Devonte Fields says he is ready to go. The Louisville newcomer, who was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman at TCU in 2012, is expected to help wreck havoc on opposing offenses this fall and from the sounds of things, he just may be 'ready to go.'
Fields, blessed with a 6-foot-4, 245-pounds frame and very impressive quickness, will lineup in multiple spots for the Cardinals this fall. Playing the outside linebacker spot in the 3-4 defense provides him with flexibility to stand up on the line of scrimmage, or put his hand down.
“It's really up to me,” he explained following practice on Wednesday. “I can put my hand down or I can stand up. Either way, I'm comfortable with it.”
Fields arrived on campus just days prior to the start of fall camp and while he starred at the junior college level last season, he quickly discovered that he wasn't completely up to the physical shape that he needed to be.
“Camp really kicked my butt and I got used it,” he said. “I got going again.”
As his conditioning improved, so did his play. He began working with the first team midway through camp and he's performed well in both team scrimmages, including an effort last Saturday that included multiple sacks.
“I feel like I've gotten a lot better and adjusted well,” he explained. “First couple days were a little rough, but other than that, I'm in pretty good shape and ready to go.”
Does he feel like he did when as a rookie he led TCU with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks?
“For sure,” he said. “I feel like back playing fast and back to normal really.”
It's been an impressive progression for Fields since he arrived in the Derby City, both on and off the field. Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham complimented the junior's work ethic and performance for helping him adjust so quickly.
“I'm looking forward to watching him play when it's live and letting him showcase his talents and help us be successful as a team,” Grantham said. “He's been a really good team guy, as far as making sure that he fits in with the other players and that's been fun to watch. You can see that he's earned their respect, from the standpoint of the things that he's done off the field here, the way he works and the plays he's made in scrimmage. He's fit in really nice.”
Fields credits Grantham for pushing him to perform at his highest level on a daily basis.
“He made me work hard," he said. "He made me realize what type of player I am.”
With just over a week remaining until the Cardinals travel to Atlanta to face Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, Fields, who said the team has been watching film on the Tigers “since before the start of camp,” is excited to make his return on the FBS level.
“We're going to be a hand full,” he told Cardinal Authority. “Everybody's talented on defense. Everybody is keyed in on their job and everybody is ready to play, so we're going to be a handful.”
“I'm ready to go.”