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Bearcats Freshman Profile: John Kurtz

Louisville, Kentucky has not been a kind place for the Bearcats recruiting efforts in football, for obvious reasons. Until July 1st of this year the Bearcats and Cardinals have been tied at the hip with their conference affiliation. But in this, the first season since 1995 where the regional rivals will be in different conferences, the Bearcats will welcome their first Louisville native to campus in at least a decade.

The Essentials

  • High School: Louisville St. Xavier
  • Position: Offensive Line
  • Height: 6'5"
  • Weight: 260
  • Composite Rank:* 78 (**)

* As determined by 24/7 sports composite algorithm which combines and weights the rankings of 24/7, Rivals, Scout and ESPN to come up with one number.

Like the vast majority of offensive linemen making the leap from high school to college football John Kurtz is in for a red shirt year in 2014. He will spend the year adjusting to the faster pace of play, learning a vastly more complex offensive system and yes, getting bigger.

More than likely Kurtz will be destined to move inside to guard in college. Like the most recent Bearcat commit Evan Mallory, Kurtz would be a below average athlete for tackle, but an above average one for a guard. Fundamentally he is sound if not particularly advanced, he plays with good pad level, when he gets to the second level he can drop his hips make consistent contact on smaller quicker targets. The one thing that Kurtz is going to have to do to compete at this level is improve his footwork after contact. Like a lot of young linemen he has a tendency to stop his feet on contact. Its not a problem for him in the run game, but in the passing game it's an issue.

The good news is that Kurtz is going to have some time to perfect his technical issues, and he has some good role models in front of him to learn from in Parker Ehringer, Kevin Schloemer and Ryan Leahy.