Louisville junior safety Russ Yeast

Russ Yeast is ready to change roles in 2019.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- First-year Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield is tasked with overhauling the Cardinals program, and one area that needs a major change is the defense.

U of L ranked 121st out of 130 FBS teams in defense in 2018. Satterfield’s Appalachian State squad was fifth last year. Mountaineers defensive coordinator Bryan Brown is trying to bring some of that magic from Boone, N.C., to Floyd Street.

Part of the plan is taking the pieces of last year’s defense and moving them around. Several players will change positions from 2018. The coaching staff let the players know early on where they would see themselves lineup in 2019.

“That’s been key for us," Brown said after Tuesday's practice. "You’ve got some inside guys that have moved outside. You’ve got some corners that have moved to safety. And they’re taking that role head-on."

One of those players is junior Russ Yeast, who played corner last year but will play safety this season. Yeast had placed his name in the transfer portal but decided to stay at U of L.

“Staying here and playing for Coach Satterfield was the best situation for me,” Yeast said. “Really, I transferred in a way by coming back, because I came back to a whole completely different situation than it was before I left.”

“He ended up not playing a whole lot toward the end of the year last year and was a starting corner at one point, and now he’s a starting strong safety," Brown added. "He’s doing a tremendous job for us."

That’s not the only change for Yeast. He also traded in his No. 6 for No. 3, the same number his father Craig wore at the University of Kentucky and the same number Russ wore in high school.

Louisville opens the season Sept. 2 against Notre Dame at Cardinal Stadium. The Fighting Irish are ranked 9th in the first preseason college coaches football poll.

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