Louisville football first practice - notebook

Cardinal Authority was in attendance for the first practice of the season for the University of Louisville football team. Here is a notebook from the interviews after the practice and some observations during the three-hour session.


It didn't take linebacker Preston Brown long to answer a reporters question about what player could be "the face" of the Louisville program this season.

U of L coach Charlie Strong proclaimed running back Bilal Powell the face two years ago and last year put that label on running back Victor Anderson.

Strong hasn't singled anyone out this season, but Brown thinks he knows.

"I have to say Teddy (Bridgewater), obviously, because he's worked so hard," Brown said. "You can just tell."

The sophomore quarterback from Miami didn't shy away from the question when he was asked after the first practice of the season. But he showed some maturity and leadership by deferring to his teammates.

"I would love to have (the face of the program) title, but this year we have no face, " he said. "It's all about the Cardinals. We're all in, we're all in together."

Bridgewater looked bigger and stronger on the field. He said he weighed in at 222 pounds, which is 42 pounds heavier than when he arrived on campus. He said last year at the Belk Bowl his weight was 195 pounds.

"I can feel it, a lot, with the way I throw the ball," Bridgewater said. "I can throw with more velocity, more power. I can throw the ball farther."

Strong lauded Bridgewater for his offseason work and his improvement in several areas, including taking on a role of leadership.

"Teddy is still developing," Strong said. "But he got bigger and he got stronger. Now he understands the offense and knows the offense. And by him this summer becoming a student of the game, now he's going to be a better player. "


Maybe the biggest surprise of the practice was seeing true freshman Keith Brown playing so many reps – including starting off the practice – with the first team defense. He was playing middle linebacker.

Preston Brown, who moved to the strong side when the youngster was in the game, and Daniel Brown joined Keith Brown with the first string.

"It was a Brown-out at linebacker today," Preston Brown said.

Strong said Keith Brown was able to enroll in January and has "been able to learn the defense," noting he's "familiar with the calls and understands all the checks."

The younger Brown was an Army All-American out of high school.


Strong announced after practice that two true freshmen are currently injured and will miss the entire 2012 season.

Quarterback Will Gardner had a knee injury in high school and is sidelined by another injury to his knee.

Strong said offensive lineman Sid Anvoots suffered a back injury lifting weights and is also slated to be out the whole season.


One of the most impressive players during the practice was sophomore wide receiver DeVante Parker, who is from Ballard High School.

Parker caught three passes early in the session and all three would have been touchdowns in a game. He then made two acrobatic catches.

As a freshman, Parker caught 18 passes for 291 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman. He averaged 16.2 yards a catch.

Junior Damian Copeland, who is from Bradenton, Fla, joined him on the first team to start the practice.

Senior Scott Radcliff of Trinity and sophomore Eli Rogers of Miami also ran some with the first team offense.

Redshirt freshman Charles Gaines is listed on the updated roster as a wide receiver and was with that group the entire practice. He was also running back kicks.


Strong said sophomore Michaelee Harris, who suffered a right knee injury in December, would "take is slow" and "we'll use him if he's available" for the opener against Kentucky on Sept. 2.

Harris participated in some drills and had a brace on his knee.

When he wasn't in drills, Harris and junior linebacker Deon Rogers, who was also wearing a knee brace, were going through running drills.


The updated roster includes at least six walk-on players on the team.

The most familiar is former Elizabethtown All-State quarterback Kyle Todd, who threw for 3,205 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Todd is the younger brother of Chris Todd, who started his career at Texas Tech and was the starting quarterback part of 2008 and the entire 2009 season at Auburn.

Also on the roster is tight end Billy Davis (6-4, 215) of Carmel, Ind., and a transfer from Tennessee State; Male linebacker Royce Donovan (6-2, 200); Lafayette offensive lineman Tobijah Hughley (6-3, 260), Seneca offensive lineman Michael Stewart (6-5, 275) and Holy Cross lineman Henry Vincent (6-5, 270).

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