By Jody Demling - Cardinal Authority

Cardinals Authority provides a closer look at the Louisville running back 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 latest installment provides a look at the Cardinals running backs.


Quarterback Lamar Jackson led the Louisville Cardinals football in rushing last season, but two of the top returnees - Brandon Radcliff and Jeremy Smith - don't want that to happen again.

Smith said with the running backs returning that Jackson won't need to be the leader.

"Hopefully, it will be one of us in the backfield," Smith said.

U of L running backs coach Kolby Smith has plenty of options to pick from on this squad. Smith said he hopes three or four guys can get 100-yard games this season for the Cardinals.

Radcliff is a senior who rushed for 634 yards and seven touchdowns last season and has 1,462 career yards and 20 career TDs. Smith had 270 yards and three TDs, while junior L.J. Scott rushed for 180 yards and two TDs and led the backs with seven catches for 95 yards.

"Right now, we plan on using them all in various roles," Kolby Smith said. "But you know the motto here, we feed the studs here."


Jeremy Smith, Junior

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Smith played in 11 games games last season and carried 60 times for 270 yards and three TDs. Smith had three games with 50 or more yards last season and had a solid spring and fall camp.

Smith averaged 4.5 yards a carry and has the size and speed to carry the load for the Cardinals offense. It sounds like Radcliff will get the first crack but Smith is going to be in the rotation and he's going to get his carries.

The biggest improvement with Smith is blocking, which is huge in the eyes of the coaching staff.


Malik Williams, Junior

The junior college transfer from Allen Hancock College has been a name we've heard a lot since he arrived on campus. The staff has had high hopes for Williams and last week Bobby Petrino said he's one of the newcomers that will play this season.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Williams has the size and ability to play right away and is going to be one of the best pass-catchers out of the backfield for the Cardinals this season. He's going to get a chance and we think he will come through for the Cardinals.


----Lamar Atkins played linebacker last season but was switched back to fullback and Kolby Smith said he could be "very big" for the running backs, opening holes in front of them.

----Malin Jones, a walk-on and former transfer from Northwestern, played a lot on special teams last season but could be used more as a third-down back this season. He didn't have a carry last season.

----Radcliff had 91 yards and one TD as a freshman, 737 yards and 12 TDs as a sophomore and 634 yards and seven TDs last season. He's averaging 4.9 yards a carry for his career.

----L.J. Scott has 381 yards and four TDs on his career.

----Trey Smith was a redshirt last season and could see some snaps for the Cardinals.

----Dae Williams is a true freshmen who ran for 1,673 yards and 19 TDs as a senior at Sapulpa, Okla.


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