Gridiron Notebook

News and notes from the just released spring football prospective, as well as from the recruiting trails...

"It's Almost Football Season..."
If you listen to sports talk radio and visit the ITV messageboards, you've likely either heard or read the comment, "it's almost football season," from a number of U of L fans in response to the inconsistent play of the Cardinal basketball season. While in reality, despite the fortunes - good or bad - on the hardwood, basketball season never ends in the Bluegrass State. The same can now be said regarding Cardinal football as well.

It won't be long until the cracking of helmets will once again be heard on Floyd Street as U of L head coach Bobby Petrino will welcome his team back for the first day of spring practice on March 28. The just released 2006 Spring Prospectus, lists the following schedule for spring practice:

2006 Spring Prospectus

--click here for download from
March 28
March 29
March 31
April 1
April 4
April 5
April 7
April 8
April 11
April 12
April 14
April 15
April 18
April 19
April 21 (Spring Game)

New Names & New Numbers

  • Former North Hardin (KY) High School quarterback Skyler Lear has joined U of L as an invited walkon. As a senior in 2004, Lear directed a run dominated offense that reached the quarterfinals of the 4A state playoffs. He threw for over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns. Lear will wear #17.
  • Kicker Mark Zucconi, a former all-state performer at Holy Cross High School in Marlton, New Jersey, will wear jersey number 45.
  • 6'3, 220-pound junior receiver Pat Carter, who transferred to Louisville from Georgia Tech last August, will don #4, while fellow transfer, 6'3, 220-pound Chris Vaughn, who arrived via Notre Dame, will wear #9.
  • 5'10, 160-pound receiver Craig James will wear #15, as will sophomore walk-on quarterback Bill Ashburn.
  • Pleasure Ridge Park WR/CB product JuJuan Spillman selected #26, while fellow greyshirt Josh Byrom, a 6'5, 280-pound offensive lineman, will wear #60.
  • Mid-year junior college transfer Willie Williams will wear #92. The defensive tackle is listed as a solid 6-4, 310-pounds.
  • Notable Absence

  • Linebacker Matt Sanders, who has suffered through four ACL injuries, won't return to the field of play for the Cardinals. The local product overcame his third surgery and earned the start against Kentucky last fall, but suffered what became a career-ending injury a few weeks later in the Cardinals 69-14 win over North Carolina on October 8.
  • Initial Depth Chart

    Barlowe with OL Coach Mike Summers
    during fall camp
  • The pre-spring practice depth chart has Marcus Gordon, Marcel Benson, Breno Giacomini, Danny Barlowe and George Bussey competing for the spots vacated along the offensive line.
  • Senior receiver Jimmy Riley joins Mario Urrutia and Harry Douglas as the first team receivers
  • The outside linebacker spot left open by departing senior Brandon Johnson has junior Malik Jackson listed atop the depth chart.
  • The first team defensive line consists of Zach Anderson and Brandon Cox on the ends, with Amobi Okoye and Adrian Grady inside.
  • "Quarterback University"
    The University of Louisville has produced a number of NFL quarterbacks, including Carolina's Stefan LeFors and Dave Ragone of Texans. Of course one always has to mention NFL Hall of Famer Johnny Untias when mentioning former Cardinal QB's.

    Another former NFL and U of L great Jeff Brohm, who currently serves as the program's quarterback coach, as well as the school's tradition of standout signal-caller's, has made an early and strong impression on one of the nation's top '07 prospects. five-star quarterback Pat Bostick of Manheim Township (Penn.) High School has narrowed his list of early scholarship offers down to three schools - Louisville, Michigan and Pittsburgh. The 6'3, 220-pound Bostick recently told that he narrowed it down to those three programs due to their respective quarterback coaches.

    QB Pat Bostick
    "The main common thing between each of those schools is that they each have what I think are the top three quarterback coaches in the country," said Bostick, who added the following regarding his interest in Louisville. "That's just a quarterback university."

    To watch the entire video interview conducted by Bob Lichtenfels during the recent All-American combine in Pittsburgh click here.

    While Bostick will likely visit Louisville during the coming months, four-star quarterback Matt Simms of Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey is already planning on a trip to The 'Ville. The son of Louisville native and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Phil Simms, Matt will make an unofficial visit with the Cardinal program during the spring to watch the team practice.

    In addition to Louisville, Simms is also drawing strong interest from the likes of Boston College, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Virginia.

    More Recruiting Notes...

  • Phelon Jones, the younger brother of former U of L receiver Tiger Jones, is drawing quite a bit of early attention and is quickly building an impressive scholarship offer list. The 6'0, 190-pound cornerback already holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Louisville, Mississippi and Ohio State, while LSU, Michigan, Texas and Virginia Tech are among those likely to do the same soon. Premium subscribers can watch Jones in action by clicking here.
  • Surprisingly, Louisville Male all-purpose athlete Douglas Beaumont continues to hold just one scholarship offer. The all-state performer recently told that he has turned his full attention to hoops, where he is trying to help lead the Bulldogs into a spot in the Sweet 16. Beaumont led Male with 19 points in its 7th Region win over Trinity on Wednesday night and will next face Jeffersontown in the quarterfinals on Friday evening.

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