Positions seemed to be won and lost each day out and with Steve Kragthorpe and his newly formed staff of assistants now conducing practice, the competition at each spot should only increase this spring.
Here's a look ahead at six players that should make an immediate impact on the defending Big East and Orange Bowl Champions squad once practice begins on Friday.
S Brandon Heath
Projected to play major minutes as a true freshman from the moment that he stepped on campus last summer, Brandon Heath was forced to watch the 2006 season from the sidelines after suffering a broken foot during preseason conditioning. Now recovered from his injuries, Heath is once again expected to make a strong push for serious playing time and the possible starting nod this fall.
DL Aundre Henderson
After a dominating prep career at Louisville DuPont Manual, Aundre Henderson spent his first year at U of L completely reshaping his sizeable frame. He is now a step (or two) quicker, better conditioned and has the personality of a seasoned veteran. Henderson is all business on and off the field and should play a vital role on the Cardinals redesigned defensive front.
look on offense and defense
After making the decision to leave U of L just before the end of the ‘06 season, the former Ohio All-State performer returned to The Ville following the hiring of Steve Kragthorpe as the Cardinals new head coach. An extremely quick athlete that has drawn praise from his fellow teammates, Pascley will likely receive a strong look at receiver and cornerback this spring.
CB Craig James
Possessing (4.3) blazing speed, Craig James is a great candidate to help fill the void left by the graduation of three cornerbacks from last year's squad. James proved that he is able to overcome his light frame by utilizing his impressive speed during fall camp last year and made a strong case for a spot on the depth chart before being redshirted.
DE Rodney Gnat
After getting looks as a linebacker and defensive end during practice as a true freshman, Rodney Gnat is a candidate for time at defensive end this spring. Gnat, who was a standout performer on the scout team last season, has the size and ability to make the competition at the end position one to watch this spring.
OL Mike Donoghue
The Covington (Ky.) Catholic product played well in a limited role last fall and will compete with senior Marcel Benson, as well as redshirt freshmen Jeremy Baker and Conrad Thomas for the starting right guard position.
Others to watch:
WR Josh Chichester: 6'8, 225-pound frame makes him a can't miss target.
LB Stephen Garr: Former safety has bulked up some and will attempt to make the move to linebacker.
TE Zach Meagher: Former Scout.com 4-star prospect anxious after sitting out a year with injury.
S Maurice Urrutia: At 6'5, 190-pounds, Maurice is a great looking receiver. He's even better looking safety.