Louisville football is looking to the transfer portal to fill a few more spots before 2021.
While the defense for Louisville football was much improved in 2020, one thing that seemed to be lacking fairly consistently was a pass rush. The Cardinals lacked a dominant rusher off of the edge that could sustain pressure throughout the course of a game.
Nobody on Louisville had more than 4.0 sacks in 2020. Monty Montgomery led the way from his middle linebacker spot with 4.0 while stand-up edge rusher Yasir Abdullah came in with 3.0 of his own in 2020.
The team as a whole had 21 sacks in 11 games this season.
While some freshmen may surprise and contribute in 2021, the Cardinals could use some help right now from a pass rushing standpoint.
One interesting name, in particular, just put his name in to the NCAA transfer portal.
Outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson, formerly of the University of Georgia, is now looking for a new home.
The 6’5″ 240-pound Johnson is a former No. 1 overall junior college player by 247 Sports. He joined the Bulldogs in 2019 after spending two years at Independence Community College.
In 2020, Johnson had 14 total tackles and 4 sacks on a loaded defense that includes a wide array of four-stars and five-stars.
Now Louisville has reached out to the talented edge rusher, according to Jody Demling of 247 Sports’ Cardinal Authority.
Louisville has a history of nabbing transfers from Georgia. In 2014, the Cardinals landed cornerback Shaq Wiggins and safety/linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons via transfer in one offseason because of a prior relationship with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
Harvey-Clemons eventually became a draft pick and is with the Washington Football Team in the NFL currently.
Cort Dennison is the current co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach for the Cardinals. He is a young, hungry recruiter that is very good at what he does.
In 2018, Dennison was with the University of Oregon as the outside linebackers coach after spending the 2014-17 seasons at Louisville. Dennison then returned in 2019 to the Cardinals program.
This is significant because, according to his 247 Sports profile, Johnson visited the University of Oregon in June of 2018 on an official visit to the Ducks. That timeframe would put Johnson on campus at the same time that Dennison was coaching the position he was being recruited to play.
If there is a withstanding relationship between the player and coach here, that could bode very well for Louisville’s chances to land the very talented pass rusher.
Johnson will likely be highly sought after in the transfer portal. He has played on a rotational basis with some other very talented pass rushers and is probably looking to be a featured stud on another defense to potentially boost any draft stock he could have.
He would fit right in to Louisville’s defense as a stand-up pass rusher in the 3-4 system that Bryan Brown runs. This could be a bit of a lengthy process as Johnson looks for his new home throughout the holiday season that will fit him most. He will certainly have a lot of suitors interested in his services.
A potential game-changing pass rusher like Johnson could take this defense to the next level.