Satterfield eager to begin Louisville spring football

Scott Satterfield eager to get his player on the football field as spring practice begins Monday.

Two months after he was hired at the University of Louisville, Coach Scott Satterfield was introducing the newest members of his first recruiting class on Wednesday at the Howard Schnellenberger football complex. Now he can finally focus on cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor.

The coach he replaced having lost the confidence and respect of his assistant coaches, the players, the administration and the fans, finishing the 2018 season with a humiliating 2-10 record. Still another unhappy ending from Bobby Petrino. Par for the course for him, but a double whammy for UofL following two tenures.

Satterfield hasn’t had much time to work with the players he inherited from Petrino. When he was hired on December 4th, he was faced with the challenges of hiring an entirely new staff,  evaluating the existing commitments before the early signing date of December 19th, and then hitting the recruiting trail in earnest. 

The UofL coach acknowledged that getting his staff and first recruiting class together was a time-consuming process. He was, however, pleased with reports from the strength coaches that players were making significant progress in the weight room. 

Satterfield will have plenty of time to know his players starting on Monday with the beginning of the spring training camp. He’s not making any assumptions about what went wrong under Petrino, saying everyone is starting off with a clean slate.

He will have 15 days to begin to reverse some of the failures of the second Petrino era, to instill a new culture with a winning attitude, and new offensive and defensive schemes at Louisville. Major challenges for any coach but Satterfield can’t wait to get started.

“The Louisville brand is a good one, the program has had a lot of success, with some major accomplishments,” he said. “The response from high school coaches has been awesome. They know what went on here before and what we want to do. What Louisville has been able to do in the past has been awesome.”

“Our staff did an outstanding job of going out, working their tails off to get the kind of players we need at Louisville,” he said. “We’re glad to get much of the administrative stuff behind us. We’re eager to get out on the field and begin the process of getting better as a football team.

Recruiting over, Charlie Strong ready to get back to football

Charlie-Strong-Recruiting-2-6-13“Character, height, speed, football awareness, and toughness.”

Those are the things Charlie Strong says are critical to success when his staff is recruiting, putting an extra emphasis on character. He says the University of Louisville football program got all those things in the 17 individuals in the 2013 class. “These are young men who want to be a part of something special,” he said.

For a while at least, Strong can finally look back at what his team accomplished in the Sugar Bowl. “I really didn’t have time to celebrate,” he said. “We had to hit the road recruiting right away. We had to keep moving, there wasn’t much time to reflect on things.”

The class includes 10 players on defense, two linebackers, three corner backs, two safeties and two linemen. Offensive additions include two quarterbacks, three offensive linemen, a tight end and a wide receiver.

The prize catch, of course, is James Quick, the wide receiver from Trinity. “You just look at his athletic ability and what he can do offensively. Any time he touches the ball, he can just make things happen. He’s going to be a great contributor wherever we use him. He’s a wide receiver but he’s also a guy you can move around.  What you also look at his family, his father played here, an outstanding family. They did a great job of raising him.”

Strong also praised quarterback Kyle Bolin’s leadership qualities, noting that he expects the Lexington Catholic product to bounce back from the ACL injury that cut short his 2012 season. He said Bolin was also helpful in the recruiting process. “I was getting calls from from guys I didn’t know who would tell me that ‘Kyle gave me your number’. ”

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Eight players from Florida, including defensive end De’Asian Richardson (Jacksonville). Cornerback Richard Benjamin was a highly touted performer out of Tampa, Fla., and linebacker Keith Kelsey was a solid standout in Gainesville.  Safeties Donel Elam (Orange Park) and Terrence Ross (Apopka) and cornerback Chucky Williams (Hialeah) are expected to bolster Louisville’s secondary. Kyle Shortridge from Loxahatchee will add depth on the defensive line.

Chandler Bridges (Flowery Branch, Ga.) is a solid addition on the offensive line, while Cameron Fraser (Phenix, Ala.) will also add to that position. Skylar Lacy (Indianapolis, Ind.) is the third offensive lineman to sign with the Cardinals.

Keith Towbridge (Toledo, Ohio) is an athletic player who will gives UofL a big receiving target at tight end.

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The coach is relieved the recruiting process is over for a while. “It’s a good day because you build your program, add to what you already have. It is a process. You’re in and out of airports, you’re talking to this young man, you’re talking to that young man. You do get tired of it. Just want to get it over with. Now I can just go work with my team.”

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He says UofL is still working on obtaining a marquee game against a major opponent. “We’ll just have to see who wants to come in here. Do you know anyone who would like to play us?”

Peyton Siva Intense On Defense

Peyton Siva, the University of Louisville recruit Rick Pitino has described as the “most college-ready player” in next year’s recruiting class, has been selected as Player of the Year in Washington State by the Seattle Times.

The really great news for U of L fans who recognize the value of defensive intensity is that Peyton loves playing defense as much, if not more, than offense, if that’s possible:

Siva became a resilient defender. And he became so unselfish that there were times Franklin could not get him to shoot enough. His lasting memories of Franklin’s last two losses — to Federal Way in last year’s tournament opener, and to Bainbridge this season — were games he did not take over.

But there were plenty of games that he did take over. He led the Metro League in assists, averaged 18.1 points and scored 30 or more four times, including a season-high 35 points in the Sea-King District championship against No. 2 Bellevue.

“He lit us up in a hurry,” Bellevue coach Chris O’Connor said. “I remember my assistant saying, ‘What do we do?’ and I said, ‘I don’t think there’s anything we can do.’ “

Siva’s team won the Metro League and the Washington State championship and he was also selected as a McDonald’s All-American and Washington’s Mr. Basketball by the coaches.