Cardinals Authority provides a closer look at the Louisville quarterback position

Cardinal Authority is running a position series as a preseason football feature to help you get familiar with the entire University of Louisville roster. Our first installment provides a look at the Cardinals quarterbacks.


The first two years of the second era of Bobby Petrino with the Louisville Cardinals football program the biggest question coming into the season was the same: "Who's the quarterback?"

It was just a year ago that Petrino didn't even name a starter until just before kickoff of the opener against Auburn. Three quarterbacks started games last season and three different guys won games two years ago for the Cardinals.

But Louisville doesn't have that problem anymore.

After ending his freshman campaign on a high note and a sensational offseason, sophomore Lamar Jackson has cemented himself as the starting quarterback for the Cardinals and is ready to get the season going.

Jackson, who set the school's career rushing record for a quarterback in one season with 960 yards, threw for eight touchdowns and 519 yards in the spring game and Petrino said he's "really improved" his passing this fall camp.

"The good thing now is he really understands the concepts," Petrino said at ACC Kickoff. "He can sit down, you can give him a play, and he can draw up where everybody’s at and know this progression versus that coverage or that progression versus that coverage. That’s why you saw the confidence in the spring game and spring practice. Now, he can picture it."

But Jackson isn't the only reason for optimism at the QB spot.

Louisville has a backup in Kyle Bolin, who is one of the most experienced No. 2 quarterbacks in college football. Bolin has played in 11 games - starting six - the past two seasons and thrown for 1,870 yards and 11 touchdowns.

True freshman Jawon Pass has a "very bright future," according to quarterbacks coach Nick Petrino and junior walk-on Ethan Horton and freshman walk-on Sean McCormack are also in the quarterback room.

"The last few years, there has been so much uncertainty at times," Nick Petrino said. "It's good to know that we have depth at the position. We getting (Bolin and Pass) a lot of reps. Hopefully it won't but if something happens during the season, we feel comfortable about the depth.

"We feel good going into the season."


Lamar Jackson, Sophomore

Well, he really broke out last season. But will take what he did in the final two games - against Kentucky and Texas A&M - and I believe do that the entire season as he knows the playbook so much better now.

The expectations are lofty but Jackson hasn't backed away from talking about a big season and we expect him to have a big enough season to vault his name into Heisman contention for his junior year.


Jawon Pass, Freshman

I'm still not sure he's going to play this season but he did run with the second team during an open practice on Tuesday and the coaches have been talking about how quickly he's picking up the offense.

Pass is a bigger QB than Jackson and has different strengths. It's been Petrino's notion to play three quarterbacks each of the past two seasons but that was more by necessity than just doing it. Will be interesting to see if Pass plays.

We think if he does that Pass will shine in the offense.


----Bolin is ready to step in if needed for Jackson at any point in the season; he played in the second and third games last season and then didn't play in the next four but played in the final five.

----Ethan Horton is a junior walk-on who has never played a snap for the Cardinals. He's from Hyden, Ky.

----Sean McCormack is a freshman walk-on who is listed at 6-foot-5, 210-pounds and is from Darien, Ill. McCormack comes with a nice resume.  He threw for more than 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns, while completing 62 percent of his attempts. In the process he set new school career and single season records while helping Hinsdale South to the state semifinals.


Check out features on Lamar Jackson and Kyle Bolin later and a feature on how Jackson might not run as much as in the past but the staff doesn't want him to not run at all.

A look at the offensive line is coming tomorrow.

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