"We're excited to get started on Wednesday with spring football," said U of L head coach Bobby Petrino on Monday afternoon. "I think we had a good winter with our workouts and conditioning, but it was a little shorter than normal because of playing in the bowl game that late."
With 11 starters gone from a Cardinal team that ranked among the nation's best in a number of statistical categories on both sides of the line of scrimmage a year ago, there is plenty of room for new faces to emerge as impact players and team leaders.
"It's going to be fun to have young guys," explained Petrino. "You worry about replacing guys that have been starting for three years and going at it for three years, but it's also fun to watch the new guys develop and have the energy and excitement. I feel like our team right now has more energy, more enthusiasm then we did last year at this time, simply because of the competition and the hunger that is there to get those spots."
The presence of returning and promising players such as linebackers Malik Jackson and Terrance Butler, offensive linemen George Bussey, Marcus Gordon and Renardo Foster, along with the now eligible transfers Brock Bolen, Pat Carter, Chris Vaughn and others, the Cardinal program appears to have reached a point to where it can restock it's needs.
"I don't really see us as a rebuild or reload [team] right now," said Petrino. "I think we are just trying to continue what we have done and continue our climb. Hopefully we can keep going in the direction that we've been going."
The program's climb continues this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. with the start of spring ball and InsideTheVille.com will be on hand to bring you the latest news and developments from the practice fields.
U of L Spring Practice Schedule
(The public is welcome to attend each practice session.)
Wednesday, March 29 4:00pm
Thursday, March 30 4:00pm
Saturday, April 1 9:30am
Sunday, April 2 9:30am
Tuesday, April 4 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 5 4:00pm
Friday, April 7 3:00pm
Saturday, April 8 12:00pm
Tuesday, April 11 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 12 4:00pm
Friday, April 14 3:00pm
Saturday, April 15 9:30am
Tuesday, April 18 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 19 4:00pm
Friday, April 21 - 7:30 p.m.
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium