University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino will lead his team on the practice fields on Wednesday morning for the first day of fall camp. Now in his third year of his second stint with the Cardinals, Petrino likes the experience and focus his current team has as it preps for the 2016 season.
"I thought we had a very good summer," he said on Tuesday afternoon. "I'm very impressed with the way our players tested out this past week. We're a much stronger football team then we've been. I think we're a faster team then we've been. I really like the way our leadership was over the summer and our team chemistry. I feel like we got a team that really likes each other. We have a team where we have leaders from within, which I believe gives you a chance to have a special team."
With 18 returning starters returning from a team that defeated Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl, the expectations for the Cardinals are rising. A number of national pundits have labeled the Cardinals a dark horse team to reach the College Football Playoffs.
"I embrace the high expectations, that's what we want," Petrino said. "We want to be in a situation where people believe, our players believe and I believe that we have a chance to go compete and win a championship."
"The best thing for us is we get to quit talking about it and just go out work on improving, and practice to improve on a daily basis," he continued. "That's what our focus will be. I like the high expectations. I like what it does for the motivation for the off season, but now its time to shut up and go work."
** Michael Boykin, a three-star defensive end signee, did not qualify and has enrolled at a junior college.
** Gary McCrae, a former Georgia signee, is not yet eligible, but continues to make efforts to make his situation hopeful.
** James Dematto was an expected greyshirt for U of L, but was offered the opportunity to join the team immediately. He's made it to campus and will begin practice with the team on Wednesday.