Amonte Caban committed to Louisville back in September of 2014. He officially signed in February of 2015.
5 years later, he leaves Louisville on high note after winning the Music City Bowl and winning coach Satterfield’s “Always Do More Than Expected” regular season award.
After redshirting his freshman year, Amonte leaves with 94 tackles and 3 sacks. Highlighted by his 50 tackles (7 TFL) and 2 sacks his junior year. In my opinion, he was the best players on defense and was the guy who played the hardest during the dismal 2018 season. He never gave up and showed heart despite the circumstances. That’s the sign of a true leader.
Amonte is currently training in preparation of the NFL draft. I’m hoping he gets picked but even if he doesn’t, its still pretty impressive to be in the position to have a shot despite not playing football until seventh grade.
Here is our interview…
CSZ – You had 14 scholarship offers from some pretty good schools. What was it that made you decide that Louisville was the place for you?
AC – Louisville felt like home from the beginning. It was were I wanted to be. I came on a few visits here and loved it every time. I remember coming to the Florida State game in 2014 and that atmosphere was unmatched. I just had to be where the energy from the player to the fans was surreal.
CSZ – Obviously Louisville wasn’t the same in your senior year as your 2015 redshirt year. Pertaining to culture, what was the biggest difference?
AC – I think that when I got accountability and leadership were very big amongst the players and as time passed and as leaders left, so did the accountability and leadership. So it left us with nothing… so we had to find a way to get it back. The best teams are player led. Coaches can tell you to do things a thousands time but it is always different coming from a fellow teammate because at the end of the day that is who you will be on the field with. That being said, with the lack of leadership came lack of effort and accountability. That showed on the field in 2018. Don’t get me wrong everyone on that team wanted to compete and wanted to win. Never one time did we not want to compete. We wanted to win… we was desperate and hungry. You ever worked so hard and not get the results you expected. So when the new staff came it was a breath of fresh air for everyone. We knew nothing about them nor did they know nothing about us. The first thing they preached to us was TRUST. In order to change things we had to trust each other… we had to trust the coaches… the coaches had to trust us and more importantly, we had to trust each other. It then became a family environment. You had to bring energy everyday. And we worked everyday. Now everyday was not perfect, in fact there was some days they are just awful. We didn’t do everything right but we were learning and got better as time went on. That coaching is unbelievable.
CSZ – You were on campus for 5 years. 4 of those was with Bobby Petrino. Surely you went to Bobby’s office at least once, right?
AC – Yeah, I went to his office a few times… not many, maybe honestly once a year to have an exit meeting after spring ball and talk about how I felt spring went. Other than that I would catch him around the stadium.
CSZ – My favorite play of yours was a sack against Boston College. I think it was your junior year. You had a dude trying to block you and you pushed him back like he was on skates and just grabbed the QB around the legs while dude was still trying to block you. What was your favorite single play of your college career?
AC – My favorite play of my college career was my Senior year… it was third and short against Notre Dame and they had been running a power play to the down tight end all game. I was to the down tight-end side so was anticipating a double team. They snap the ball and I defeated the team squared back up and met the running back gap. The whole defense helped and ganged tackled… I slipped off and fell to the bottom of the pile as the running back was still up I pulled his feet from under him. And the whole defense was in on that play – well, most I think – it happened pretty fast. I just remember all of us celebrating and it was so live.
CSZ – Are you currently training for the NFL Draft?
AC – I am currently training for the NFL In Cincinnati with Ignition.
CSZ – How was your experience playing in the 2020 Tropical Bowl?
AC –The Tropical Bowl was cool. I met a lot of good players and some really cool people. I met with several scouts the experience was nice. I’m glad I had to the opportunity to be apart of it. My favorite part about the game was the when we was all saying our goodbyes at the end of the game and there was so much genuine love and hoping the best for everyone… you could really feel that. We all know the not everyone makes in this sport. Having the opportunity to compete with each at this level is special.
CSZ – You can have 1 more meal in Louisville. Where ya going?
AC – ONE MORE MEAL… That’s hard, lol. But honestly, I’m going to have to do two… Definitely getting wings from Daddy Rich’s and I would love to eat at Morton’s The Steakhouse again.
CSZ – Some fans blasted Bryan Brown when Louisville gave up more points than they wanted or had trouble stopping the run. I think he is a great coach and in time will be one of the best. What do you and your teammates think of him? Is the Louisville defense in good hands?
AC – Okay – The defense is in good hands. But you have to think about it’s our first year under that system and we was still learning as the season went on. I’m not making excuses but hear me out… There’s no such thing as a bad win. Every game we played we played with everything. Fans blast coaches all the time – college players get blasted too. But what people don’t account for is players make mistakes as well as coaches. In the game of football plays are going to be made whether it goes our way or not. It’s like people forget other teams also have good players who make good plays for them. Sometimes it might be a bad call that happens, sometimes it might be a perfect call and the players might check it on the field and there be no communication or anything. Anything can happen in that moment. None of that matters because you have to keep playing. We went from 2-10 to 8-5. I mean he’s doing something right with basically the same players we had the year before. End of the day the same fans who blast us are the same ones who shake our hand at the end of the games and congratulate us on the win. Not matter what – win or lose – there will always be correction. There will always be plays left out there and there will always be judgement. That’s just what comes with the game – you embrace it – you love it and you try and improve every week and limit the mistakes and make the plays.
CSZ – Who, on defense, will have a breakout year in 2020?
AC – That’s hard. A lot of good players are coming back. There are some dawgs on that side. Chandler Jones, AJ, TP, CJ Avery, Dorian Etheridge, Jared Goldwire, Trenell Troutman, I think there a lot more people than that – everyone on that defense will play with a chip on their shoulder… so what ever someone has they will do it to the best of their ability and excel at it.
CSZ – It was said that it came down to Louisville and Miss St as your final 2 college choices. Was is even more satisfying to beat them in your last collegiate game?
AC – Yeah, definitely Miss St was my first big offer in high school. I think it meant more not only because of that but the facts that we lost to them in the bowl game back in 2017 and so to beat them in my final game was really special.
CSZ – In your opinion, how lucky are the Louisville fans to have Scott Satterfield to lead the football program into the future?
AC – Very! He is the same person all the time. Very genuine and a great coach – and even better person. There’s not enough to say to describe that man. He also brings in great staff. They know what they want out of the players they know what type of player, and they will mold player to become men. They care about you beyond football. A lot of people forget about that. Football does not last forever. So he is the perfect fit.
CSZ – Thank you for staying loyal to UofL and we appreciate your hard work and dedication. Would you like to leave one last message to all of Cardnation?
AC – Card Nation, Thank you. Since I stepped on campus in 2015 – since the time I left you all have been nothing but supportive and great to not only me but all of my teammates over the years. Good or bad you was there even when you were upset on how things were going – you was there. After my last game I sat back to think of there was anything I would change and I couldn’t think of one thing. If I was to do this all over again I would do it the exact same way. Thank you… One Love!
As Always, GO CARDS!