ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson was recently in Louisville to take in spring practice and talk to head coach Bobby Petrino. In her article, she talks about how different things are now with Petrino and staff back in charge. At the bottom of this post, there is a link to the original post on ESPN.com that also has the video interview with Petrino. Here is some of Adelson’s article…
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It is hard to miss the giant poster of Teddy Bridgewater hanging in the lobby of the Louisville football complex, celebrating the Cardinals’ momentous win over Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl two years ago.
Bridgewater’s rise was concurrent to the football program’s latest ascent to national prominence, but the truth is he was the most notable player on a defensive-minded football team led by a defensive-minded coach who stressed a physical, ball-control style of football that did not always showcase its talented quarterback.
If you have followed the George Rushing recruitment, you probably have a headache. Rushing was committed to Louisville when Charlie Strong was here. When Bobby Petrino was hired, Rushing decommitted. Petrino and his staff kept recruiting Rushing and he started to favor the Cards again. In fact, it seemed solid a couple weeks ago that Rushing would end up as apart of the class for Louisville again.
Rushing will announce his decision tonight, and it was thought to be down to Louisville, Wisconsin, and TCU. But now it seems that Louisville has been eliminated and Rushing will decide between the Badgers and Horned Frogs. All signs point to Rushing choosing Wisconsin. We wish him nothing but the best.
This is a pretty cool video here. If you read my thoughts on how the Charlie Strong saga went down, you know I was bitter about the situation. But even in saying that, the video of him crowd surfing in the locker room is still one of the best clips ever, can’t deny that.
If you read the title of this post, you may think it isn’t a big deal, just another award for Rick Pitino. Then when I say that the runner-up was Tom Jurich and in third place was Teddy Bridgewater, you may think that this was a poll done on Louisville’s campus. This is actually the Lexington Hearald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year, and it is voted on by media members in Kentucky. So yes, in a Lexington-based newspaper, the top 3 vote-getters were Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich, and Teddy Bridgewater. Not too bad. Other interesting finishers in the top 10: Charlie Strong and 9th and Russ Smith at 10th.
Top 10 in voting
1. Rick Pitino
2. Tom Jurich
3. Teddy Bridgewater
4. Dominique Hawkins
5. Kenny Perry
6. Makayla Epps
7. Antonio Andrews
8. A’dia Mathies
9. Charlie Strong
10. Russ Smith
Pitino becomes the first person to win this award three times. He also won it in 1990 and 1996. In 2013, Pitino led the Cardinals to a National Championship, was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had a horse (Goldencents) run in the Kentucky Derby, got a tattoo, caught a marlin, and drank a lot of coconut water.
Your move 2014.
Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com
On Thursday evening it was announced that Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt would be leaving UofL to be an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears. We wish him nothing but the best in the future. Hurtt posted the following message on his facebook page:
“It’s never easy saying bye to people or places that you love. Not in a million years did I think I would ever leave the University of Miami but I also knew that if I was going to grow professionally I had to leave the nest seeing that the U was all that I knew. With the exception of Greg Schiano and Bill Young I had been in the same defense practically for 10 of my 13 years with them as player/ga/coach.
Louisville was the perfect situation, the challenge of rebuilding a program, a sleeping giant to the college football world, a rising head coach that I knew I could learn so much from and a fan base second to none in college football.
These past 4 years have been memories I’ll never forget and relationships that will never be broken. Tom Jurich is as good as gold some may feel me leaving for this opportunity is not right but he totally understood why I wanted this. No different then the reason I came here-to grow in this profession. He respected it and understood I told him this wasn’t a ploy to “hide out” and go to Texas. Lol people really don’t know me if they think I’m a follower. I follow one person and that’s God.
I love Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford but I stated to Charlie long before this is what I wanted to do, coach in the NFL. Toughest part was telling the DL today and I’ll see the rest of the boys tomorrow.
Card Nation I want to thank you for all your support and how gracious you’ve been to my family and I since we’ve been here. We will still be rooting to no end for OUR CARDINALS this season and every season to come after. Good luck to Coach Petrino and his staff can’t wait to see them beat the hell out of every dam body!! #L1C4 #Cardinaldiehardfan!”
This week…..on 55…..
