Position series: Running backs

Cardinal Authority is running a position series as a new preseason football feature to help you get familiar with the entire University of Louisville roster. The sixth day of the series takes a look at the running backs.

OVERVIEW

A position with some questions marks heading out of spring ball, the stable of running backs at the University of Louisville is now a loaded bunch.

Louisville has a stable of backs that has five players competing for playing time, including two who have started games at U of L (Dominique Brown and Senorise Perry) and another – Michael Dyer – who transferred to the Cardinals and is a former BCS national championship game MVP.

Sophomore Corvin Lamb and redshirt freshman Brandon Radcliff have also been drawing rave reviews from the staff.

"It's a beautiful situation," running back coach Kenny Carter said. "You always want competition because competition brings out the best in everyone that is wanting to compete as a starter.

"They're all competing and it's a great thing."

Brown, who missed last season with a knee injury, was expected to be the starter and feature back for the Cardinals just a month or so ago. He started practicing late last season and had a sensational spring camp.

A former quarterback, Brown carried for 533 yards and four touchdowns after making the switch during the 2011 season.

But Brown now has company.

Senorise Perry is a "freak," according to Carter and is back ahead of schedule from a torn ACL suffered in the Syracuse game last season. The Cardinals also now have Dyer, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher at Auburn, in the mix.

The speedy Lamb scored a rushing TD and one off a screen play last season while battling some injuries, while Radcliff was a redshirt last season.

"We have some good competition there," U of L coach Charlie Strong said.

Carter has done a good job of managing the guys and making sure everyone stays happy. He said Dyer knew what to expect when he came in and the other four guys also knew what to expect with the new addition.

"It's been smooth," Carter said. "His conditioning was good and he's worked really hard the other guys have accepted him with open arms."

Carter added that the running back room is "having fun."

BREAKOUT PERFORMER

Michael Dyer, Junior

I know it's tough to put a former BCS title game MVP in the category of ‘breakout performer,' but that's what is expected of Dyer at U of L.

Dyer arrived on campus just two days before the start of fall camp, has been a model citizen and a hard worker, according to the staff.

Plus, the kid is a player.

We've only been able to see Dyer in shorts on three occasions, but you can tell he's the real deal and will be a major addition to the U of L backfield.

With all the chatter he has generated from the staff and others that have seen practice or the scrimmage last weekend, I don't think it's a stretch to believe he will lead the Cardinals in rushing yards this season.

SLEEPER

Corvin Lamb, Sophomore

The fastest member of the backfield, Lamb will get his touches this season. He's an explosive back with a ton of potential.

Lamb had some nagging injuries last season and still scored a pair of TDs, including the screen pass against Syracuse with an ankle injury.

Don't expect him to have major attempts, but he will make the most of the ones he gets for the Cardinals. He's a stud.

EXTRA POINTS

*Radcliff didn't participate on Sunday but word is he had a minor injury.

*Jarel McGriff-Culver is more of a fullback-type of player but is listed on the U of L roster as a running back. He was used a lot in the Sunday practice with the second and the third team offense.

*Also listed on the roster as running backs are walk-ons Thaddeus Walker (Tates Creek) and DeAngelo Brown (Butler).

*B.J. Butler was listed with the tight end series and is on the roster as a fullback/tight end. He will see some time in the backfield.

*Also listed as a fullback is Tyler Sharp, Luke Brohm and Griffin Uhl.

COMING UP

*Check back later today for a feature on Dominique Brown and a look at how the coaches might rotate the backs.

*The position series will continue tomorrow with defensive backs.


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