at No. 44 and defensive lineman Ashton Gillotte at No. 67.

Locally, two other players were recognized: Indiana safety/linebacker Marcelino McCrary Ball at No. 23 (his third appearance) and Western Kentucky defensive end DeAngelo Malone at No. 66.

Here is what is most interesting about the Louisville trio: Only Reid was listed as a starter in the depth chart the Cardinals shared before the opening of fall camp.

In three seasons at U of L, Harrell has caught two passes, both in 2018. He appeared in two games in 2019 and none in 2020. The depth chart places him behind Justin Marshall at one receiver slot. That does not scream star power.

Satterfield is working to turn Harrell’s unmatched speed into a dependable weapon for U of L quarterback Malik Cunningham.

Satterfield told Feldman that Harrell ran a hand-timed 4.19 second 40-yard dash last spring as well as a 4.24 laser-timed 40. He reported that Harrell’s split time for the first 10 yards is 1.41 seconds with a 24 mph top speed on the GPS. That’s track speed.

But remember: In three seasons at Louisville, Harrell has two receptions for 36 yards both against Georgia Tech on Oct. 5, 2018, when Bobby Petrino was still the Cardinals’ head coach.

Harrell, who wears No. 8, will certainly be a player to watch when U of L opens against Ole Miss on Sept. 6 in Atlanta. The Cards list Harrell at 6 feet tall and 194 pounds.

Reid created a buzz with his play during spring ball as well as his ability to perform a backflip with his 6-foot-5-inch, 310-pound body. Reid is listed as the starter at left tackle after playing in nine games primarily on special teams last season.

Feldman recognized Reid because of his 4.96 40-yard dash time, his 35.5-inch vertical jump and 18% body fat. A native of Griffin, Georgia, Reid came to Louisville prior to last season from Georgia Military College.

Gillotte is a freshman from Boca Raton, Florida, ranked a three-star recruit. He picked U of L over offers from Duke, Kansas, Maryland, Pitt, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and others.

Although Gillotte is listed at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 212 pounds in the Louisville football media guide, Feldman said Gillotte is now 260 with a 4.77 time in the 40, a 34.5-inch vertical jump and 12% body fat.

Gillette is listed as a second team defensive end behind YaYa Diaby.

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