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Tag: Louisville football

Yes to football series with Western Kentucky, but basketball can wait

July 28, 2015 2 Comments

Jeff Brohm is lobbying hard for a home-and-home series between Western Kentucky University and  University of Louisville. Bobby Petrino seems to be receptive.

Brohm,, the former University of Louisville quarterback now football coach at WKU, wants to bring his team to Louisville where his family has prospered in the sport over two decades. There would be a return game in Bowling Green and, possibly, a third game at a neutral site in Nashville.wku_full_2

Really interesting that a school in a small town in southern Kentucky is attempting to compete at the highest level in football. Says something about the leadership at the school and the community.

Petrino, in his second season at UofL, wants to reward the Bowling Green school for giving him a second chance following the problems that led to his dismissal at the University of Arkansas.

A continuing series would elevate WKU football in the state, bringing the Hilltoppers more exposure than games against opponents like Vanderbilt, Indiana and Rice this upcoming season. Unlike some other state schools, WKU would bring plenty of fans to Louisville, as they during the days at the old Fairgrounds Stadium.

The games would be competitive as long as Jeff Brohm is at the helm, and would provide some easy road trips for UofL fans whether they be at Bowling Green or Nashville. Certainly more attractive than out-of-conference games against Samford or Florida International.

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Rick Pitino would probably be having lots of second thoughts about renewing the basketball series, especially after the Donnybrook at Bowling Green last season. WKU Coach Ray Harper had his troops playing angry, employing a bruiser style, deliberately antagonizing UofL players, causing Montrezl Harrell to be ejected.

There really was no need for the hostility.

The basketball series can wait for a few years, with the only incentive for UofL being to break the 139-139 all-time series between the two programs. No hurry.

Keion Wakefield picks Louisville over Kentucky

July 23, 2015 1 Comment

The University of Louisville football program wins another hat-picking contest Thursday, with Keion Wakefield, a talented wide receiver from Male High School, picking the Cardinals.

Wakefield briefly picked up a University of Kentucky hat, giving Wildcat fans a fleeting thrill, before placing it aside and donning the UofL hat.  He chose the Cardinals even though his brother Keron plays at the Lexington school.

A 5-foot-9, 165-pounder, Wakefield helped Male High to an 11-1 record last season and had 40 catches for 670 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s obviously serious about playing college football at the higher level.

New crop of Louisville players headed to NFL

May 2, 2015 1 Comment

When a team has 10 players selected in the National Football League draft, that team has lost a ton of talent. In this case, an all-time record for the University of Louisville

The number of UofL players drafted is second highest among the nation’s college football programs, right behind Florida State which has 11 players headed to the NFL.NFL logo

The order in which they were drafted:

No. 14 — DeVante Parker, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins; 72nd — Jamon Brown, offensive tackle, St. Louis Rams; 81st — John Miller, offensive guard, Buffalo Bills; 82nd — Lorenzo Mauldin, outside linebacker, New York Jets.

104th — James Sample, safety, Jacksonville Jaguars; 177th — Deiontrez Mount, outside linebacker, Tennessee Titans; 189th — Charles Gaines, cornerback, Cleveland Browns; 193rd — B. J. Dubose, defensive end, Minnesota Vikings; 239th — Gerod Holliman, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers; 256th — Gerald Christian, wide receiver, Phoenix Cardinals.

Signing as free agents were: Grant Donovan, long snapper, Washington Redskins; Dominique Brown, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Eli Rogers, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jake Smith, offensive lineman, Cincinnati Bengals.

No mention of Michael Dyer as of yet.

UofL already had 19 players listed on NFL rosters :

Gary Barnidge Cleveland Browns Tight End
Joshua Bellamy Chicago Bears Wide Receiver
Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings Quarterback
Preston Brown Buffalo Bills Linebacker
Damian Copeland Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver
Harry Douglas Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver
Elvis Dumervil Baltimore Ravens Linebacker
Brandon Dunn Chicago Bears Defensive Tackle
William Gay Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback
Breno Giacomini New York Jets Offensive Tackle
Alex Kupper Buffalo Bills Guard
Senorise Perry Chicago Bears Running Back
Roy Philon Detroit Lions Defensive Tackle
Bilal Powell New York Jets Running Back
Calvin Pryor New York Jets Safety
Greg Scruggs Seattle Seahawks Defensive End
Marcus Smith II Philadelphia Eagles Linebacker
Byron Stingily Tennessee Titans Offensive Tackle
Eric Wood Buffalo Bills Center

 

Dolphins ecstatic DeVante Parker was still available

May 1, 2015 0 Comments

The Miami Dolphins had DeVante Parker at the top of their draft list all along, worried that he would be off the board when they made their pick at the No. 14 spot. They badly wanted DeVante Parker.

