UofL FOOTBALL | What to watch for in spring practice
03/20/2017 07:00 PM
The University of Louisville football team begins spring practice tomorrow afternoon, and after a disappointing finish to last season, head coach Bobby Petrino says he has seen major improvement from his players this offseason. The Cardinals finished 2016 with three consecutive losses, after suffering only one loss in the first 10 games.
Three of the Cards spring practices will be open to the public. The first is this Friday, March 24 at 3:45 pm. The team will also hold public practices on March 28 and April 4.
If you are able to attend those practices, both sides of the ball will likely look very different. On defense, the Cardinals lose four starters and at least one additional role player. Josh Harvey-Clemons, DeAngelo Brown, Keith Kelsey, and Devonte Fields will all be heading to the NFL, and cornerback Shaq Wiggins announced today on Twitter he intends to transfer.
The defense also has a brand new coordinator in Peter Sirmon, who is one of three new assistants on Petrino’s staff this season.
Petrino also mention new assistant coach Mike Summers. Summers worked with Petrino in his first stint as Louisville’s head coach, and will be working with the offensive line.
The O-line will look a lot different from last season, U of L will replace all three interior O-linemen. Fortunately, the team landed one of the best offensive line classes in history, securing signatures from five highly touted prospects. Freshmen Robbie Bell and Cole Bentley will be competing for playing time right away.
Also on the offense, the Cardinals lost two starting wide receivers in James Quick and Jamari Staples. But with a large crop of talented underclassmen, and players like Reggie Bonnafon, Traveon Samuel, and Jaylen Smith returning, the Cardinal receiving corp. will likely be the most well-stocked position on the team.