Justin Burke And The Louisville Shuffle

Justin-BurkeFans hoping to get a handle on the University of Louisville’s quarterback situation during the spring scrimmage came away more confused than ever, with Justin Burke, the player who seemed to have an edge, getting lost in the shuffle.

Probably a long shot, but some diehards, including this observer, may have been hoping that part of coach Steve Kragthorpe’s plan was to create confusion, possibly for opposing coaches in the crowd. Nah, coaches don’t do that.

Burke is one of the most intriguing prospects, hailing from Lexington Catholic, practically playing in the shadows of Commonwealth Stadium. Initially chose to play for North Carolina State, which has been on the ropes in recent years. Then decided to come to Louisville, sitting out last season because of the NCAA’s Division I transfer requirements.

The Justin Burke U of L fans want to see is the one described on an ESPN recruiting site in 2006, and having had a couple of years to work on any perceived deficiencies:

Burke is an accurate, efficient passer that has been extremely productive and efficient throughout his career. Has a quick release and does a good job of seeing the whole field and he makes sound pre-snap reads. Shows good timing and touch on short and intermediate routes. Shows the ability to consistently find his “hot” receiver and beat the blitz. Has good touch on the deep ball and can drop the ball in over coverage.

He does not possess an elite arm, but he shows adequate velocity and he gets rid of the ball quickly and avoids unnecessary hits in the pocket. Can beat the rush with his release. Has quick feet, shows good pocket awareness and will buy some extra chances within the pocket. He is an excellent passer on the run especially to his right side. Is a mature, intelligent leader and is a polished passer at this level. He has some of the intangibles that you can’t coach and has a natural feel for the game.

He is an excellent prospect for a “spread” offense and has operated in a sound offensive scheme at the high school level. Is listed at six-foot-three, but appears shorter than that. He should gain some needed bulk once he enters college and look for his arm strength to improve as well, but his lack of arm may limit his potential at the college level.

Louisville’s Froman Aims For Greatness

Confident. Fearless. A guy in total control.

He reports that Froman is now bigger, stronger and, in his estimation, better than ever — just in time for fall practice.

Louisville quarterbacks coach Matt Wells said the competition will be decided in August. But Wells has been impressed by Froman’s toughness and innate ability to command a huddle.

“Adam is an excellent leader and an emotional guy,” Wells said. “The thing with him is that he expects all-out effort and commitment from himself and I think that carries over to his teammates. He has a special quality in that he burns to be not just good, but great.”

Froman has impressed this observer as a very confident and articulate player who will command respect whether he starts from day one or not. He is the kind of player you want representing the University of Louisville.

Read the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat story here.

Mike Rocco Likes Louisville Football

With the opening of practice just around the corner, coach Steve Kragthorpe appears to hitting his stride on the recruiting trail.

Another quarterback commitment for the University of Louisville football team, the latest one coming from Mike Rocco, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound pro-style signal caller from Liberty  Christian Academy in Virginia.

Football bloodlines are fertile in the Rocco family. His father Frarnk Rocco, Jr. is a former Penn State quarterback. His brother Danny Rocco has been head coach at Liberty University for three years.

He had a passing completion percentage of 73.4% as a junior, completing 130 of 177 attempts, chalking up 28 touchdowns.

Smart, too, with a perfect 4.0 grade point average as he enters his senior year of high school.

Harry Douglas’ Kid Brother Pursues NBA

How did Toney Douglas, the brother of former University of Louisville receiver Harry Douglas, go largely unnoticed by most Card fans for four years playing basketball at Florida State?

Toney, a foot-2 guard averaged 21.5 points per game for the Seminoles this past season and was the 29th pick in the NBA draft, going to the New York Knicks. Harry, of course, is now playing for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.

They had an interesting sibling rivalry, which is nicely chronicled in a new New York Times piece, from which is excerpted:

“The backyard basketball games always ended with Toney rushing inside in a flood of tears after taking elbows and a beating from Harry, his elder by 18 months. Harry, grinning, soon followed inside their home in Jonesboro, Ga.

“Toney would come in crying and saying, ‘Daddy, Daddy,’ ” said Harry Douglas III, their father. “Then Harry would come in, smiling and saying, ‘Daddy, I beat him, 140-4.’ ”

“After Toney calmed down, his father would tell him that in the end, the games would make him tougher.”

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Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader:  “When Kentucky’s standout defensive end Jeremy Jarmon was suspended for his entire senior season after testing positive for a substance banned by the NCAA, it left the Wildcats with only one returning starter (tackle Corey Peters) on its defensive line and zero proven ends.”

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If you were among the viewers who thought the six-overtime Syracuse-UConn basketball game in the Big East Tournament would never end, you were right. The game has been immortalized by the Big East in a new web site, www.sixovertimes.com, featuring an introduction video and synopsis of each overtime period, with over 10 minutes of video. Syracuse won, 127-117.

Head Trainer Leaving Louisville Football

The swinging doors continue at the University of Louisville football complex, with the start of pre-season practice scheduled to begin Aug. 5th.

Dwayne Treolo
Dwayne Treolo

This time the person leaving is Dwayne Treolo, who has been the Head Trainer of the U of L football program since 1993. He left a job as an assistant trainer at UCLA to come work with Coach Howard Schnellenberger.

Treolo told Card Game that he is leaving to accept a sales position with Donjoy Orthopedics, a leading global provider of rehab devices, including knee braces. He assumes his new job on August 1, and will continue to live in the Louisville area.

Treolo always exhibited a distinguished presence on the Louisville sidelines, working closely with many players over the years. Michael Bush and Brian Brohm were two of his favorites, requiring ongoing attention for serious injuries. He has obviously been intricately involved in the rehabilitation of current players Scott Long and Trent Guy.

He said his decision to leave was not an easy one to make, and he wishes U of L well.