Louisville Football’s senior day is coming up this Saturday as the Cards will take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. It’s the very last game of a tumultuous season marred by Covid. Yet, we get to say goodbye to all the seniors who remained in the program despite some craziness that permeated it.
Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Dwayne Ledford, redshirt senior WR Dez Fitzpatrick, and departing junior WR Tutu Atwell all spoke with the media ahead of the game. Tutu, as he announced yesterday, will not be playing in Saturday’s game and is beginning his journey to the NFL Draft, joining fellow Cardinal Forever Javian Hawkins.
Dez described his emotions as he prepares for his final game in a Cardinal uniform. While he said that no plays in career really stuck out in his mind, he did mention a particular play from this season that did (don’t want to spoil it so just watch). Dez then describes how, as a leader of the team, he’s leaving tidbits of knowledge for younger receivers and players on team to help them grow and be able to thrive once he’s gone. Conversation then turns to Dez’s tweet in support of Coach Satterfield and the whole situation from the weekend. The senior wideout describes the relationship with Coach Satt and that he has great leader and coach.
Other topics Dez discussed:
- His place in Louisville record books and if it’s something he pays attention to.
- Whether his leadership qualities were inherent or if he developed them while at Louisville. (He credits his father with helping mold his leadership capabilities)
- His thoughts on heading to the NFL and how it’s been his dream.
- Tutu Atwell discusses his decision to forgo the last game of the season to prepare for the NFL Draft. He said he wanted to play, but after talking to his parents and mulling over the cost-benefit of playing versus beginning the process of preparing for the draft, it led him to decide to not play. Conversation then turned to Tutu’s tweet in defense of Coach Satterfield. He discusses the reason he tweeted the message of support, including his love for Coach Satt.
- Among other topics Tutu discussed:
- His experience at Louisville and the love he experienced from fans, fellow players, and coaches.
- He wanted to make clear he didn’t “opt out,” but it was instead just something that came up.
- How the season record didn’t play a part in his decision.
- That the season didn’t go as expected, but “it is what it is.” He expects a better season for the team next year.
- He wanted to make it clear that coaches and teammates understood and supported his decision not to play the final game abc that he isn’t quitting on them.
- The other wide receivers on the roster and what he feels about them and expects to see from them on the field.
- Dwayne Ledford begins his presser discussing Tutu Atwell and how his loss won’t just felt on the field, but in the locker room because of his excellent personality and demeanor. The young receivers that will look to replace Tutu Saturday and Dez next season are discussed. Players specifically mentioned include Josh Johnson, Jordan Watkins, and Braden Smith. Their abilities and competitiveness are highlighted by Coach Ledford. Coach Ledford is asked to look back on the season and highlight some of things he was pleased about with the offense. He points to the work ethic of the players and how they’ve been willing to work despite all the tribulations.
- Other topics Coach Ledford discussed:
- The craziness of this particular senior day with the fact Covid will not allow fans to pack Cardinal Stadium.
- How they are juggling senior day with the fact some seniors may come back because of NCAA rule allowing them to due to Covid.
- The fact 2021 early signing period is next week and how they are dealing with that along with senior day and the decisions of the senior class.
- If there were any negative effects in the work ethic at practice after the Coach Satterfield situation with South Carolina (according to Coach Ledford there wasn’t).
- The success of actually getting the full season in despite all the issues and logistics dealing with Covid.
- His thoughts on the Scott Satterfield situation from his perspective as both an assistant coach and friend.
- You can hear all the detailed answers by watching the pressers below: