The University of Louisville is less than a month away from their opening week showdown in Atlanta vs SEC foe Ole Miss on Monday, September 6th. Coach Satterfield is now in his third year with the program, and is looking to show that last season was just a fluke.
The Cardinals had an open practice today for about 2 hours, from 9:30am-11:30am. It was really good to see most of the players out there giving it their all.
Here are six things that stood out to me at open practice.
Kei’Trel Clark is not to be tested. Clark showed why he’s one of the best corners in the ACC and the country. It is safe to say that Clark is going to shutdown whatever side of the field he is on. Kei’Trel was tested a few times, but the offense didn’t fare too well. Which means the other defensive backs (Jones, Walker, Greedy Vance, Perry, Duncan, Cole, and Minkins (when healthy) will get plenty of chances to make big plays for the defense.
4* true freshman Ben Perry got a lot of reps with the 1st team at safety, next to Duncan (maybe due to Josh Minkins not being cleared for full contact). Already standing 6’2 170 lbs, Perry looked like he belonged with the first team. Perry didn’t let anyone get behind him and was only late once on a passing play to the flats, coming down from his safety spot.
Chandler Jones played a little bit of safety today. Both Coach Satterfield and Coach Brown wanted to add more depth and versatility to the DB room. Jones’ ability to play both safety and corner shows not only his versatility, but his IQ on defense. It can also create some position flexibility for Coach Brown’s defense.
Malik Cunningham NEEDS To STAY Healthy:
Malik looks and carries himself as the definitive leader of the team. He also looked very sharp on his short and intermediate passes, both with and without the defense. There is still room for improvement on the deep ball, although he did throw a dime to Tyler Harrell in tight man coverage. It was good to see that Malik still has lots of speed. Cunningham took off for a 60 yard touchdown run on a designed RPO play.
There are some really talented arms in the QB room, but for Louisville to have the bounce back season that everyone is hoping for, Cunningham has to stay healthy. (Louisville brought in JUCO QB Brock Domann to add some depth and experience to the QB room, Evan Conley took the 2nd team reps)
The Freak Freaks:
The wide receiver group is really, really good. There are playmakers all over the field and in all classes. Justin Marshall looks poised to be the receiver we all thought he’d be coming out of high school. Jordan Watkins and Braden Smith are going cause a lot of sleepless nights for defenders and coordinators. Tyler Harrell is a speed demon. No one could keep up with him on the deep routes. Huggins-Bruce showed flashes of how good he can be once he puts everything together. The key for UofL and this group is going to be finding out who is going to be that consistent threat at wideout. My money is on Marshall and Watkins.
The offensive line looks really good for it to be this early in camp.
Although the defense wasn’t allowed to hit the quarterback, both (1st & 2nd team) offensive lines opened up holes for multiple running backs and Cunningham to break off long touchdown runs.
**NOTE** Adonis Boone absolutely OWNED Derek Dorsey on a run blocking play.
The offensive line was also very good in pass protection. Both lines were very good at communicating and moving as one unit, which allowed plays to develop and for the quarterbacks to take a few down the field throws.
I know the fanbase is clamoring for a more exciting brand of football, which may add more points on the board. Shai Wertz, the former Georgia Southern QB, now UofL wideout took a couple snaps at QB.
To hear what Coach Satterfield had to say after the open practice, check out the press release and video below:
Coach Satterfield Press Conference Video:
Louisville Football Opens First Day of Practice
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Football is back at the University of Louisville. The Cardinals officially kicked off the 2021 season when 116 players took the field for the first time on Sunday morning.
Practicing in front of fans, the Cardinals worked out for two hours under intense heat and sun on the practice fields at the UofL Football Complex.
“It was a good first day,” UofL head coach Scott Satterfield said following the team’s first practice. “We know we have a long way to go before that opener, but I thought today was a good first day.”
The Cardinals featured 43 new faces on the practice field on Sunday. Louisville inked 23 players in the 2021 signing class and added a number of graduate transfers and junior-college players to bolster the roster.
“We had a number of new players out there today,” Satterfield said. “It was good to get them all out there today in a team setting. They blended in well and I’m looking forward to them continuing to fit in as we move forward.”
For the first time in over a year, things seemed back to normal. The fans were back at practice, players were out on the practice field having fun and competing.
“It felt normal out there today,” Satterfield said. “Guys were flying around out there and competing. There was a lot of normalcy out there for the first time in a long time. I just like the way the guys competed for the first day.”
The Cardinals had a great summer as the coaches and the players were able to interact a lot more, with the group spending time at the lake this summer together and doing other team-building adventures.
“The biggest void last year was the coaches and players not being able to spend time together,” Satterfield said. “We need to have that interaction with our players and that was missing. We have been able to do more of that this year and it shows. We’re a tighter bunch. The accountability they have for each other is different.”
Satterfield has spent most of the summer talking about the development of his quarterback Malik Cunningham, and the third-year coach liked what he saw during the first day.
“I liked the way Malik threw the ball today,” Satterfield said. “He was confident out there and was able to dump the ball down when there wasn’t anything open.”
The Cardinals return to practice on Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. for the second practice of the fall.