Offensive lineman Brian Roche, who now measures in at 6-foot-5, 302-pounds has continued to rehab from surgery to repair a broken left leg that he suffered in late February.
"It's going slower then we originally thought," Roche said of his rehab. "I had a third surgery to remove the pins and that set me back a bit. That has given me more time to rehab though, which has been a good thing."
Being held out of practice and having to watch his team from the stands, Roche admits that it has been a difficult adjustment.
"I want to be out there on the field in the worse way," said the New Jersey native. "I won't be back in full pads until the spring really. I just try to stay positive, but it is difficult because you want to be on the field."
Despite spending his time tossing the medicine ball, riding the bike and running, Roche says that he has benefited from just being able to watch this year's group work with offensive line coach Mike Summers.
"We have a lot of great linemen," he said. "I'm learning a lot by just watching Travis Leffew and Jason Spitz and the other guys. I'm learning a lot about how they train, handle things and how everything works."
Brian Roche with Earl Heyman and Darius Mann
at the 2005 spring game
"I know a lot of those guys," said Roche, who will welcome his parents to Louisville this weekend. "Their (redshirt freshman) quarterback Mike Teel used to be my quarterback at Don Bosco. We've been going back and forth for awhile. I told him that I'd tell Elvis to take it easy on him."
Watching former teammates and friends in action on Friday only fuels Roche's desire to make his return.
"I can't wait for spring so I can finally get my hands on somebody," he said. "Right now my job is to just keep getting better so I can be ready."
Once spring practice does arrive, the original plan of having Roche play center may have changed.
"Originally I was going to play center, but we'll see what happens," he said. "Eric Wood is doing really well there and I can play anywhere, so I'm not sure what position I'll play. I'll play wherever they put me."