Petrino, McGee impressed by freshman

A number of Cardinals have been impressive during the early days of spring practice, including freshman running back L.J. Scott, who has drawn praise from U of L head coach Bobby Petrino and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.

Among the many purposes of spring practice, especially following a coaching change, is the opportunity for players to make a positive impression and potentially earn a spot on the field for the upcoming season.

A number of players have doing just that through four days of spring drills at the University of Louisville, including freshman running back L.J. Scott. Scott, a product of Marion (Oh.) Harding, is clearly taking advantage of the decision to enroll early at U of L.

With injuries nagging a pair of backs on the depth chart, the 6-foot, 228-pound newcomer has received a higher number of snaps and he has performed well. He's done so well, so quickly, that he was in the backfield working with the first unit offense frequently during the Cardinals scrimmage on Saturday morning.

"I'm very impressed with L.J." Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino said following his team's first scrimmage of spring.

In addition to a great frame, especially for an incoming freshman, Scott has excelled at grasping the new offense since he arrived on campus in January.

"First and foremost, just his maturity," Petrino continued. "The way he carries himself in the classroom. He comes in every Saturday morning and works in the weight room and does extra things. He's learned the offense very quickly. He's going to be a very powerful guy. His lower body. His strength in the weight room. Before it's over he's going to be a very powerful back.

Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, who visited with Cardinal Authority following Friday's practice session, also heaped praise on the rookie. Again, it was the mix of maturity and talent that grabbed McGee's attention.

"We are very impressed with him," said McGee. "Being so young - the fact that he could still be in high school right now and he's here and he really fits in. He doesn't seem like an outsider or a young kid.

"He's really strong and powerful. He has a good feel for running lanes, when to jump stop and cut back. He has a very powerful lower body. That's important for us to have running backs with big hips and big thighs because you can break arm tackles and he definitely brings that to the table."

Scott rushed for over 1,000 yards as a senior and gained over 2,500 during his prep career. He drew that nation's attention last fall 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.

Just a few months removed from his final high school game, his play and preparation has him in position to become a contributor immediately at Louisville.

"He's right in the mix," Petrino said. "We don't have many backs right now, but he's right in the mix."

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