By Paul Sykes

Hard to believe, but a month from now the Steve Kragthorpe-mentored University of Louisville football team will be in fall practice preparing for the 2009 season. Although many questions come to mind, one of the main ones revolves around the quarterback situation.

Gone is starter Hunter Cantwell. Transferring out of the program are his two backups, Matt Simms and Tyler Wolfe. Who will come out of the battle to lead the Cards onto the field against Indiana State two months from now? Let’s look at the three candidates:

Judging from spring practice and scrimmage, red shirt freshman Zach Stoudt would seem to have a slight advantage over the competition. He had the most impressive outing of the three during the scrimmage, and is a powerful passer who can also scramble when he gets into trouble.

This could be important, since the Cardinal offensive line must be reconstructed after losing George Bussey and Eric Wood to graduation. Check out the You Tube video of Stoudt throwing a football 75 yards downfield into a net. Impressive.

Sophomore Justin Burke is the only one of the three with Division 1 experience. The North Carolina State transfer has sufficient arm strength and can motor out of the backfield as well when in trouble. Displayed a few nice throws during the spring game and appears to be a “take charge” kind of guy on the field.

Adam Froman, a highly sought after junior college transfer from California, is the third candidate. Froman is an impressive physical specimen and display a very accurate throwing style during spring ball. Although his performance in the spring game wasn’t quite as good as that of Burke and Stoudt, let’s not forget he has two years of post high school experience in leading a team on the field. His scrambling skills maybe aren’t that of Burke and Froman.

We shouldn’t omit Will Stein, the fourth QB on the roster, from Louisville Trinity. Injuries play a significant role in college football these days. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but he could advance up the chart should any of the top three have misfortune. He’s led championship quality teams.

Although it appears that the Cardinal running game will be the most powerful offensive tool in Krag’s woodshed this fall, the old philosophy of being able to throw the ball to set up the run is still valid. A decent offensive attack needs the pass to keep the safeties and defense from “stacking the box” and clogging up a running game.

With Victor Anderson, Darius Ashley and Billal Powell returning…and the sweep abilities of Doug Beaumont, the Cards need a steady performanceat quarterback to keep defenses honest. Any winner of the QB Derby knows he must be effective from Day Oone during the schedule, because…more than I can remember for a long time, the position is far from sewn up.

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By Paul Sykes

Paul Sykes owns Paul Sykes Advertising and does contract work for other advertising and publishing firms. The proud husband of Sonja, he has a fascination with bears, bars and Cardinal sports. He's also the moderator of

7 thoughts on “Zack Stoudt Positioned For Louisville QB Role”
  1. Great article. Totally agree. I’m tired of the mere thought of the decision being between Froman or Burke. Stoudt is the future and if SK wants one he should consider that.

    I’ve thought that it is very interesting that the coaches are strangely silent about him. I think that there is a good chance they are being as low key as possible so as not to bring attention to him. Whatever the plan, he really came on in spring ball and only those who had come only to see Froman and Burke then get a beer, didn’t see what you and I saw in Stoudt.

  2. Stoudt has the tools to be a real good college QB. Froman, and Burke could be average, or slightly above. If, and I say if Krags wants to build a good program, then he should start Stoudt and let him take his lumps. Stoudt is the highest rated QB on the roster by every National recruiting mag. Sure he is no Brohm, but its not like LeFlours is going to be the starter. But I suspect Krags starts Froman or Burke because they are slightly better than Stoutd, its the same way with the JuCo’s, Krags really isn’t building anything here, he is trying to win now to save his behind.

  3. I haven’t seen practice so I don’t know anything first hand but Froman has experience (albeit JUCO) and from everything you hear out of the football folks, he is the man to beat. That said, it is certainly more wide open than it has been in the past and either Burke or Stoudt would have a shot at the job once fall practice starts. Nevertheless, when practice starts, expect Froman to be taking most of the first team reps.

    1. Word on the street is neither Froman nor Burke have strong arms. If Stoudt has the strongest of arms, least amount of experience, and is still being considered, wouldn’t make since to throw him in with the wolves? Seems like Stoudt has the most upside of the three, and that is what Louisville needs.

  4. The call, ultimately…is Krags, of course. Whoever he picks shouls be able to put up fairly good numbers against a woeful Indiana State team, and maybe all three will get a chance to play. After that, we’ll start to get a real idea of who is the guy that can effectively lead this team at quarterback.

    We have to have a guy who can pass effectively to keep defenses honest against our running game, which appears to be the strong point of the offense. Also, a guy who isn’t afraid to take off and get meaningful yardage if the opportunity is there. Opposing teams have game film on Anderson, Guy, Beaumont and Long. They have nothing yet on the three quarterbacks. I’ll refer to them as the “Three Amigos” (Better than the Three Stooges, I guess). Of course, we’ll need a defense that can get the ball back to them and how that’s going to play out is anyone’s guess right now.

    I’d love to see us go back to the old days of sending blitzes, take chances on man to man coverage in the secondary and stopping the game up the middle. And we have no real idea yet on what exactly Brent Guy is going to do. I’ve heard rumored reports of him possibly using a “monster”, a three man front and going to a Bears “46” set. Time will tell, but as it was proved so many times against us last year, the best way to keep a potentially Cardinal offense off the field is to keep your offense out there. Fall practice will provide clues.

    We were 5-2 last year before going into the 5 game skid. Can we acheive the same in the first seven games of 2009? Most are saying it’s unlikely.

  5. Indiana State – (win) A worthless opponent, UofL will learn more about its team in practice.

    at UK – (loss) This is a must win for Krags, and well i don’t see him getting a must win. Add to the fact the only game the team will have played is IU state, and well the UK defense will look like the Steelers compared to that team.

    at Utah – (blowout loss) This one is a no brainer, Utah is the best team on the schedule, UofL loses by at least 21.

    Pitt – (loss) Could be competitive, but Pitt stil has a good defense, and enough talent on offense to win this game. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if UofL won only b/c Wanstadt is terrible.

    So. Miss – (toss up) Southern Miss finished last season strong, and they run a spread offense that is their strength. UofL will have to keep up, and I’m not sure they are capable of scoring 30 points.

    at UConn – (toss up) as bad as the Huskies are supposed to be, they will be confident in this game beating the Cards the last two years.

    at Cinci – (loss) Brian Kelly’s team is just better, could be competitive but I don’t think UofL has the talent or coaching to pull this one off.

    Ark St. – (win) I think UofL wins this but not by much.

    at WVU – (loss) The Cards are just not going beat WVU on the road. I also like WVU’s defense over the Cards O.

    at Syracuse – (toss up) Once again UofL has more talent, and more motivation, but Syracuse has confidence in beating the Cards. Could go either way.

    at SFL – (blowout loss) UofL always plays bad here, SFL wins by 21+.

    Rutgers – (loss) Although UofL will be super motivated after last year, the defense will be super thin, as will the o-line due to injuries. Rutgers is still better than the Cards.

    So I figure 5-7 at best if they win all 3 toss up games.

  6. If were are looking at 5-7 at best, why in the world would not go with Stoudt? The other’s are what they are and about all they ever will be. Stoudt has huge potential and if you don’t play him, next year he’ll still have all the potential and no more experience.

    If I were Jurich ok coach, this year is going to be a struggle, show me the future!

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