Once again I figured on having a pretty uneventful week. Name a new coach, get our recruits lined up and on board with the new staff and carry on. Boy was I wrong. In this weeks 55 I have so much info I may not be able to put a lot of pictures in, or joke on Shawn during the monologue. (Sorry Pal) From Old friends to new ones and commitments given and taken away, this has been quite the week. So sit down and buckle up because this week’s episode is sure to take you on an emotional roller-coaster of a ride.
So once again, I share with you the 55 most ridiculous things I have heard, had to debate, or just thought about this past week. This is….55
1) Poona Ford de-committed
2) Chris Nelson de-committed
3) BOTH are now considering Texas
4) Thanks Charlie…..glad you are not cut like that
6) Sorry Charlie……
7) George Rushing de-committed from the Cards also as well as Isaiah Ford….hopefully both can find their way back home to the ‘Ville
8) It has been rumored that current Purdue U (PU for short) RB Dalyn Dawkins may be trying to find his way back home. It was a shame that Charlie didn’t recruit the in-state kids more than he did. More on this later…
9) He stated in an interview after being hired at Texas that he was glad to be in a state that has talent to recruit….or something along those lines. Classy move Chuck
10) Almost as classy as what he says during the following interview…..
12) Yep you heard him right, he was job hunting before our bowl game….SMH Read the rest of this entry
Are you serious, Tom Jurich?
I imagine his response goes somewhat along the lines of…. “As a motorcycle wreck, Daryl”.
Of course I was reluctant to the idea of bringing back a former coach of ours. I thought it was just a far fetched joking desire from a broken-hearted Cardnation. I figured we were ready to keep progressing forward with the train that Charlie Strong abruptly jumped off of. And yes, as @the_redbird7 termed it, I’m still ‘smad’ at Charlie for bailing. For the second time in the past year I feel like the girl that got dumped. Once, yes I actually got dumped by my boyfriend of four years and the second time by my football coach of four years. Almost immediately we saw Coach flaunt his new ‘Texas girlfriend’ on the internet. Didn’t you ever watch Spongebob, Charlie?!
This morning, 4* defensive tackle Poona Ford decommitted from the Louisville Cardinals. He is from Hilton Head, South Carolina and had been kind of wavering on his committment anyway. So when Charlie Strong took the Texas job, we knew it would be tough to keep Ford here. He will take official visits to Texas, Missouri, and Oregon now.
Later in the afternoon, Chris Nelson, who is also a defensive tackle, decommitted as well. He is from Lakeland, Florida and is rated a 3* on most sites.
Shake-ups happen all the time in recruiting classes when a new coach comes in, so you couldn’t expect to keep everybody. But with the staff that Bobby Petrino is putting together, our recruiting should be just fine.
This week on 55………….
Time to take a deep breath in and out. This week on 55 I had planned to do a Teddy’s top play version of 55 seeing that he declared and we thought for sure that he was the only guy we would have to mourn this week. Clearly we were wrong. It’s OK though, don’t fret, I have decided to dedicate half to Teddy and half to all the people we have said “He Gone” to this week. When I first started saying “He Gone” it was as a harmless little joke. It has since taken a bigger spotlight in the past 10 days and I will pay homage to that. So once again I share with you the 55 most ridiculous things I have heard, had to debate, or just thought about this past week.
1) Teddy Bridgewater declared for the NFL draft on Jan 1st. Teddy is projected to be the #1 pick in the NFL Draft and will be sorely missed
2) We thought we will be ok without Teddy, Coach and Will can get us through this rough time
5) Calvin Pryor declared for the NFL Draft last Monday. He is one of the hardest hitting guys I have ever seen here. He is projected to go late first, early second round in some publications. Congrats CP3
8) Damian Copeland bypassed his 6th year of eligibility to go pro on Jan 2. I do not see any projections with him in it, but he is a consummate pro talent-wise and I do expect him to be playing on Sundays.
11) Let’s go to basketball for our He Gone-a-thon for a moment. Chane Behanan was booted off the team for conduct detrimental to the team and is currently in Houston getting help and rehab from renowned basketball figure John Lucas. Chane, we at CardinalSportsZone.com as well as all of CardNation wish you the very best.
We asked the question last night and you responded. Who do you want to see as the next UofL coach?
