Don’t Let Your Eyes Deceive You

By Tom Stosberg

Despite what the won-lost record says, the Louisville football team is loaded.

Think about it. U of L has three, maybe even four excellent quarterbacks. Guys who not only can throw but aren’t afraid to run…with pretty good moves to boot.

 And speed in the backfield. Victor Anderson and Darius Ashley could start anywhere in the country. They are both “feature” backs who have the speed to play on Sundays.

We are also flush with outstanding receivers. Our special teams are loaded. The defense has some emerging superstars.

Why is our Cardinal football team so loaded with talent?

Because Coach Greg Nord continues to do what he has been doing for the past 15 years…finding great talent and convincing them to come to U of L. It’s as simple as that. Through all types of coaches, with all sorts of offensive and defensive schemes, against all kinds of competition, Coach Nord has kept the pipeline full by working his magic. Makes one wonder if Card fans know how valuable he is.

This is a man who understands relationships, has a remarkable eye for great talent, maintains an unbelievable contact network and is relentless in his pursuit of excellence.

 One of the secrets to Coach Nord’s success …people like him…high school and junior college coaches, parents, boosters. And there is no doubt that Greg Nord is one of the best kept secrets in U of L’s football program.

But he can only do so much.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Let Your Eyes Deceive You

  • November 3, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Coach Nord has been the solidifier in a topsy turvy Cardinal coaching situation. A Gruden, Tuberville or (fill in your replacement coach) would do well to retain him. The verbals to the program impressive, so far, for next year.

    Not even Nord, though, is going to get fans in the seats for the final two contests. Louisville is staggering into the final 1/3rd of the season like a long distance runner hitting a massive hill. Basketball is here and the weather could be much colder for Syracuse and Rutgers. UofL will record the lowest attendance for a season of Cardinal football since RC’s 1-10 season in old Cardinal Stadium.

  • November 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Nord is well-respected and I’m not taking anything away from what he’s given to this program but what happened to the pipeline in Georgia, Florida and Alabama? Since winning a BCS bowl game held in the state of Florida less than 3 years ago, what has Louisville’s staff accomplished in terms of recruiting the hotbed of talent in the Sunshine State?

    This GA-AL-FL pipeline has produced roughly half of all Louisville players who have ever graced an NFL roster. Beloved Cardinals like Harry Douglas, Kerry Rhodes, Elvis Dumervil, Deion Branch, William Gay, Browning Nagle, Amobi Okoye, Sam Madison, Bruce Armstrong, Ronnie Ghent, Robert McCune, Jason Spitz, Ted Washington, Montavious Stanley and Kolby Smith…just to name a few. Seems that Bilal Powell is the only player recruited during Kragthorpe’s tenure from that pipeline that’s making a significant positive impact on the team.

    You could argue that it doesn’t matter where the kid comes from, that it’s all about developing the talent and placing that player into the position that will maximize his potential. So where is the development on the O and D Lines? Secondary? Special Teams (sans Guy’s speed)?

    The Running Back, Receiver and Quarterback depth charts have been the most promising by far. But injuries and play-calling have taken their toll and we’ve yet to experience the consecutive impressive seasons that underrated talents like Harry Douglas, Lefors and Kolby Smith enjoyed in previous years.

    If one comes to the conclusion that there has been a significant dropoff in performance on the field since Kraghthorpe took over, what is the biggest cause: Is it recruiting? Player development? Play calling? Game preparation? Mismanagement of personnel?

    There are several tangible problems one could point and the dropoff in recruits from GA, AL and FL should be a part of the discussion.

  • November 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Some good points, Hot Hot. What we have is a combination of two coaches — one who didn’t recruit and one who could not coach what he recruited. We need a genius in here to clear up the mess created by the last two head coaches.

    • November 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      I would add that much of the talent that Tom speaks of in this post came to Louisville b/c of the efforts/success the program enjoyed during Petrino’s reign, either directly or indirectly. I wouldn’t necessarily label that as a “mess” left behind but there are others who may be closer to the inner workings of this program that would disagree.

  • November 3, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Coach Nord has built a super network of coaches and scouts across the state. They trust him. And as long as whomever his boss is (the Head Coach) doesn’t do anything to screw that up, U of L will continue to have a shot at the best players in the state. Nord also has good contacts throughout the Southeast U.S. who can and will assist him. It’s expertise that we are going to need with the new coach.

  • November 3, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Mess? Kragthorpe yes. Petrino no.

    Unless of course you want to count top 10 rankings, two straight New Year’s Day bowls, a BCS win, a season without an All-American running back and still being only a lousy half away from playing in the championship game a mess. You can call it that. I call it winning football.

    Drink all the Kool-Aid you wish.

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