Petrino excited about current true freshmen crop

While the Brian Brohm era at the University of Louisville officially commenced Monday, Cardinal head coach Bobby Petrino was equally as excited about several of his other talented true freshmen.

While the Brian Brohm era at the University of Louisville formally began Monday afternoon, Cardinal head coach Bobby Petrino also sounded excited about a deep and talented class of true freshmen, especially with his newest crop of defenders.

"It's good to get out here and get to work with the new guys and see the new class we brought in," Petrino said.

Brohm, a former Trinity High standout who led the Shamrocks to three consecutive state titles, is currently listed as the second team quarterback on the U of L depth chart. Though he showed tremendous ability and potential, the 6-foot-3 signal-caller struggled at times during his first collegiate practice with his accuracy and rythem. Still, Borhm is expected to compete for the starting position and significant playing time this fall.

"I think [Brian] was a little bit out of rythem and maybe a little off balance," Petrino said. "But that's something that happens on the first day and we were trying to make it difficult on the quarterbacks."

Despite his early struggles, Petrino seemed pleased with Brohm's first effort.

"I thought he looked OK," Petrino said of Brohm. "He did some real good things but I don't think he was as happy with his accuracy. I think some of that [lack of accuracy] had to do with his balance, the wind and the tight coverage but he sure showed that he has the ability to do it."

Lamar Myles
After his team struggled on defense last season, Petrino appeared quite pleased with his current crop of defensive signees, including linebackers Lamar Myles and Johnnie Burns, defensive end Brandon Cox and corner Rod Council.

"There are some other true freshman out there at some of the other positions that I thought did a great job," Petrino said.

"I liked the looks of those linebackers," Petrino continued. "Lamar Myles and Johnnie Burns are both kids that can really run. Johnnie is tall and lean, while Lamar is stocky and can really go. So I think those two guys looked really good."

Always looking for a quick pass rusher off the edge, Petrino is excited about the 6-3, 230-pound Cox.

"I think Brandon Cox at the defensive end position has the type of body that you want at that position," Petrino said. "Of course, he's going to have to grow up some and get stronger but I thought he did a nice job."

With the loss of seniors Ronnie Ghent and Richard Owens, tight end was already a position of concern heading into the 2004 season. Then, last spring, red-shirt freshman Thomas Boyce decided to quit the team. That left another red-shirt freshman, Wayne Riles, as the only returning tight end with any experience at the position on the team. However, when Riles unexpectently left the team late last week, an opportunity was created for Scott Kuhn and Garry Barnidge, two talented but young prospects.

"I like our two tight ends," Petrino said. "Scott Kuhn and Gary Barnidge showed a lot of potential and caught the ball real well. They were nervous and stumbling around at times but they've just got to get their under them."

Four signees, LB Mozell Axson, CB Bobby Buchanan, DL Josh Waller and DE Anthony Douglas, are currently absent for academic reasons. Buchanan, though, is expected to arrive on campus next week. Also, DE Breno Giacomini received NCAA clearance during Monday afternoon's practice session. Giacomini, who put on 26-pounds during the off-season, will join the team on the practice field Tuesday.

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