Louisville Cardinals’ Top 10 Returning Players in 2024 Include Peny Boone, Ashton Gillotte

    Jeff Brohm took the Louisville Cardinals to the ACC title game last fall, but these top 10 returning players must step up if they are to return there.

    The Louisville Cardinals exceeded all expectations in 2023, reaching the ACC Championship Game in Jeff Brohm’s first year in charge. While a lot of talent has left, the program’s upward trajectory has allowed the Cardinals to sign big stars in the transfer portal and retain some of their premium talent, as displayed by the program’s top 10 returning players for 2024.

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    Louisville Cardinals’ Top 10 Returners in 2024

    Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes on each team’s roster page to open spring camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.

    10) Tyler Shough, QB

    Tyler Shough joins the Cardinals for his final year of eligibility after three years at Texas Tech. The second-time transfer started his college career with Oregon as a four-star prospect and transferred to the Red Raiders in 2021. After Jack Plummer exhausted his eligibility, expect Shough to fill his shoes as a starter in the fall.

    Shough has the experience and intelligence to lead Louisville in 2024 as they look to repeat their success from last season. However, the QB has an extensive injury history, including last season, where he only managed four games before breaking his fibula. If Shough can stay healthy, he can be a standout player for the Cardinals.

    9) TJ Quinn, LB

    TJ Quinn returns to Louisville in 2024 after a highly productive year. The Cards’ linebacker led the team in tackles last fall, having 2.5 for a loss, 0.5 sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, and one fumble recovery. His extreme consistency led to four double-digit tackle games, earning him an All-ACC Honorable Mention.

    Quinn, a playmaker all over the field, will be the leader and veteran in the linebacker room as the breakout star looks to move his career forward in 2024.

    8) Devin Neal, S

    Devin Neal enters his senior year after a fantastic first season in Louisville, which earned him third-team All-ACC honors. The free safety led the team with four interceptions, good enough for second place in the conference. He also finished second on the team with 74 tackles, six pass breakups, and one fumble recovery.

    After opening last season as a backup, Neal enters the 2024 campaign as a full-time starter on a strong Louisville defense.

    7) Michael Gonzalez, OL

    Michael Gonzalez is Louisville’s only returning starting offensive lineman, but he was rock solid in 2023. The left guard played every game in the fall, and while the line did look shaky at times, Gonzalez did an excellent job anchoring it.

    Gonzalez returns to lead the offensive line in his senior year. The 6’4 “, 305-pound left guard will look to lock down the interior and protect Shough during the 2024 college football campaign.

    6) Tyer Baron, DE

    Tyler Baron transfers from Tennessee, where he had a productive year in 2023. With 28 tackles, 10.5 for a loss, six sacks, two deflected passes, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown, Louisville hopes the pass rushers’ production transitions with him.

    MORE: 2024 Louisville Cardinals Football Roster 

    After playing four seasons in the SEC, Baron moves to the ACC, where his 2023 numbers would have ranked second on the team. He is part of a contingent of former Volunteers’ DBs who will transfer to the Cardinals in 2024, including Tamarion McDonald and Wesley Walker.

    5) Quincy Riley, DB

    Louisville retains the services of star cornerback Quincy Riley for his senior season after he decides to forgo the 2024 NFL Draft. Already on NFL scouts’ agendas, Riley will only get more attention with another consistent and productive performance in 2024.

    A 2023 All-ACC Honorable Mention, Riley had 49 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, three interceptions, and 12 pass breakups a year ago. Riley’s production, experience, and leadership will be heavily relied upon.

    4) Caullin Lacy, WR

    Caullin Lacy is a massive addition to the Louisville offense after entering the transfer portal out of South Alabama. The crafty receiver will likely line up in the slot, having had 91 receptions for 1,316 yards and seven receiving touchdowns a year ago.

    Those numbers would have led the Cards’ receiving ranks in all categories, and he is one of the top receiving additions in the transfer portal. If he can live up to expectations in 2024, along with other transfer portal additions, the Louisville offense will be explosive in the fall.

    3) Ja’Corey Brooks, WR

    Louisville has used last season’s success to poach highly talented athletes from the transfer portal. Ja’Corey Brooks is another one who left Alabama to head to the ACC. Despite his 2023 season in Tuscaloosa being cut short, Brooks heads to the Cards with an elite reputation.

    Not only was he one of the top receivers in the portal, but he is also a former five-star receiver who was the second highest-rated WR in his recruiting class. In three years with Alabama, Brooks has 57 receptions for 896 yards and 10 touchdowns. A big-body target; expect a breakout year for Brooks.

    2) Ashton Gillotte, DE

    One of Louisville’s best players a year ago, Aston Gillotte, returns in 2024, a massive moment for Brohm and the Cards’ program. Finishing in second place in the ACC Defensive Player of the Year voting on the back of an 11.5 sack season, Gillotte also had 45 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, and three forced fumbles.

    KEEP READING: 2024 ACC Power Rankings

    The Cardinals’ pass rusher wreaked havoc on opposing offenses in 2023 and will be the subject of much NFL buzz throughout the season.

    1) Peny Boone, RB

    Update: Peny Boone announced his intention to re-enter the college football transfer portal in the spring window on April 16.

    Brohm and the Cardinals’ staff showed they liked to run the ball in 2023. Now, with Peny Boone to hand the ball, the Louisville backfield has just got even more exciting, even with two RBs on their way to the NFL.

    After spending two seasons with Toledo, Boone rushed for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall. He also had 219 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. The reigning MAC Offensive Player of the Year is one of the most dynamic backs in the country.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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