Yaya Diaby, a senior defensive lineman for the University of Louisville, is a dominant force on the defensive side of the ball for the Cardinals. Spending his first year after high school with Georgia Military College, Diaby transferred to Louisville and has steadily improved each year he has been on campus. He showed up on campus at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds and has since put on an extra 15 pounds to help him become a more efficient people mover.
In his first season as a Cardinal, Diaby recorded 10 solo tackles along with 8 assisted tackles combining for 18 total tackles in a mere 8 games played. In his second season, he recorded 24 solo tackles along with 15 assisted tackles combing for 39 total tackles including one and half sacks. Now in his senior season only a short four games into the season, Diaby already has 12 solo tackles along with six assisted tackles combining for 18 tackles including four and a half sacks!
With those kind of statistics, he will be fighting “The Manimal,” Morehead State legend Kenneth Faried for his nickname.
Yaya’s teammate, Yasir Abdullah, is also a force to be reckoned with on the Louisville defensive side of the ball. Yasir came into the University of Louisville as a freshman in 2018 listed at 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds. A linebacker in the lower 200s weight class is hard to be effective at the collegiate level, much less the professional level. But Abdullah was not scared to get in the weight room. He has put on 24 pounds over the years and now stands 6-foot-1 and 242 pounds.
Much like his teammate Yaya, Yasir has steadily improved over the years. In his freshman campaign, he recorded three solo tackles along with eight assisted tackles combining for eight total tackles. In his sophomore season, Abdullah recorded 26 solo tackles and 19 assisted tackles combining for 45 total tackles including one sack and an interception. In his junior season, he recorded 18 solo tackles along with 15 assisted tackles combining for 33 total tackles including three sacks.
In the 2021-2022 season, Yasir recorded 43 solo tackles along with 18 assisted tackles combining for 61 total tackles including 10 sacks! What an incredible year for an incredible athlete! This is his fifth year at the University of Louisville, and he is on pace for another great season. He has already recorded 10 solo tackles along with nine assisted tackles combining for 19 total tackles including one and a half sacks plus an interception in a mere four games.
The numbers speak for themselves, Diaby and Abdullah certainly have “that dog in them.” They are legal weapons back there lurking and chasing the opposing quarterback. What a pleasure it has been for Cardinal Nation to watch these two boys grow into stone-cold killers on the football field over the years. They will always and forever be a part of Cardinal Nation.