Like most of my opinionated posts, this one will just be whatever comes to mind, and hopefully it ends up making sense. But who knows? This one could go all over the place.
First off, I would like to thank Charlie Strong. This program was near rock bottom when you took over, and you brought us back to being relevant again in a very short time. In your first season, you went to a bowl game after the team just went 4-8 the year before. We knew we were in for a good time from there. One of the best games I have ever been to was the Sugar Bowl. Teddy Bridgewater is one of the best players I have ever witnessed in person. So in your 4 years here, I saw some great things. And for those things, I say thank you.
Now that I have done that…
Well it is official: Charlie Strong will be the next head coach at the University of Texas. Tom Jurich flew back from Colorado tonight to meet with Strong at his (Strong’s) home. Strong informed him that he has accepted the job at Texas.
In his 4 seasons at Louisville, Strong compiled a record of 37-15 and won the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Russell Athletic Bowl.
I will have a more opinionated post on this later on, but just wanted to get the official word out there. As always, and no matter what, Go Cards!
My goal here is to make sure we do not post every single rumor that is out there, that is not what we are about. But it is also important to keep you posted on the things that we are hearing that are credible. So that is what we will do. Like I have said before, many people are not on social media or can not check it all day long, so people can’t keep up all the time. So here are some of the latest in this whole situation…
In earlier’s post where we brought you up to speed on the Charlie Strong-Texas saga, I mentioned that it is likely down to Strong and Baylor’s Art Briles for the job. Now a new name is in the mix. There could actually be plenty of other names in there, but not that are really known. James Franklin (Vanderbilt) and Jimbo Fisher (Florida State) are also names you may hear. The latest is UCLA’s Jim Mora. The more candidates we know about, the better as far as I’m concerned.
Texas is interested in UCLA coach Jim Mora as a possible replacement for Mack Brown, per sources.—
Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 02, 2014
If you are on twitter a lot during your day, you have probably been keeping up with everything going on with Charlie Strong and the Texas job opening. So you will probably know all of this. However we know that a lot of readers either are not on social media or just do not keep up as much as some, so this is mainly for them.
While UofL has not come out and released an official statement (because there hasn’t been reason to), all of these things have been reported by multiple media outlets. So we believe them to be true. There are always crazy rumors when it comes to this stuff, so we will leave those out and just let you know what has been (likely) happening.
Here is the official press release from UofL about Teddy Bridgewater declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft. We posted earlier this afternoon that he was doing that, but this includes quotes from Teddy.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.- University of Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has decided to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility, and make himself available for the 2014 NFL Draft.
The above tweet was sent from Susan Degnan a beat writer for the Miami Herald. Herb Waters has been one of Miami’s top WR this year racking up over 400 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns.
You may remember Waters name in recruiting as he had some second thoughts about his Miami commitment and took a long look at the Cards. Waters being out would be a blow to the Hurricanes offense so this will definitely be something to watch.
Well Cardnation…the stage is set for Orlando and the Russell Athletic Bowl Committee is eager to have the Cards visit. No, it’s not the prestigious BCS bowl we had hoped for our returning Sugar Bowl champs but let’s consider the following. Look at the enemy; UCF ruined our chances of heading back to a BCS and they’ll be heading to the west side of the country to face Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Athlon Sports ranks the matchup with the Miami Hurricanes to be the 9th best ‘must see’ game of all 35 bowls. UCF’s bowl game ranks just one spot ahead of the Cards and I am convinced that’s primarily because of the BCS Fiesta name. But I want to congratulate UCF on their first BCS appearance. I don’t want to be ‘that critic’ towards the Knights like the Cards received last season when they were selected to play Florida. Now that that’s over with…. Let’s move on to the good stuff.
2014 3 Star WR Steve Ishmael will visit the Cards at the end of January according to 247Sports. At 6’2 Ishmael has the size and ability to come in and help the Cards in the ACC. Ishmael caught 72 passes for 1,044 yards and 16 touchdowns this season for his North Miami Beach team. Ishmael isn’t the only football player in the family, his older brother is Atlanta Falcons Safety Kemal Ishmael. So the pedigree is there for greatness. Ishmael’s highlights are nothing to pass on either this dude flat out goes after the ball. This will be a name to watch in the coming weeks.