Bush, Ghent, Minkins and Preston Smith

Wednesday afternoon, seniors Ronnie Ghent and Josh Minkins, as well as incoming freshmen Michael Bush and Preston Smith, visited with members of the media.

With a youth filled secondary, senior cornerback Josh Minkins will be expected to help lead and direct the Cardinal secondary this fall.

Q: How do you become a leader?

Minkins: You have to lead the young guys and show by example. Do the right thing and they'll follow your footsteps. As a senior that's when you become a leader.

Q: There has been a number of notable defensive backs to come out of Louisville. Is this your time to become another one of those types of players?

Josh Minkins (ITV)
Minkins: Yeah, I think so. Our secondary is going to be real good this year I think. We'll be younger, but sometimes that means the better. We've got some things to prove from last year when we let down, so this year we'll do a lot better.

Q: Why is the defense going to be better? It's all new. Almost everybody out there is going to be new.

Minkins: Our defensive scheme will be better and everybody's involvement in the defense. More aggressive attacks and not laid back like we were last year. Not playing soft and being more aggressive and getting after people.

Q: What do you think of the new turf?

Minkins: My personal opinion, I like grass, but we'll get used to it. It looks good though and it makes the stadium look real good.

Q: You've been able to see the quarterbacks in seven on seven's. How are they looking?

Minkins: I think they all look good, even Bush, but he has a lot to learn. Stefan [LeFors] looks good to me. He's not too big, but he has speed and can throw the ball good.

Q: As a senior, how do you help someone like Gavin Smart who made the switch to the secondary during spring practice?

Minkins: Gavin is young and he's never played corner and since I have played corner since I got here I will teach him some things. He might have some let downs, but he's got to keep his head up and just have positive talk and no negative talk. Help show him what he's doing wrong and what he's doing right. I'm going to keep him under my wing and guide through all the right steps.

A 3-time All-Conference USA First Team selection, Ronnie Ghent is looking forward to getting back into action for the first time since last October when he went down with a knee injury.

Q: Are you all put back together now?

Ghent: Yeah pretty much. Just waiting on the season to start, test out this new turf, see how everything is going to go with the new coaches and the new look and I am just ready to play.

Q: Sounds like there is a whole lot of new stuff you guys have to adjust to this year.

Ronnie Ghent (UofL)
Ghent: Yeah, new uniforms, new coaches, new field, and new schedule. You have to play with the hand that you are dealt.

Q: How is the new knee doing?

Ghent: The new knee is cool. Doing a lot of rehab in the off season and I am ready to test it out.

Q: Any move that bothers you more then another?

Ghent: No, I am ready to play. I fee like a new born baby right now. Ready to get back on the field and pick up where I left off.

Q: Is it something on your mind, or something you think about when you are walking around?

Ghent: Playing football. I have been out since like October and I am just ready to play.

Q: You may be the primary receiver. I know that Bobby wants you in the backfield a little bit. Are you ready for all of that?

Ghent: Anything it takes to win. I just want to help us get back on top. Anything it takes, I will do it.

Q: How does the work you guys did in the summer help you now?

Ghent: We had a good off season with conditioning, strength training and I am ready to get back like the other guys. Everybody is eager to play football. The season is about ready to start and we are ready to go.

Q: You have a new coach. How much is new to you?

Ghent: You have to get in there to watch a lot of film and make sure you do what your coach wants you to do. It's like new players have to come in, you have to pick up a new system from high school so everybody is capable of doing it.

Q: Is it so much different from Coach Smith's system.

Ghent: Not really, it's sort of similar but you have a full back.

Q: Have you been on the new filed yet?

Ghent: Not yet, I am going to wait until it's done. I am sure we will get to test it out sooner or later.

Q: Any worries about playing on a artificial turf verses a more natural turf?

Ghent: Not really, a field is a field. If it was dirt we would play on dirt. I just want to play ball period.

Preston Smith is another member of the Top 50 recruiting class of 2003 and is gearing up for his first college practice experience. A successful quarterback at Washington County High School in Sandersville, Georgia, Smith also has the experience, size and ability to make a move to another position.

Preston Smith (ITV)
Q: What position are you going to play?

Smith: Hopefully I will play quarterback. That's what they brought me in at.

Q: You have a long line of guys to fight with at quarterback.

Smith: I am just coming in to compete with everybody else. Hopefully I will get the job.

Q: You have 2 guys that have been here, plus Michael Bush who is getting a lot of notoriety.

Smith: I am going to try to out work them and then see what happens.

Q: What is your style? For those that have not seen you play, what kind of quarterback are you?

Smith: I can run, I can pass and I can make a play.

Q: Would you play somewhere else if playing quarterback does not work out?

Smith: Yeah, I will play wherever, I just want to win.

Q: Are you anxious for practice to start?

Smith: Yeah, I am kind of nervous. I mean, it's different going from high school to college.

Q: Did you play any other positions in high school other then quarterback?

Smith: I played free safety.

Q: You know there is a big need for that too here at Louisville?

Smith: Hey, I will play it. Whatever it takes.

The moment practice begins, nearly every fan in attendance will focus on Michael Bush and the competition at the quarterback position. With a number of talented quarterbacks with little experience, former Louisville Male Bulldog, Michael Bush, appears to have a great opportunity to earn the position.

Q: Have you lost some weight? You look thinner in the face.

Bush: I have lost about 10 pounds or so. I came in at 250 and I am now at 240. I have been hitting the weights hard.

Q: You have been waiting a long time for this. Tell us about your emotions.

Michael Bush (ITV)
Bush: It's very exciting but hectic though, because you are moving in and meeting everybody.

Q: How much has it helped you to work in the seven on seven over the summer?

Bush: It's been fun, listening to the defenders jawing at you. Welcoming you to the team I guess. You have to learn a lot of things out here too.

Q: What have you learned? The game is a lot faster then in high school.

Bush: Not to float the ball across the field.

Q: You were so dominate in high school, are you noticing the athletic talent catching up with you a little bit now that you are in college?

Bush: Yeah, I noticed it's all the same now and sometimes they let me know too, but I don't say anything back. I just look at them and smile.

Q: What type of attitude do you take? You have just a few weeks to prove that you not only belong but that you want to play right away.

Bush: Just don't get down on myself, stay positive and if something happens bad overlook it.

Q: Do you think you know enough of the offense to step in a play?

Bush: I think I do. Not all of it, but [Coach Petrino] gave me the basics and the protections. I have had meetings with the coaches three times a week one on one.

Q: What have you noticed in the 7 on 7 on defense that you have never seen before?

Bush: Well like in the cover two, they have the safeties and the linebackers moving out and messing with your head.

Q: Do you feel you have an honest chance to start?

Bush: Yes, I think [Coach Petrino] is a great guy will give me a real chance. He has not given me the impression he will not give me a chance.

Q: You are a hometown boy and getting a lot of press. How is this setting with Stefon Lefors and Justin Rascati? Do you guys get along?

Bush: Yes, they have helped me any time I have asked or needed help they have helped me. They have not held anything back.

Q: If someone else gets the starting quarterback would you play a different position for a little while?

Bush: Yeah, but I am not going to just give it up.

Q: It has to make you feel good. The coach has told us that you will not be caring a clip board next to him, Michael Bush is going to play.

Bush: It makes you smile a little bit more not worrying if you are going to play.

Q: If you had the choice to be number one at another position or 2 or 3 at quarterback, which would you choose?

Bush: I think I would have to stick with quarterback. You never know if there might be an injury or maybe the player is not playing well. I don't want anybody to get hurt, but if someone gets hurt I would be the next guy.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories