Football Notebook

Anticipation is building as the start of football practice for the 2006 Cardinal football team is now less than three weeks away, so put together a jam-packed notebook to help fill your gridiron cravings...

Cards Picked Second
What's the media know about Big East Conference football? Apparently not as much as they should. On Tuesday morning members of the media made their predictions on the 2006 Big East Conference, selecting defending champ West Virginia as the team to beat. Louisville, which received six first place votes, was projected to finish second in the league, with Pittsburgh just edging out Rutgers for the number three position.

Projected Order of Finish

1. West Virginia
2. Louisville
3. Pittsburgh
4. Rutgers
5. South Florida
6. Connecticut
7. Cincinnati
8. Syracuse

Many in the media must not have considered home field much of a factor during the thought process. Move last year's game between the Cardinals and the Mountaineers to the Derby City and Louisville comes away with the victory. This year the budding rivalry will make it's first appearance in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Cards are 16-1 at home under head coach Bobby Petrino and have won 12 straight on their home turf. Only USC (27) and Texas (15) have longer current home winning streaks than the Cardinals.

If the conference crown comes down to the November 2 meeting between the two schools - Louisville wins.

Upcoming Dates
With Tuesday's Big East Conference media day coming to a close, here are a few more upcoming dates to mark on your calendars:

August 2: Governor's Cup press conference
August 4: Practice begins (open to fans and media)
August 5: Practice (open) & Media Day
August 6: Practice (open)
August 7: Practice (open)
August 18: Kickoff Luncheon
August 28: Bobby Petrino pregame press conference

(practice times have not been announced; please note that all dates are subject to change)

Freshmen Working Hard
The newest members of the Cardinal football team have arrived in great form and have been doing their best to keep step with the returning veterans during summer workouts and conditioning.

An example of their hard work, determination and focus is DuPont Manual product Aundre Henderson recently being named 'Player of the Week' for his efforts in the weight room and in conditioning drills. Word is, Henderson will fill a role similar to super sophomore and fellow local product Earl Heyman and will clock time at both end and tackle.

Bigger, Faster, Stronger.

Position Changes?
Watching players show their skills at multiple positions during the first few days of fall camp has always been one of my favorite things to look for. It's a great way to see the overall athletic ability of the players, while the Cardinal coaching staff evaluates which position would be a better fit. A number of incoming freshmen are expected to get looks at multiple positions. Here's an early list of players that should see some time at a few different spots in early August:

Rodney Gnat: Is the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Jacksonville, Florida product a quick rush end or will he be a physical outside linebacker? He'll likely get looks at both spots during fall camp.

Pete Nochta: The Lexington product has experience as a tight end, quarterback and safety under his belt, so working at multiple positions shouldn't be a challenge for him. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder, who was a two-year starter at Tates Creek, should get snaps at both tight end and defensive end during the upcoming camp.

Johnny Patrick: The three-star receiver also excelled in the secondary at Deland (Fla.) High School and should a look at both receiver and cornerback during his first few days of practice.

Eugene Sowell: At 6-foot, 200-pounds, the three-star running back prospect will also likely get a few looks with the Cardinal linebackers.

Latarrius Thomas: Rated as the 31st best receiver in the nation by, Thomas frequently drew rave reviews for his abilities as a safety. At 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Thomas has the size, along with the pure athletic ability, to contribute at either position this fall.

Tyler Wimsatt: The Owensboro product was Mr. Everything as a senior in high school, which included plenty of time playing quarterback. At 6-foot-1, 230-pounds, Wimsatt should also see time on both sides of the ball as a running back and linebacker.

The Heisman Race
Be sure bookmark to keep up with all the latest on Louisville Heisman candidates Brian Brohm and Michael Bush. The two local products grace the cover of the 2006 University of Louisville media guide.

See you January
This past weekend brought us news of three members of the 2006 recruiting class that will be headed to prep school this fall.

A Saturday blog report in the Cincinnati Enquirer stated that four-star receiver Josh Chichester had enrolled at Harmony Community School and will play football there this fall.

Also on Saturday, first reported that Tallahassee Godby teammates Kareem Crowell and Emanuel Francis have enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia.

All three are expected to enroll at U of L in January.

U of L - UK tickets
After filling all of the pre-orders for season ticket holders, it appears that Kentucky has some of their 5,000 ticket allotment remaining and made them available to season ticket holders that didn't pre-order for the annual Governor's Cup contest. Word is that quite a few Louisville fans found a way to snatch some of them up throughout Tuesday morning and afternoon.

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