Kolby Smith impressed with stable of backs

U of L running backs coach Kolby Smith, who rushed for over 1,800 yards during his Cardinal career, visited with Cardinal Authority on Wednesday and shared his thoughts on his talented group of runners.

University of Louisville running backs coach Kolby Smith has been there before. The Tallahassee, Fla., native spent four years in the Cardinals backfield, becoming the primary ball carrier for U of L during the 2006 Orange Bowl winning season. His return to Louisville, following a three-year run in the NFL and coaching stints at Arkansas and Western Kentucky, now provides him the opportunity to help the program continue the climb into the nation's elite.

Only on the job for three weeks, Smith's time has been focused on recruiting since he arrived and despite the struggles of a short window to recruit in, he likes what the staff was able to accomplish.

"It was challenging, but for the most part I think we did a good job overcoming that challenge," he told Cardinal Authority. "I loved and enjoyed the opportunity to go out and establish relationships with players and coaches."

The 21 player strong recruiting haul includes one that he will tutor directly, early enrollee L.J. Scott. The product of Marion (Oh.) Harding has been at U of L since early January and is already working with the strength and conditioning coaches.

Smith has been impressed by the 6-foot-1, 215-pound three-star running back. The newest member of the Cardinals backfield made news during the season when he was selected for ESPN SportsCenter's Top Play of the Day after hurdling a would be defender on his way to the end zone.

Smith said that video clip along displays the type of ability that the freshman has.

"He was jumping over people, keeping his feet and still scoring," Smith said. "That shows a lot of how great of a player he is."

With recruiting being the priority during his first few weeks on the job, Smith has been impressed by what he has already seen from the current stable of Cardinal backs.

"I really like them," he said. "They've shown the willingness to work, the willingness to compete and more importantly, the willingness to learn. When you have that you know you have a great bunch of guys to work with."

As a former U of L running back, who racked up over 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground, the opportunity to return to his alma mater provides added incentive to strive for success.

"It really energizes me each and every day to know that I'm going out to work with more than just student-athletes, but also brothers," he explained. "I've walked that path that they are currently walking, so it's my duty and responsibility to guide them to a championship.

"I'm privileged to be here."


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