Five (offensive) breakout performers

With former Louisville offensive stars Brian Brohm, Harry Douglas and Mario Urrutia now in the National Football League, Cardinals offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm is looking for a few new stars to emerge this season. InsideTheVille.com provides subscribers five potential breakout performers for the 2008 season.

Hunter Cantwell The talented senior quarterback has waited patiently behind Brian Brohm for the past few years. Now, the 6-foot-5 Cantwell finally gets his big chance as Louisville's full-time starter at the quarterback position.

In relief appearances for Brohm in the past, Cantwell has put together a solid 3-1 record as the starting QB – his one loss came against Virginia Tech in the 2006 Toyota Gator Bowl. Possessing a strong arm and NFL size, Cantwell is considered one of the top pro prospects in the nation at his position, earning preseason recognition on the Unitas, Maxwell and O'Brian watch lists.

Though he didn't get much time as junior behind Brohm (Cantwell completed only 8 of 14 passes for 79 yards with one INT and zero TD's in '07), who is now playing for the Green Bay Packers, Cantwell has plenty of game experience and performed well during spring drills. For his career, Cantwell has seen action in 18 games, completing 92-of-157 passes for 1,420 yards with ten touchdowns and seven interceptions. Cantwell owns wins over UConn, Kansas State and Middle Tennessee as a starter.

Bilal Powell Powell, a promising sophomore running back, appears ready to emerge as one of the top running backs in the Big East this season.


Powell could emerge as one of the top RB's
in the Big East.

Powell, 6-0, 208, came on strong at the end of the 2007 season, rushing for 161 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns in Louisville's last two contests against USF and Rutgers. A gifted athlete, Powell has exceptional vision and cutting ability.

A special teams contributor much of last season, Powell had 24 carries for 187 yards (7.8 ypr) and two touchdowns on the season. He also made three receptions for 25 yards. On special teams, Powell averaged 25.6 yards per kick return and could pull double-duty this season with JaJuan Spillman dismissed from the team and Trent Guy out of action until at least midseason.

Powell flashed his big-play potential in Louisville's final game against Rutgers last season, sprinting 33-yards for a score against the Knights. Powell promises a lot more big plays for the Cards offense this season.

Scott Long Long, a fourth-year junior, finally appears ready to emerge as Louisville's lead receiver.

Playing a supporting role to stars like Harry Douglas, Mario Urrutia and Pat Carter last season, Long had his best season as a Cardinal, catching 27 passes for 358 yards (13.3 ypc). With those three now gone, Hunter Cantwell will look for Long often this season.

A physical player, Long can make all the tough catches and figures to make a lot of plays over the middle of the field. And with a wide receiver corps decimated by graduation, dismissal and injury, Long could become Louisville's top option in third down passing situations.


Anderson provides Louisville an explosive
weapon at RB.

Victor Anderson Anderson showed during spring practice why he was selected as Louisville's best offensive scout team player last season as a redshirt.

The 5-foot-9, 182-pound running back from Louisville St. Xavier had an outstanding spring, showing blazing speed around end and a surprising toughness – and ability – to run between the tackles.

While Brock Bolen and Bilal Powell figure to be the Cardinals top two options in the backfield this season, Anderson almost certainly will add a big play element to Louisville's rushing attack. Remember, Anderson was rated a four-star prospect coming out of high school after rushing for 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns as senior. Also don't forget, Anderson backed out of a verbal commitment to West Virginia, a program that knows a few things about smallish running backs.

Though small in stature, Cardinal fans can look for big things this season from Anderson.

Mark Wetterer A former three-star prospect from Ohio, Wetterer earned a starting spot at guard during the spring.

Wetter seemingly has all of the intangibles to become Louisville's next great offensive lineman. He's big (6-5, 315), strong and athletic. With three starters gone from last year's offensive front, Wetterer will be a key part for a revamped offensive line that still boasts two of the top lineman in the nation in center Eric Wood and tackle George Bussey.

A sophomore, Wetterer played in one game last season – the season opener against Murray – before being sidelined by injury for the rest of the season.


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