The University of Louisville has a talented and deep group of running backs to choose from this fall. Five players deep, it is a group that provides varying strengths for head coach Bobby Petrino to use in certain situations throughout the course of a game.
While it is a group with plenty of options, senior running back Dominique Brown will serve as the feature back and the Cincinnati native is determined to improve upon his team-leading effort from a year ago.
His fall camp performance, along with his leadership, has been impressive. He has been consistent in running physical and how displayed great hands and elusiveness when catching the ball.
“Dominique Brown's had a great preseason,” Petrino said last week. “We've learned a lot more about him and his running style and how he hits well and can catch the ball out of the backfield.”
As a junior, Brown topped the Cardinals with 825 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He reached the end zone 8 times. Originally a quarterback recruit, Brown has appeared in 35 games at running back, starting 10, and has totaled 1,417 career yards.
He'll share the backfield with four others this fall. Fellow senior Michael Dyer, and underclassmen L.J. Scott, Brandon Radcliff and Corvin Lamb are all expected to carry the ball.
“He likes all of us,” Brown said of Petrino. “He gives equal amount of carries. We all rotate with the ones and most of us rotate with the twos.
“Especially with the guys that we have. Anybody can go out there and play and we won't miss a beat. It's great to have that versatility in the running back room.”
Because of the pass-first image of Bobby Petrino, Brown and the others in the running back room were concerned that they'd see a drop in carries in 2014. The group quickly began researching Petrino's history.
“We looked at Michael Bush's stats, and coach (Kolby) Smith's stats and saw they had big numbers,” Brown explained. “We didn't know what to expect at first because we were hearing that he likes to pass a lot, but after seeing what he did with those guys we got pretty excited.”
Brown rushed for 42 yards on 16 carries when the Cardinals defeated the Hurricanes 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl last December.