Cassity likes defensive effort

Impressed by their effort during the first five days of spring practice, U of L defensive coordinator Mike Cassity is looking forward to seeing how his squad performs in the team's first spring scrimmage on Thursday night.

One constant since the start of spring practice for the University of Louisville football team has been the spirited and aggressive play of the Cardinals defense. With ten players with starting experience returning from last year's defense that finished among the top 25 in scoring defense, rush defense and pass efficiency defense, along with defensive coordinator Mike Cassity remaining on the Cardinals staff, it should come as no surprise that the Red Swarm defense has performed well during the first five days of spring ball.

"There is a lot of carry over from last years team and we are running the same system, so there should be good play," Cassity told following Wednesday's shortened practice. "We've been doing this scheme for three years now, so there should be good carry over from last year."

Much of the first five days in practice has been spent on fine-tuning the fundamentals and improving as an overall defensive squad and while there have a few simulated scrimmages, Cassity is looking forward to Thursday evening's scrimmage to see how his players react to game situations.

"We've spent a lot of time working on fundamentals to this point, so (Thursday‘s scrimmage) will be a big test," said Cassity. "I want to see guys give effort and I want to see guys run to the football. I want to see them tackles and get off of their blocks."

"Until we get out there on the game field and play I won't have a good feel for how they'll react," he continued. "Defense always looks great in shorts, so there should be a difference when we scrimmage."

A few players that will certainly get a few glances from Cassity and the defensive coaches are those that are making a move to a new position this spring. Among them are sophomore Stephen Garr, who is making the move from safety to outside linebacker, and in the process of changing from receiver to cornerback is redshirt freshman Johnny Patrick .

"I saw Stephen make a few good plays for us out there today," said Cassity. "He's always been a real good hitter for us and he's up to about 215 pounds. Johnny Patrick is another guy - we're looking at him as a cornerback right now. I'm excited about those guys and the moves we've made."

While impressed by the practice effort from all of the defensive unit, Cassity was quick to point out the strong play of the defensive front.

"I think our defensive front is doing well," said Cassity. "We graduated some players, but we have a lot of players with playing experience. I'll know more after the scrimmage, but I really like the effort."

The completion of the team's first full scrimmage will also bring the staff's first depth chart of the spring season.

"We won't really try to formulate a depth chart until after the scrimmage," said Cassity. "The number one thing that I'm going to evaluate above anything is effort, then the fundamentals and obviously how well they know the scheme."


  • Dexter Heyman, arguably the top rising senior prospect in the Bluegrass State, visited Louisville's practice for the first time this spring on Wednesday. The 6'4, 225 pound prospect currently holds scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville and Northwestern.
  • A pair of prospects from Pikeville (Ky.) High School also visited U of L's practice on Wednesday. Twins Ted and Tim Honaker - both of who project as potential linebackers on the college level.
  • Scrimmage

    The Cardinals will conduct their first true scrimmage of the spring season Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Admission is free. Those attending are asked to please not take pictures or video of the scrimmage.

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