LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield is eager to see what tight end Jordan Davis can do when the lights come on. He'll finally get a chance to find out Saturday afternoon against Western Kentucky in Nashville.
After missing the first two games of the season due to academic probation, Davis, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound redshirt senior, will make his 2019 debut in the 4 p.m. game in Nissan Stadium.
Satterfield knows Davis will add depth to the tight end position and he believes the 2016 Texas A&M transfer can be a playmaker despite a lack of evidence in that regard so far during his Louisville career. He didn't say how much he planned to use Davis, but that he would "be in the mix."
Davis appeared in 11 games in 2017, catching just four passes for 88 yards. Last season he played in 10 games, starting one, managing only two receptions for 23 yards.
“He has not lived up to his talent since he’s been here, but I think he has a lot of potential, and hopefully he’ll reach that potential,” Satterfield said during his Monday press conference. “There’s times you’ve seen it in practice like, ‘Man this guy could be really good because of his size, power and speed.’ He has good hands and we love to utilize tight ends. He will give us some more size to set edges.”
Satterfield sometimes has two tight ends on the field at the same time, with one lining up in the backfield and another as an H-back. Until this week, Davis hadn't practiced with the No. 1 offense since he wasn't eligible to play, and Satterfield indicated he isn't necessarily expecting a big impact from him against the Hilltoppers.
"I think it’s valuable to have that game experience," the coach said. "He’ll have to knock the rust off early because really it comes down to the speed of the game. He has to get comfortable in the offense. He has to have a big week of practice and really implementing him into the game plan of knowing what to do when you get out there."
The beneficiary of Davis' early absence turned out to be Louisville Ballard product Marshon Ford, who is the Cardinals' second-leading receiver with five catches for 69 yards and a team-best two receiving touchdowns playing both tight end and H-back. Ean Pfeifer, a transfer from Vanderbilt, and Isaac Martin have also filled in at those two positions. A former walk-on, Ford was awarded a scholarship this past spring.
“He is good at catching the ball and getting yards after the catch," Satterfield said of Ford. "He makes it look easy. Hopefully, we will continue to find ways to get Ford the ball. He’s dynamic as a tight end with the matchups with the linebackers. He’s quicker and faster than the backers.”
Satterfield also noted that quarterback Jawon Pass has helped develop the tight ends as threats because he has been efficient in deciding when to target them.
"The throws he’s made to the tight ends, he’s reading that out," Satterfield said. "He's reading when do I need to pull it or hand it off or throw it. He’s done a good job at that."
PITINO IN TOWN FOR SETTLEMENT TALKS
Former UofL basketball coach Rick Pitino was in Louisville Tuesday for settlement talks with UofL Athletic Association attorneys at the federal courthouse, but there was no word on whether an agreement was reached.
Pitino is fighting for the nearly $40 million that was left on his contract after he was fired by UofL following stripper parties for recruits and players and the FBI investigation of a pay-for-play scandal in college basketball.
After nine hours inside the courthouse Tuesday, Pitino emerged about 6:30 p.m. and refused to answer questions from reporters. Attorneys from both sides declined to say whether or not a settlement had been reached but did say that talks would not resume Wednesday.
Pitino filed his lawsuit in November of 2017, claiming that he should not have been held responsible for the sex parties arranged by his former director of basketball operations, Andre McGee. However, NCAA rules say that head coaches are "presumed responsible" for infractions committed by members of their staff.
Russ Brown, a former sportswriter for The Courier-Journal and USA Today, covers University of Louisville sports and college football and basketball for Kentucky Today. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.