Photo by Menefee Seay

DeVante Parker

They had good reason to be concerned with all the chatter about Parker possibly rejoining his former teammate, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, at Minnesota. But the Vikings disappointed University of Louisville fans, going instead for cornerback Trae Waynes of Michigan State with their No. 11 pick.

Next up were the Cleveland Browns, a team that needs a lot of everything, from the bottom of the roster to the corner office.

“We thought they might take [Parker],” Dolphins owner Steve Ross told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel.

UofL fans holding their breath, too, fearful for Parker. Letting go a sigh of relief when the Browns draft Danny Shelton, a tackle from Washington.

“I was thrilled,” said Ross. “He was the guy all along I thought would be at the top of our board. To get one of the big three receivers, a step above the rest, it’s great.”

Parker, who finished his collegiate career with 33 touchdowns, was clearly among the best to ever play receiver at UofL.  Had he not been injured the first seven games last season with a foot injury, he was on track to resetting all Louisville receiving records.

Often NFL owners and scouts, in an effort to shortcut the development process, outsmart themselves and dig the hole deeper, extending the process. They send scouts  to football games every week, but overlook the obvious in the frenzy and one-upmanship leading up to the draft. How else to explain Bridgewater being the last pick in the 2015 draft?

The Miami Dolphins were focused on DeVante Parker, and they will start reaping the benefits right away.

23,187 celebrate football at Louisville spring game

April 17, 2015 0 Comments
Jeremy Smith sees daylight and paydirt during the University of Louisville spring game.

Jeremy Smith (34) sees daylight, scampering to the end zone during the University of Louisville football team’s spring game.

A balmy 70 degrees. A perfect night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for the University of Louisville spring football game and everything that goes with it.

The die-hard tail gaters showing up early to claim prime spots at the front of the Green Lot. Grills glowing, beer flowing, one more chance to celebrate, an occasion for serious football people and party lovers before the long hot summer, Septemberfivemonths away. Some 23,187 fans happy to be together again, enjoying the UofL camaraderie.

carnivalLots of children, too, making B lines to the carnival rides, the tilt-a-whirl, the merry-go-round, the bumper cars, and the whack-a-mole. Their parents gorging on a cornucopia of fried food delights, the funnel cakes, elephant ears, caramel apples, corn dogs and, my favorite, the heavily-salted fried potato ribbons.

The event would also enable fans to see such former UofL greats as Deion Branch, Omobi Okoye, and Brian Brohm presenting team awards to the graduating seniors. Gerard Holliman, with his NCAA record-tying 14 interceptions, being selected as the Most Valuable Player during the 2014 season.

The main attraction, of course, was the Red-White scrimmage, featuring the first-team offense against the second-team defense. Really no contest with the Red team dominating the game, 59-0.

Starting quarterback Reggie Bonnafon looking much more confident and certain of what he was doing from the start, completing 15 of 19 passes for 238 yards, including a touchdown. James Quick was his favorite, pulling in seven receptions and 117 yards.

Kyle Bolin switched from the White team to the Red team in the second half, immediately enjoying more success, completing eight of 11 passing attempts, including touchdown passes to Ja’Quay Savage and 34 yards to Dontez Byrd.

Running back Brandon Radcliff, who will be a junior, was back to his old elusive self with 57 yards and three touchdowns. Jeremy Smith, a junior college transfer with three years of eligibility, was the leading rusher with 58 yards on 10 carries.

UofL has plenty of spots to fill on a defense that ranked in the top 10 last season, but the Red squad provided some hope by holding the White squad to just 33 rushing yards. Henry Famurewa, Chucky Williams, Jarrod Barnes andPio Vatuvei each had five tackles. Famurewa had two sacks and 2 1/2 tackles for loss.

Nice not having to be concerned about the outcome of the game. Great to have one more night of UofL football.

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