LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nose tackle for Louisville football is arguably the program’s biggest remaining need position heading into the 2022 season, but help there could potentially be on the way.
Arizona State defensive tackle Jermayne Lole, who entered the transfer gate just before the May 1 deadline, announced on Friday that he will make four visits over the next monthand the cardinals are the first.
The redshirt senior will travel to Louisville next weekend on May 13, followed by Florida on May 20, Texas Tech on May 27 and Oregon on June 3. He also did not rule out a return to the state of Arizona and reportedly entered the portal to explore his Name, Image and Likeness Value, according to 247Sports‘Sun Devil Source.
The 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive lineman was forced to miss the 2021 season due to a triceps injury suffered in fall camp, but he had already established himself as one of the best players of the Sun Devils.
Lole broke out as a true freshman and has been a starter for Arizona State ever since. In 28 career appearances, he had 123 tackles and 20.0 for loss, 11.0 sacks, eight pass deflections and two forced fumbles.
The Long Beach, Calif. native was voted as a 2021 preseason All-Pac-12 first-team selection, was named the No. 2 inside defensive lineman in college football by Pro Football Focus and named to the Outland Trophy watch list last summer before his injury.
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Nose tackle hasn’t been a particularly productive spot for Louisville in recent seasons. Last year, the Cardinals’ top three NTs in 2021 – Malik Clark, Dezmond Tell and Jacques Turner – combined for just 24 tackles, 1.5 for loss and 2.0 sacks.
By comparison, Lole had 24 tackles, 5.0 for loss and 1.5 sacks in just four games during the Sun Devils’ COVID-shortened 2020 season. Louisville is bringing Tell back, and there’s potential for Caleb Banks to have a breakout season, but quality depth is much needed at nose tackle — and Lole would be the definition of instant impact.
Louisville finished last season with a 6-7 record (4-4 in the ACC), including a 31-28 First Responder Bowl loss to the Air Force. The Cardinals kick off their 2022 campaign in Syracuse on Saturday, September 3.
(Photo by Jermayne Lole: Rob Schumacher/The Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK)
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