A handful of players have joined the Cardinal football program since the end of the 2002 season and while most are familiar with the names of the athletes that signed with Louisville in February, the following players are additions that many were unaware of until now.
A member of the 2002 Kentucky State Champions Trinity Shamrocks, Burfict joined the program during spring practice.
Jeffersonville High School product who participated with the team during spring practice.
A 2nd Team All-Central District and Columbus Dispatch All-State honorable mention choice as a defensive lineman at Dublin Coffman High School in Columbus, Ohio.
From Lakeland, Florida, Denson was impressive during spring practice.
Gant, who played his high school football at Pleasure Ridge Park in Lousville, joined the Cardinals during the spring.
Brian Hall comes to the Cardinals from Mesa Junior College and will add much needed depth at the fullback position.
Hunt, who participated in spring practice, was an All-State honorable mention selection as a senior at Lexington Lafayette High School.
Another product from the State of Indiana, Johnson comes to the Cardinals from Carmel High School.
Bradley Nall, who originally planned on enrolling at Sewanee College, decided to join fellow Lee High School teammate Amobe Okoye in Louisville.
Deriontae "Bus" Taylor, a scholar athlete winner, participated in the annual Alabama vs. Mississippi All-Star contest.
Additionally, ITV expects that a number of players, such as kicker Rob Zarrilli and defensive back Derrick Parrott, will join the program as invited walk-on's once practice begins in August.
Receiver Dontay Spillman and cornerback Laroni Gallishaw will not return for the 2003 season after having their scholarships revoked by Head Coach Bobby Petrino for violations of team rules. Spillman played in six games, including four starts last fall. Gallishaw started six games last season. ITV doesn't anticipate that either player will return to the team during fall practice.
Also missing from the list of incoming freshmen was receiver B.J. Vickers, who was rated among the nations best as a high school senior, and linebacker Cedric Atchison. Due to our conversations with Vickers and despite other media reports, ITV expects Vickers to join the football program this fall as a partial qualifier. ITV suspects that Atchison has decided to pursue other options and will not become a Louisville Cardinal.
ITV has learned that season tickets sales have approached the 26,000 mark. By comparison, over 34,000 season tickets were sold for the 2002 season, which included home games against Florida State, Cincinnati and Kentucky.
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Depth Chart A few true freshmen can be found on the initial depth chart released by U of L. Offensively Wayne Riles is found 3-deep at tight end, as is Michael Bush at quarterback. Defensively, William Gay, Malik Jackson and Brandon Sharp are all found in the youth filled secondary.
J.R. Russell (ITV)
Following an impressive spring practice, in which he earned the top spot at one of receiver positions, Russell has continued to stay focused and determined. In addition to spending voluntary time in the weight room, as most of the returning players have, Russell can occasionally be found on the practice fields catching balls being shot out of a football passing machine.
August 7th: Practice begins (all players report)
August 9th: Media Day
August 12th: Full contact practice begins