Daily Focus – Offensive Line
The best weather of the week saw the Cards going into a now fully enclosed Cardinal Stadium for the first time this Spring. Also for the first time this spring the pads were on and the coaching staff put a major emphasis on TOUGHNESS. What better group to highlight today than the Offensive Line! Entering 2018, the Offensive Line returns a lot of experience up front. Seniors Lukayus McNeil (Career 37 Games, 34 Starts) and Kenny Thomas (Career 25 Games, 14 Starts) have stepped up and emerged as the leaders of this group. Sophomores Mekhi Becton (Career 12 games, 12 starts), Cole Bentley (Career 7 Games, 3 Starts) and Robbie Bell (Career 13 Games, 13 Starts) all played major roles on the offensive front as freshmen and continue to heighten their level of play. Senior Linwood Foy and red-shirt freshman Caleb Chandler have both had a good off-season and are competing this spring for an increased role within this unit. Two guys who have also made tremendous gains during their first season are Ronald Rudd and Toryque Bateman, who have both positioned themselves to earn more playing time in 2018. This group also includes three local, hometown guys that stepped in during critical moments this past season and will continue to have key roles on the offensive line (red-shirt junior Nate Scheler, red-shirt junior Tyler Haycraft, and red-shirt sophomore Max Martin). During the 2017 season, this group helped the Louisville Offense achieve a top 15 finish in rushing offense (245.1 yds. per game) and number three in total offense (544.9 yds. per game).
Coach Quote of the Day
“I was really excited about the first day in full pads. The Offensive line showed flashes of being physical and dominant. It’s still early in the spring and we have a long way to go but I do think that we are on the right track!”
– Mike Summers – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- #72 Lukayus McNeil – 6’6 330 lbs. – Indianapolis, IN – RS Senior
- #70 Toriano Roundtree – 6’7 330 lbs. – Gainesville, FL – RS Senior
- #77 Linwood Foy – 6’4 299 lbs. – Los Angeles, CA – Senior
- #79 Kenny Thomas – 6’6 320 lbs. – Prattville, AL – Senior
- #60 Tyler Haycraft – 6’3 290 lbs. – Louisville, KY – RS Junior
- #65 Ronald Rudd – 6’5 328 lbs. – Rialto, CA – RS Junior
- #63 Nathan Scheler – 6’1 281 lbs. – Louisville, KY – RS Junior
- #75 Robbie Bell – 6’5 298 lbs. – Hoschton, GA – RS Sophomore
- #78 Max Martin – 6’3 291 lbs. – Louisville, KY – RS Sophomore
- #73 Mekhi Becton – 6’7 359 lbs. – Highland Springs, VA – Sophomore
- #66 Cole Bentley – 6’3 316 lbs. – Belfry, KY – Sophomore
- #71 Toryque Bateman – 6’6 309 lbs. – Gadsden City, AL – RS Freshman
- #61 Caleb Chandler – 6’4 292 lbs. – Jefferson, GA – RS Freshman
Coach Petrino’s Practice Notes
First day in pads and I was pleased how the team came out and practiced. We showed good enthusiasm and were physical. There was a lot of improvement and I thought we got better on the practice field today.
Inside Run was very competitive and it went back and forth between the offense and the defense and that is how it should be. I liked how the running backs ran the ball in this period as well. It was good work!
We had one session of Run/Play-Action pass which was our first live tackle period of the Spring. Our safeties stood out to me coming down to the run and making tackles but also with how well they played the pass. It was good to see our Will Linebackers CJ Avery and PJ Blue running around and making tackles as well. The Tight Ends continue to do a nice job as well as the rest of the offensive front. It is good to see our Tight Ends continue to be consistent in both the run game and passing game.
The team period emphasis was 3rd downs and no-huddle. Jawon Pass did a nice job of knowing where to go with the football and moving the sticks in the 3rd down portion of the period. He had a lot of help at the Wide Receiver position from Seth Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick. In the no-huddle portion we got off to a good start on communication and our tempo by both sides of the ball. Another solid practice overall!
Standout Performers from Day 3
- Offensive Grinder – Tight End Kemari Averett
- Defensive Grinder – Defensive Lineman Derek Dorsey
- Newcomer – Linebacker Robert Hicks
- Offensive Showtime – Wide Receiver Dez Fitzpatrick
- Defensive Showtime – Defensive Back Dee Smith
*Grinder = Gives all one’s got every day, influencing others’ work ethic in the process
*Showtime = The specific time to display or execute a performance of great magnitude.
Off the Field Highlights
The Cardinal football program is proud to announce a new addition to our recruiting staff. Former University of Louisville standout tight end, Richard Owens, is joining our staff as the Director of On-Campus recruiting. Richard played for the Cardinals from 2000-03 before playing in the NFL (Minnesota Vikings 2004 and 2006, St. Louis Rams 2007 and New York Jets 2009). He went on to coach at the collegiate level and will now take on a vital role in our recruiting department. Richard will be replacing another Cardinal standout tight end, Pete Nochta, who will now be the Director of High School Relations for our program. We are excited to have Richard back in Louisville and eager to continue recruiting top athletes to U of L.
Cardinals in the Community
41 University of LouisvilleFootball Players served throughtout the Louisville community this past winter to helping those affected by the recent floods. Whether it was distributing supplies, serving food, or even playing with kids at a local community center, the Cards were willing to help in any way possible. This level of community service is nothing new to the Louisville Football Program as year in and year out the Cardinals rank as one of the top teams in the country in community service hours logged!!!
Petrino Family Foundation Update
On April 13th, 2018, Petrino Family will be hosting the 3rd Annual Coaches and Cocktails Reception, sponsored by Planet Fitness. An event that could stand on it’s own, the Coaches and Cocktails reception is the opening night of the Spring Golf Classic Annual Scramble, and includes an opportunity to hang out with the Louisville football coaching staff, get your picture taken with the Heisman Trophy, see the progress of the Stadium Expansion, enjoy an open bar with Volare appetizers, and bid on unique silent and live auction items you won’t find anywhere else. Included in the auction this year are some once-in-a-lifetime items. If you are on the look out for Lamar Jackson signed memorabilia, the Coaches and Cocktails Reception will not disappoint. We will have signed Heisman footballs, a signed Lamar Jackson jersey and helmet, and custom made, limited edition, autographed prints.
In our silent auction we will have various packages of team appeal in multiple different sizes, a Home Game Day experience, including pre-game on-field sideline passes, an opportunity to walk the Card March, and passes to the Petrino Family Foundation Tailgate, and much more! For our Live auction, you can find items such as; Coach for a Day during Fall Camp, a trip for 2 to Orlando to play golf with Coach Petrino, Travel with the Team to Orlando for the Alabama game, and travel with the team to Clemson for a once in a lifetime experience in Death Valley. This is only a sneak peak at the amazing items we have available. Of course, it is all for a good cause!
Don’t golf? Don’t worry. A limited number of Non-golfer tickets are available for purchase. We have tables of 8 for $650, individual tickets for $100, and couple tickets for $150. For more information and to purchase tickets, follow the link below. 2018 PFF Coaches & Cocktails Reception
For more information on the Petrino Family Foundation please make sure you visit our website. www.petrinofamilyfoundation.org