Cards enter camp with high expectations

Preseason expectations for the 2007 U of L football squad will begin to face reality when the Cardinals open fall camp on Thursday evening.

Expectations will begin to face reality when University of Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe welcomes his first Cardinal squad to the first day of fall camp.

"We are very excited about the potential that this team has and that's where we are right now - we have a lot of potential," Kragthorpe told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

The Lambert Trophy
Fresh off the best season in school history, which post season hardware included the Orange Bowl, Big East and Lambert trophies, and with a plethora of returning talent, the Cardinals open camp on Thursday with plenty of preseason expectations.

A number of college football preseason magazines, including Phil Steele, Lindey and Street & Smith, have placed Louisville in their top ten. In previewing the outlook of the ‘07 Cardinals, wrote the season would be a success if Louisville goes back to a BCS Bowl.

One of the teams more vocal leaders, junior defensive tackle Adrian Grady says the team has the same high expectations.

"I don't think we'll lose a game," said Grady. "We want to win and we know what it takes."

"We've been in the big games, we have a lot guys that have playing experience. I think the only thing that can beat us, is us. I don't see anyone that top to bottom has better athletes or a better staff, so I don't see us losing a game."

The Cardinals will need great play from those returning players, as well as a few newcomers, for the team to meet it's preseason expectations. A handful of new Cardinals, such as Chaz Thompson and Woodny Turenne, are expected to make an impact almost immediately, but arguably the one newcomer with the highest expectations is former Miami linebacker Willie Williams.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Williams, who came to Louisville after spending a year at West Los Angeles Community College, was rated the nation's No.2 prospect by and a U.S. Army All-American as a senior at Carol City High School in Miami in 2003.

"I think Willie has had a good summer," Kragthorpe said. "He looks great. We don't get a chance to watch these guys workout, but all the indications that I'm hearing is that he's had a productive summer and I think he's excited to get back on the field."

"Like all guys that are new to our program, we'll have to see how quickly he can absorb what we are doing from a schematic, fundamental and technique standpoint. We'll put him in a position where he has a chance to compete for playing time."

Williams new teammates were impressed by what they saw during summer workouts.

"Willie Williams is an athlete," said Grady. "A lot is expected of him and I think he knows that."

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