Petrino "committed" to Louisville

Cardinals head coach enters fourth year focused taking the program to the next level

Petrino responds to NFL rumors

Amid rumors concerning University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino and current openings with NFL teams, most notably with the Oakland Raiders, the Cardinals head coach released a statement to the media on Wednesday evening after his return from a recruiting trip to Alabama.

"I understand my name is being mentioned in connection with job openings in the National Football League, but I want to re-iterate my commitment to the University of Louisville, our players and all of our Cardinal fans. The University of Louisville has been great for me, and family and I'm committed to fulfilling our goal of taking the program to the next level."

Petrino, who has compiled a 29-8 mark during his first three seasons with the Cardinals, has produced an offense that has finished among the nation's best each year, so it's no surprise that an NFL franchise might be interested in taking a look. However, it is refreshing to see that one of the top offensive minds in the country is going to stay in college ball and even better that he's doing so at Louisville.

Cardinal Football News & Notes

Newcomers on campus

Josh Byrom attended the
Louisville - Rutgers game
As reported last week, a trio of players that committed to play for the Cardinals following the 2004 season, but spent that past year greyshirting, have reported to campus. Jacksonville (Fla.) Lee product Craig James, along with Montour (Penn.) High School lineman Josh Byrom and Pleasure Ridge Park's JuJuan Spillman are all on campus and have likely started in voluntary workouts at the football complex.

Also on campus is mid-year junior college transfer Willie Williams. Williams is a three-star defensive tackle from Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas, where he teamed with current Cardinal middle linebacker Nate Harris during the 2004 season. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound defensive tackle, who will help ease the burden of replacing Montavious Stanley, said that he committed to Louisville to better his chances of playing professional ball.

"I think Louisville will help get me ready for my ultimate dream to play professional football," he told on December 20.

Final days at hand

The end of the football recruiting calendar is rapidly approaching and in a similar fashion to this time last year, the Cardinals coaching staff is waiting for just a couple more commitments to round out the 2006 recruiting class. With 19 pledges, including JC transfer Willie Williams, already received, the coaches will have to sweat it out the last few weeks as a handful of the nation's top prospects continue to strongly consider Louisville.

Petrino visited Peanut on Wednesday
Among those that may still become members of an already solid recruiting class are defensive end Deantwan Whitehead, who received an in-home visit from Petrino on Wednesday, defensive tackle L.T. Walker and receivers Latarrius Thomas and Tim Hawthorne. Other possibilities include quarterback Emanuel Francis, who continues to close in on becoming fully eligible and defensive end Ricky Lumpkin, who is set to choose between Louisville and Kentucky on Thursday.

Once again, U of L will hold it's signing day event at the Brown & Williamson Club at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The event, which begins at 4:00 p.m. and is free to the public, will once again include video highlights of each of the new Cardinal signees.

This weekend, Francis, along with current verbal commit Orlando Misaalefua, will make an official visit with Louisville.

Check it out…

If you're planning on attending the signing day event, why not stop by the football complex a couple hours earlier and check out the new indoor practice facility?

The Trager Center Indoor Facility will hold its grand opening at 2:00 p.m. and is also free to the public. The finishing touches, such as landscaping, are being completed, so be sure to make an effort to see the new facility up close.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories