Spring football report card: Practice #1

Cardinal Authority will be there for every University of Louisville spring football practice and have reports from all 14. Here's a daily report card we will do from the practices.

Cardinal Authority will be doing a daily spring football practice report card from the University of Louisville football camp.

The Cardinals are coming off of 23 wins in two seasons and are led by new coach Bobby Petrino.

Enjoy!

OVERVIEW OF PRACTICE

In his first practice with the Louisville Cardinals since preparing for the 2009 Orange Bowl, it was the same old Bobby Petrino.

The U of L head coach is intense and his practices are fast, fast, fast. The pace is much faster than what the players were used to.

Petrino doesn't like to run a lot of sprints at the end of practice, so he keeps his guys going hard throughout the entire practice. There's really no down time and some drills are ending when the next is beginning.

Petrino said he was happy with the first practice and the Cardinals seemed very energetic and excited to be back out on the field.

Remember, it's been a long few months since the Russell Athletic Bowl. A lot has happened and these guys seem ready to learn.

OFFENSIVE STANDOUT

No question Will Gardner has a leg up on the quarterback race and he showed on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-5, 226-pound Gardner is in great shape, was front and center - and first - for nearly every drill on opening day.

Petrino said he showed a great deal of leadership and noted he has been a leader in the weight room and the film room.

It will take Gardner a little time to adjust to the new system, but he seemed like he's coming along quiet well. His throws seem to be sharp and crisp and several times he was talking with DeVante Parker after or during drills.

Petrino said the passing game needs work, but Gardner seem to have a sensational first day.

DEFENSIVE STANDOUT

Lorenzo Mauldin is not participating in spring practice after shoulder surgery.

But when he wasn't conditioning off to the side with the rest of the injured players, Mauldin was right there with his defensive guys.

Mauldin is a leader and he's switching up his position to more of a linebacker, so it's important for him to learn the new system. He was certainly paying attention to coordinator Todd Grantham when he was teaching the defense.

During one period switch, Mauldin said "I want to be out there," and was totally focused on his position. So while he didn't participate, he was front and center and watching.

A NEW NAME TO WATCH

Several of the guys who sat out last season as a redshirt are expected to play key minutes, including a few on the defensive side of the ball.

One of those who looks like he's in sensational shape and was solid in all of his drills was Lyn Clark. The 6-2, 244-pound linebacker from New Orleans is expected to be part of the rotation at linebacker.

Clark was running with the second team with Keith Kelsey and James Hearns, giving the Cardinals a ton of young talent.

LOOKS LIKE Michael Bush

There were five players working with the quarterbacks and one was wearing No. 19, striking a remarkable resemblance to ex-Card Michael Bush.

But it's not Bush, only walk-on Reggie Green, a 6-1, 210-pound quarterback from Greenville, N.C., and Georgia Military Academy.

Gardner, Kyle Bolin and Brett Nelson are the scholarship quarterbacks.

The fifth QB on the roster is walk-on Ethan Horton, who is from Leslie County High School.

A FEW LEFTOVER NUGGETS

***Senior defensive tackle Jamaine Brooks was on the field with the defense. Brooks missed last season with an injury and his status with the team had been up in the air. But the 330-pound Brooks did participate.

***Defensive back Charles Gaines still doesn't stop talking. He was even talking with wide receiver coach Lamar Thomas, who gave it right back to Gaines during one drill.

***Michael Dyer was back on the field and looked pretty good in drills. He missed much of last season after sports hernia surgery.

***Tight end Hunter Bowles, who had brain surgery before last season, was back on the field. He's limited a bit in spring but expected back for the Cardinals in the fall.

***Running back Corvin Lamb is limited a bit after knee surgery but was back with the Cardinals.

***Pedro Sibiea was moved back to the offensive line. He started his career there but played some defensive line because of injuries last season for the Cardinals.

***Early enrollees Cameron Polk and Trevon Young were participating with the Cardinals.


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