Sam Madison joins honored Cardinals

Former two-time All-American Sam Madison became the latest former Cardinal to have his jersey honored by his former school. The four time NFL All-Pro visited with Inside The Ville during Louisville's 42-20 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night and shared his thoughts on the growth of the program, life in the NFL and more.

One of the University of Louisville football program's best, Sam Madison (1993-96), became the thirteenth Cardinal to have his jersey honored and placed on the façade at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Thursday night. (Johnny Unitas is the only Louisville jersey that has been retired.)

Madison, was a three-year starter during his four-year career at Louisville. His 16 career interceptions set a new school record, while his 44 career pass breakups remains the most in the history of the program. Following his senior season Madison was named 2nd Team All-American and was selected in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.

As a Dolphin, Madison has recorded 29 interceptions and has been selected to play in four Pro Bowls.

Wearing a personalized black Louisville jersey, Madison visited with Inside The Ville shortly after being honored during the Cardinals 42-20 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday evening.

There aren't to many honored jerseys on the façade of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. How does it feel to see your #13 jersey alongside the others?

"There aren't many guys up there. It's a huge compliment, because I came in with a great bunch of guys in 1992, who I played with in the Liberty Bowl, and it could be any one of us up there. It happened to be me and I feel so blessed for it and it's a true compliment to be up there with those guys. I played with one of them in Chris Redman, so that feels really good."

Chris Redman threw you a 51-yard touchdown pass against Michigan State your senior year. Have you ever been tempted to line up on the other side of the ball again?

"When I first got here I was playing some wide receiver, but I gave that up along time ago. No more offense for me. I'm dong getting hit – I'm sticking to covering."

What are your thoughts on how far the football program has come since your days playing in the old baseball stadium?

"It's unbelievable," said Madison. "When I first came here for Coach Schnellenberger he always said that one day we'd have a stadium. I never had an opportunity to play in it, but I can say that I contributed to helping get this stadium built and I glad to see these guys have the opportunity to play in a facility like this because it is only going to help them keep getting better."

How's life in the NFL treating you?

"You can't complain. You do have to learn that it's a business. A lot of guys want to come in and do this and do that, but you have to be mentally and physically prepared for it. If you're not the game will pass you by. It gives everybody a place to showcase their talent and it's wide open for you, but you have to have a lot of heart and have a lot determination."

What are your thoughts when you think back on your playing days at U of L?

"When I came to Louisville I knew that I wanted to do big things here, especially playing in front of the Crunch Zone at the old stadium. I knew I wanted to help us win big games. It helped me get to the NFL and now having four Pro Bowls, I look back and it's been fun for me."

Everyone has an opinion on the new black jerseys. Care to share yours?

"I love the black jerseys. Chris [Redman] and I were talking were talking about how I tried to get black uniforms my last year here. Chris was pulling hard for me, but I didn't get it done, but I have one now."


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