Spring football report card: Practice #1

Cardinal Authority will be there for each and every University of Louisville spring football practice over the next few weeks and will have reports from all 14 of the practices. 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 will have 13 spring practices and then the annual Spring Game will be held on April 17 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. U of L coach Bobby Petrino led the Cardinals' to a 9-4 record and appearance in the Belk Bowl.

U of L returns a lot of talent on both sides of the ball but has plenty of competition at a number of different positions this spring, including quarterback.

Cardinal Authority will bring you the latest each day.



It was a cold afternoon but there was a lot of energy and excitement on the field for the Cardinals, who went for a little more than two hours on the day.

The Cardinals had 25 periods and practiced in front of a few former players, including Charles Gaines, Gerald Christian, Jamon Brown and John Miller.

All eyes for the first day were on the four quarterbacks participating - Reggie Bonnafon, Kyle Bolin, Tyler Ferguson and Pat Thomas. U of L more or less evenly split reps between the first three QBs as the entire team was in helmets and no pads.

The Cardinals did a bunch of 7-on-7 and even some 11-on-11 drills. Bonnafon was the first quarterback out with the first team and had his moments, despite a couple of interceptions. Bolin would come next and looked really sharp, while Ferguson is the transfer from Penn State who sat out last season and has a cannon for an arm.

It's going to be the position battle to watch all spring.

The practice was quick and the team never really stopped running between drills. Petrino also spent quite a bit of time on special teams on day one.


Kyle Bolin, Quarterback: Petrino said all three quarterback had their moments, but Bolin was extra sharp on the first day. He didn't misfire on many - if any passes - during his rotation in the offense. Bonnafon and Bolin - both sophomores - split the reps with the first team. Again, no QB is going to gain much of advantage in the first week or so but Bolin is sure off to a flying start in the race to be the starter coming out of the spring.


Chucky Williams, Safety: The 6-foot-2, 205-pound sophomore safety was a big-time standout on a defense that ended up with five interceptions. Williams had two picks and was only not in position to make a play on one play when he was in there and that was a deep ball when he slipped a bit. We've heard a lot about Williams each of the past two seasons and it looks like he's going to be a major contributor.


Traveon Samuel, wide receiver: The true freshman from Phenix City, Ala., is not very big (5-7, 178 pounds) but he was mighty impressive. Samuel is really, really fast and is likely going to get a lot of playing time in the slot. Samuel is in the mold of Eli Rogers, who graduated last season, and could be that possession receiver with a ton of speed. Samuel graduated early and enrolled in January to start adjusting. He still has a ways to go, but made several spectacular catches on day one.


U of L head coach Bobby Petrino

"They're all (QBs) going to have great chances to go with the No. 1s, and they know that they're going to compete for it and all get reps in there with the No. 1s. Reggie and Kyle worked with the No. 1s, and Tyler came in there and got good reps with the No. 2s. Kyle kind of went back and forth, but we'll kind of rotate it as the week goes on."


*** Offensive lineman Jimmie Terry, who was a redshirt last season for the Cardinals, is no longer on the U of L roster and isn't expected to return.

*** Linebacker Lamar Atkins went down with an ankle injury in the middle of practice and sat out the rest of the day.

*** L.J. Scott and Brandon Radcliff split the carries out of the backfield with the first team, while Jeremy Smith and Malin Jones were also used.

*** Colin Holba was the long snapper, but walk on Joe Bradford also was seen doing some long snaps along with Royce Donovan - whose brother Grant graduated.

*** Wide receiver Dontez Byrd - a walk-on from Ballard - made several nice catches, including one acrobatic haul at the goal line.

*** The starting wide receivers were James Quick, Jamari Staples and Jaquay Williams. The new receivers are all very tall.

*** U of L commitment Derek Dorsey, a defensive lineman from Manual, was visiting during the practice. He committed to the Cardinals earlier this month.

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