Big Numbers Back Chooses Louisville

ye-popping numbers.

Louisville’s latest football verbal once ran for 485 yards on 25 carries in one game. That averages out to 19.2 yards per carry. He scored four touchdowns that game, including jaunts of 74, 73 and 65 yards.

Meet Jeremy Wright, a 5-foot-11 running back from Clermont East Ridge, Fla., who ran for a total of 2,707 yards to lead all of Florida, and racked up 28 touchdowns.

Tom Lemming, recruiting analyst for CBS College Sports, told the Orlando Sentinel: “He would definitely be a top-10 back in the state of Florida. But because there are a lot of backs in the South, he may have gotten lost in the small-back shuffle. I just think it is circumstances, but I bet he goes to college and proves himself.”

Possibly a diamond in the rough for Steve Kragthorpe and company. They are winning a few battles as the 2009 recruiting season draws to an end. Not beating traditional powers, mind you, but winning nevertheless.

That’s a start.

Check out Mr. Wright in the video after his team falls behind 14-0. That’s when he turns it on:

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Horace Miller Adds His Name

Add Horace Miller to the growing list of commitments to the University of Louisville’s 2009 football recruiting class. The Baltimore Dunbar player has made the switch from Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) to UofL, which sorely needs talented linebackers.horace1

While earning Maryland All-State honors during his senior year, Miller had more than 130 tackles and 29 sacks, bettering his junior year when he had 90 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 17 sacks and forced three fumbles. His team won a third consecutive state championship this season.

Check out the video highlights of number 33:

Here’s a link to an ESPN video, providing insights into his personality.  Show us, Horace, show us.

Cards Land ‘Prized Prospect’

The University of Louisville football team has secured a verbal from Roy Philon, a defensive lineman from Lexington Bryan Station who was heralded by the Courier-Journal last month as “one of the state’s prized prospects.”

The know-it-alls among us are sure to question why Philon is signing on with Coach Steve Kragthorpe’s team, thinking that the major reason would be early playing time, and lots of it. Well, think again. We have it on good authority that Louisville has been his favorite football team since he was a youngster.

While an early start is not assured, his talent level could quickly push him to the forefront. The C-J stats from his senior season are impressive.

“Philon, who runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, played defensive end, defensive tackle and running back for the Defenders. He made 52 tackles, including 14 for losses. Five of those were sacks, and he forced two fumbles and broke up two passes. As a running back, Philon needed only 10 carries to amass 220 yards and seven touchdowns.”

ESPN Scout gave him a respectable appraisal as well:

“Philon is a tough hard-nosed kid in the trenches. He moves around the line a bit in high school and plays a 3-4 end, but is likely more of a true interior player at the college level. He is a thickly built kid who will need to add some more bulk. If he is about the 6-foot-4 he is listed at then he should not have much problem getting to that 290-300 pound range. He will flash some solid quickness off the ball. Does a good job of being able to get to the shoulder of a blocker and power his way into the gap. Displays solid raw strength. He can be a vicious tackler who has a WWE flair to him. You would like to see him not leave his feet as much, but he likes to slam ball carriers to the ground …”

Why does the name of former Cardinal terror Michael Josiah come to mind? No comparison intended but it would be good to have another one, without Josiah’s challenges.

Aggressive football recruits wanted, needed and welcomed at Louisville.

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Getting Personal: Pop Pulls Out Another One

The Observer steps aside briefly to allow the favorite son to pass along a few flashbacks of growing up in the family of a couple of University of Louisville diehards.

By Steve Springer

After sitting through one of the more hand-wringing encounters that I have witnessed as a University of Louisville fan, I knew that another of my great sports fantasies had come true. After a thrilling victory over No. 13 Notre Dame, I realized that the next UofL game I would attend would be against the No. 1 team in the land, the Pitt Panthers on the upcoming Saturday.

The chance to beat No. 1 does not come along very often. Combine this rare opportunity with the fact that one does not always get to attend such a spectacle with the engineer of one’s love. The win over top-ranked Pittsburgh will rank right up there with the best of many big moments as a Card fan. The Observer instilled a deep passion for Cardinal Nation in my soul and fueled it with ticket after ticket to big games.

Steve, Koby, Rick Pitino and the Observer
Steve, Koby, Rick Pitino and the Observer

I have attended Cardinal basketball and football games since before I could walk. The memories run together in a collage of college athletics. The clearest early memories that stand out are sitting so high in the Superdome to watch the Cards battle Patrick Ewing in the 1982 Final Four. The setting was so huge to my 6-year-old eyes that I preferred to watch the action on the big screen scoreboard instead of the tiny little players running around so far below. My first and only experience with the Big Easy and my beginning infatuation with shrimp and seafood tagged along for good measure.

Visions of hugging red-clad people I had never met when I was nine in Reunion Arena shortly after Jeff Hall intercepted a Duke pass at the end of the 1986 National Championship in Dallas stand out, as well.

A few days before my parents had upgraded their hero-status in my eyes as I secretly intercepted a phone call from the Observer’s wife and my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Osterman. Mom was campaigning for permission to allow me to accompany them to Dallas for championship weekend and I would have to miss a couple of days of school. Mrs. Osterman obliged; I guess the real life experience I was to receive would be worth way more than multiplication tables and spelling words.

Continued Continue reading “Getting Personal: Pop Pulls Out Another One”

Tony Alford, Traveling Man

Moving from school to school is not uncommon for assistant football coaches. Shouldn’t be too much of  a shock that Tony Alford would leave the University of Louisville to accept a similar position at Notre Dame.tonyalford

Maybe he figured that Steve Kragthorpe probably has only one year at UofL unless Kragthorpe does the unexpected next season. More than likely, Alford just couldn’t resist an offer from Notre Dame, a school he described as “the epitome of college football.”

Whatever. His stint may be brief. It’s no secret that the Notre Dame faithful have their doubts about the future of Charlie Weis, the head coach. A 29-21 won-lost record after four seasons doesn’t please Irish fans, clinging now to their aging tradition for at least a decade.

For some reason, the many failed third-and-one and fourth-and-one-yard frustrations from last season come to mind.