Thomas finally gets his chance

Perhaps no player on Louisville's roster has benefited more from Charlie Strong's hiring than Conrad Thomas. The senior offensive guard has only played in one career game but is expected to start on the offensive front this season.

Perhaps no player on Louisville's roster has benefited more from Charlie Strong's hiring than Conrad Thomas.

Thomas, a senior offensive lineman, signed with Bobby Petrino's Cardinals coming out of Douglasville, Ga. in 2006. Thomas, who turned down an offer from South Carolina, red shirted his first season at Louisville - Petrino's last with the Cardinals.

During the past three seasons under former coach Steve Kragthorpe, Thomas was buried on the depth chart and appeared in just one game - Kragthorpe's debut against Murray State three years ago.

But Thomas received a fresh start with Strong's arrival. After proving himself to the new coaching staff, particularly offensive line coach Dave Borbely, during spring drills, Thomas finds himself as the first-team right guard during preseason camp.

"Coach Strong and Coach Borbely have really let us show what we can do," Thomas told InsideTheVille.com "He didn't look back to the past and what I did last year. He's let me prove I can take care of business."

What's been the biggest difference for Thomas since Strong's hiring?

"I just worked my way up at guard," Thomas said. "I've studied my playbook and the GA's stay on top of me so I know the plays. Once I learned all the plays everything took care of itself."

Thomas also rededicated himself in the weight room under the supervision of strength coach Pat Moorer, whom Strong has called the nation's best strength and conditioning coach. Since Strong's arrival, Thomas has lost 28 pounds, entering fall camp at 324.

"Losing all that weight has helped my flexibility and speed," said Thomas, who lost six pounds during Tuesday's practice.


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