Louisville football has one unsung NFL draft prospect

Marlon Character #12 of the Louisville Cardinals sacks Bryce Perkins #3 of the Virginia Cavaliers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Marlon Character #12 of the Louisville Cardinals sacks Bryce Perkins #3 of the Virginia Cavaliers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

There might be one NFL draft prospect that Louisville football fans are forgetting about heading into draft season. It’s one that’s sure to be missed by the program and coaching staff as he takes his next step to the NFL.

A former Auburn signee gone junior college, Marlon Character was the former No. 1 safety prospect coming out of “Juco.”

A 2020 breakout at corner, Character had been a valuable special teams performer over the first two seasons of his Louisville career in 2018 and 2019. The flashes were there as an athlete and a thumper.

His 2020 season consisted of 37 total tackles, one interception, and six passes defended.

He has positional versatility flipping between corner and safety in his career. That should cater well to NFL teams who are interested in Character’s services.

There’s a decent chance that he won’t be drafted, but that shouldn’t prevent him from being picked up as an undrafted free agent or earning a tryout with multiple NFL teams.

On the field, he’s a quality athlete who can stay in phase with his receivers and has clearly taken proper steps as a complete corner over his three years. He brings the thud on blitzes and had to prove himself in the “dirty” areas before earning significant starting time.

His potential to make a team at the next level comes with special teams

When a player is drafted in the late rounds or goes undrafted, the best avenue for them to make a team is with special teams value. That will likely be the case with Character.

For those who showed interest in Louisville’s special teams, Character was routinely one of the best on kickoff and punt teams where he could utilize his straight-line speed and aggression to burn down the field and make a tackle. It wasn’t often someone beat him down the field to put themselves in a position to make a tackle.

Character was recently praised for his performance at the College Gridiron Showcase, a similar, but smaller scale version of the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Character is being majorly slept on. Don’t be surprised if he carves out a role for himself as a special teamer and developmental corner in the NFL.

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