The Louisville football team put on the pads for the time during fall camp Wednesday morning and the intensity level immediately went to a noticeably higher level. Practice began at 9:30 and concluded just before noon. The day started with the corners shedding blocks from the wide receivers to make tackles on the running backs. That drill set the tone for an intense, physical fifth practice for the 14th ranked Cardinals.
football team put on the pads for the time during fall camp Wednesday morning and the intensity level immediately went to a noticeably higher level.
Practice began at 9:30 and concluded just before noon. The day started with the corners shedding blocks from the wide receivers to make tackles on the running backs. That drill set the tone for an intense, physical fifth practice for the 14th ranked Cardinals.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino drilled his troops for more than two hours, putting his team through both 7-on-7, and 11-on-11 contact drills. The team also spent considerable time working on special team situations.
Here are some of the highlights from Wednesday mornings practice.
Folks, freshman wide receiver Scott Long is going to be a star in Louisville's offense – perhaps sooner than later. When the pads went on Wednesday, Long had already emerged on U of L's two-deep on perhaps the team's strongest unit, and also received reps with the No. 1 offense. He's already a solid blocker and made two impressive catches on the day, including one of the diving variety.
Rod Council appears to be cementing his place with the No. 1 defense at corner. There's no questioning his toughness, and cornerback coach Joe Whitt told Council, "You've got some dog in you," after the redshirt freshman shed a tough block and made an impressive one-on-one tackle during drills. Council also nearly intercepted a Brian Brohm pass during 7-on-7 drills.
Look out for sophomore linebacker Malik Jackson. He's pushing returning starter Abe Brown for the starting spot at outside backer and saw time with the one's during the team's 11-on-11 drills today.
Todd Flanery had another solid showing punting the ball on Wednesday. His consistency is improving and 4 of his 6 punts had ideal hang time with each travelling 40-45 yards in the air.
Malik Jackson is making a strong
push for a starting position at
Corner Bobby Buchanan is also making a strong case for playing time this fall. After sitting out last year to tend to his academics, Buchanan has emerged as a potential star this fall. He saw action primarily with the second team Wednesday but also saw some action with the one's. Travis Norton and redshirt freshman Marcus Folmer each split time with the second team at cornerback.
Though U of L's receiving corp has become known for their pass catching ability, it's their blocking ability that has to really impress the astute onlooker. All three starters – Joshua Tinch, Montrell Jones and Broderick Clark – excel at this important aspect. Who's the best of the bunch? Tinch without question. Notre Dame transfer Chris Vaughn also has no problems in this department.
6-5, 341-pound guard Kurt Quartman looks primed for a breakout year. Often overlooked because of two All-America candidates – Travis Leffew and Jason Spitz – it was Quarterman who looked the most dominant during blocking drills against the first team defensive line today. Simply put; defenders just can't seem to get past him.
Careg Bonner returned to action today after missing practice on Monday and Tueday. Lee Sweeney remains on the sideline with a viral infection and U of L officials aren't sure when he'll be able to return to practice.
NFL scouts from San Francisco, Washington and New Orleans were on hand during practice Wednesday. The 49ers seemed most interested in the Cardinals linemen, both offensive and defensive.
Mario Urrutia is nearly impossible to defend on the slant route. At 6-6, he's simply overpowers defenders on the route and rarely drops a ball. If the Cards need a quick hitter for about 10 yards, don't be surprised if they call Urrutia's number.
Keep an eye on Maurice Mitchell (6-3, 269), a redshirt freshman defensive lineman, this fall. He's been consistently impressive during drills at tackle and appears athletic and physical enough to earn some playing time in the rotation on the line.
Sophomore wide receiver Harry Douglas didn't practice today but appears close to returning to action. Douglas injured his ankle at the end of summer workouts.
George Strippling might be the fastest in Petrino's stable of running backs. He got the corner during 11-on-11 drills today and nobody could catch him. Don't be surprised if he takes one the distance this season.
It seems nobody in the city of Louisville works any more. At least a couple hundred fans were on hand for U of L's practice Wednesday, which started at 9:30 AM. We've heard that most called in sick – apparently they all had appointments with Doctor Petrino this morning.
Louisville will conduct their first two-a-day practices Thursday. The morning practice begins at 9:30, while the afternoon practice gets underway at 4:30.