Practice Report: Bush returns to action

Louisville running back Michael Bush sat out last week's spring drills, but returned to the field on Tuesday. also has the latest on the heated battle brewing at SAM linebacker, the emergence of redshirt freshman Jonathan Holston at defensive end, and much more from the practice field.

Senior running back Michael Bush missed practice last week, including Saturday mornings scrimmage. Tuesday, the 6-3, 250-pound Heisman candidate returned to practice. Bush looked particularly sharp hitting the holes during running drills, and appeared to be in good form.

"He looked good out there today," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "And he should have because he's been well rested."

U of L officials said last week that Bush was out with the flu. His right ankle, though, was heavily taped under his sock during Tuesday's practice.

Recruit ready to go

Most high school kids head directly to the beach for spring break. Not Louisville signee Troy Pascley. Pascley is currently visiting Louisville, and attended the Cardinals practice Tuesday afternoon. The 6-4 wide receiver arrived in Louisville Sunday, and has been learning and watching things intently. During the past few days, Pascley has spent time watching the Cardinals lift weights, and took in a meeting for the wide receivers.

"They look real good," Pascley said. "I can't wait to get out there with them. I'm ready to get going with the team."

Pascley said he'll enroll at U of L this June and attend summer school. He's set to play in the Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 game this summer.

Battle brewing at SAM

There's a pretty good battle brewing at the SAM linebacker position between juniors Malik Jackson and Terrance Butler. Butler saw reps with the No. 1 defense Tuesday, while Jackson worked with the 2's. Jackson began the spring listed No. 1 on the depth chart with Butler listed as the backup.

"I'll be flat out honest with you, we don't have a starter right now at SAM linebacker," linebacker coach Tom McMahon said. "Both of those guys need to pick it up and one of those guys needs to emerge as the starter."

McMahon said the reason that Butler has jumped ahead of Jackson on the depth chart is because he's been more productive during practice and scrimmages.

Holston making a move at DE

Redshirt freshman Jonathan Holston appears to be making a move up the depth chart at defensive end. Holston played almost exclusively with the first team defense Tuesday, vaulting ahead of junior Brandon Cox.

"He's really improved his desire to go out and be physical," co-defensive coordinator Kevin Wolthausen said of Holston. "He's doing a nice job and there's a quality competition between him and Brandon Cox."


Grady has emerged as a vocal
leader this spring.

  • Transfer running back Brock Bolen continues to perform well. Bolen has shown good quickness and agility, and clearly possesses good cutting ability for a man his size. Bolen also has solid hands out of the back field, and appears a bigger, more talented version of former U of L fullback Chris Fitzpatrick.

  • Despite making five interceptions last week, safety Deon Palmer was still behind returning starters Brandon Sharp and Jonathan Russell at safety during Tuesday's practice.

  • Juniors Preston Smith and Terrance Butler comprised the first team outside linebackers Tuesday, while Malik Jackson and Abe Brown pulled duty on the second team defense.

  • Lamar Myles missed Tuesday's to attend his grandfather's funeral in Florida. U of L SID Rocco Gasparro said he expected Myles would be back to practice sometime later this week.

  • Sophomore defensive end Adrian Grady appears to be emerging as one of the defenses vocal leaders this spring. In fact, coach Wolthausen said Grady might need to tone things down. "He tends to be a little vocal," Wolthausen said. "He needs to tone it down a little bit, but I don't mean that negatively. He's just got to make sure he's not losing focus on his job when he's being vocal."

  • Kolby Smith missed practice again on Tuesday. Smith, who also sat out Saturday's scrimmage, tweaked his hamstring last week during practice.

  • Running back Sergio Spencer's left hand was heavily taped Tuesday.

  • Asked to name a few standouts on defense through the first two weeks of spring practice, Wolthausen singled out corner Rod Council, middle linebacker Nate Harris, defensive tackle Adrian Grady, and defensive end Zach Anderson.

    Defensive tackles Willie Williams and Earl Heyman, and offensive tackle Marcel Benson stood out during one-on-one blocking drills. Williams got the better of returning starting center Eric Wood a few times, while Heyman showed his explosiveness off the ball. Benson might be the Cardinals best pass blocker because of his size and quickness.

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