Froman gives UofL best chance to win

Louisville coach Charlie Strong informed Adam Froman on Sunday that he will be the Cardinals starting quarterback this season, a decision many expected he would make before he announced it publicly Monday afternoon. The reason? Froman provides Strong's first team its best chance to win this season.

Louisville coach Charlie Strong informed Adam Froman on Sunday that he will be the Cardinals starting quarterback this season, a decision many expected he would make before he announced it publicly Monday afternoon.

In reality, Froman, who beat out Justin Burke and Will Stein for the starting job, probably would have been named the starter before last season if not for a shoulder injury that slowed him during fall camp. Now healthy, Froman is ready to take the reins and lead the way for Strong's first team at UofL.

"I was very humbled," Froman said Monday after practice. "It's a huge honor to be named starting quarterback. Justin Burke and Will Stein are excellent quarterbacks. To win the spot is a dream come true."

Froman, who started seven games as a junior, appeared the clear-cut frontrunner coming into fall camp after a solid spring running Mike Sanford's spread-option offense. Though Sanford indicated Monday that all three quarterbacks could play this season, he was clear that the 6'4, 218-pound Froman is his guy.

"Adam Froman has done a great job and has been the most productive guy and put himself in position to be our starter," Sanford said. "Adam Froman is our starting quarterback but we could end up playing all three guys."

Burke, a senior, and Stein, a sophomore, both started games last season and will have to be ready to play if needed, Sanford said.

"They have to be prepared because you just never know what may happen," Sanford said.

Why Froman? In short, the Louisville coaching staff believes he gives the team the best chance to win games. Froman also fits better than either Burke or Stein into Sanford's offensive system, which places a premium on a versatile quarterback that can run or throw.

"I think he's the most efficient and most productive," Sanford said. "When it comes down to it you have to evaluate who is going to help you win games the most and we felt he was the guy that gave us the best chance to do that."

Froman described his role as quarterback as a "curator" of Louisville's spread-option attack.

"[I just have to] get us in the best play possible every snap and just put the team in the best position to score points and go up and down the field like an offense should," Froman said.

Scoring points and moving the ball were both problems for the Louisville offense last season. Under Steve Kragthorpe's guidance, the Cardinals ranked last in the Big East in scoring offense (18.1 ppg) and sixth in total offense (331.4 yards per game).

Adam Froman gives Charlie Strong's team best chance to win this season.
Sanford intends to improve on those anemic totals, and he thinks Froman is the guy to lead the offense.

"It's been a process over a period of time and it culminated Saturday with the scrimmage," Sanford said. "We wanted it to develop and take care of itself and it did."

Through Froman completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns last season as a junior, his ability to make plays on the run might have have been the deciding factor in the race against Burke and Stein.

"That's part of it," Sanford said. "All three guys are athletic and can run. The fact that he was able to make plays and make something happen when there wasn't something there was a factor."

Froman had 61 carries for 78 yards last season, including six rushes for 23 yards against USF.

"I like getting out of the pocket and running a little bit and giving the defense an 11th player to worry about," Froman said. "When they [defense] have to account for the quarterback as a possible runner it changes their mindset and makes them back off a little bit and not be as aggressive as they want to [be]."

Froman's leadership ability also gave him the edge over the other two.

"I think that's [another] big factor in this thing," Sanford said. "He has shown a lot of leadership over a period of time, starting with winter work outs, spring football and summer work outs."

While Froman is set as the starting quarterback, Sanford said he hasn't settled on a backup. Presumably, Burke and Stein are battling freshman Dominique Brown for the job.

"We have not named a backup at this point," Sanford said. "We're still in the process."

Brown, one of the marquee recruits in Strong's first recruiting class, is noted as a great athlete and a gifted runner. He led his high school team to the Ohio Class-A state title last season and was considered one of the prospects in the state.

"He wasn't here this summer, but he has made great strides and has a ton of ability," Sanford said. "We're just going to see how that develops. We haven't made any decisions on that."

Though the battle to backup Froman will continue in practice this week, Louisville's newly named starting quarterback is eager for the season opener against Kentucky – a game he missed last season because of injury.

"I can't wait," Froman said. "I know the Louisville, UK rivalry. I can't tell you how many hours of film I've spent watching Kentucky. It was a real disappointment last year not to be able to get in the game, but this year I'm ready for it and I can't wait."

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