#3 Pat Thomas
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga
Thoughts: So a quarterback transfer walks into Louisville’s locker room…stop me if you’ve heard this one. Oh, you have? Probably because that same scenario played out on Day 13, Day 10, and Day 5. Pat Thomas is another transfer to the Cards, hailing from Georgia Military, where he just so happened to lead the Bulldogs to a National Runner-Up trophy in the NJCAA for 2013, passing for over 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns. Thomas was a UAB commit to Coach McGee back in December but when he left the program to become offensive coordinator here at Louisville, he wanted Thomas to come along. Thomas made a visit to Louisville back in April and after sitting down with Petrino and checking out the city he decided this was the place for him. While many pundits tab Thomas as a "dual-threat" QB, he only had 199 yards rushing last year and admits that he only runs when necessary. During camp Thomas looked pretty solid, but not as good as Gardner or Bonnafon. Thomas, since coming over from a Junior College, does not have to sit out a year and is immediately available if needed. Hopefully we don’t need Pat’s services this year during the season but without a doubt his talent adds some depth to a position where we've had some recruits fall a little short due to injuries. I’m not sure how Thomas feels about playing other positions, but if he can’t see the field at QB while here I wouldn't mind seeing how his speedy 6-4 frame looks catching a few passes….just a thought Bobby.
A good message to anyone, in all aspects of life. If you love what you’re doing, keep pushing yourself and good things will happen. His buddy "jlaw32" is now playing football for Auburn and Pat’s wearing Cardinal Red. Not too bad boys, not too bad.
#3 Charles Gaines
Class: RS Junior
Hometown: Miami, Fla
Thoughts: How can you not like Charles Gaines? They guy brings it every single day and without a doubt has some fun while doing it. In case you missed it, CardsTV had a little sit down with Mr. Gaines and it was pretty entertaining.
Gaines is one quick dude, but over the last year as he’s transitioned back to the defensive side of the ball, he’s also become a pretty solid lockdown corner. The only thing potentially faster than Gaines’ feet is his mouth, he loves to talk and talk he does. Unfortunately for the wideouts he faced last season, they didn't do much to shut him up. Charles led the Cards last year with 5 interceptions and 12 pass breakups. That’s not even touching the fact that he was sixth, yes, SIXTH on the team in all-purpose yards without ever taking a snap on offense. Between his 300 plus yards in kick returns, 100 plus yards in interceptions returns and tacking on another 35 yards in punt returns…this guy out gained Christian, Clark, De La Cruz and Dyer. Gaines was named a Team Captain a couple weeks ago along with Lozo and Rankins on the defensive side of the ball, a deserving honor that probably few would have predicted even just a year ago. While Gaines is only a Junior you might want to enjoy his time here this season as most mock drafts have him ranked as the 6th or 7th best corner in the country and getting snatched up late in the second round. I have no idea if he’ll be here in 2015, but I look forward to seeing what he can do with the new defensive philosophy. I think Grantham is looking to put pressure on the QB frequently and it should give this secondary an opportunity to perform. I doubt Gaines will disappoint.
Sweet Tweet: No twitter for Gaines…how is that possible? Anyway, with only three days till we kick this thing off here are some "hot takes" from yours truly for 2014..
1. Eli Rogers will be the leading receiver at the end of the year. (With no Parker for 6 games and Eli in the slot to help bail out Gardner, I think he goes to the proven guy early and often. I give Eli 8+ touchdowns and over 800yds.)
2. Gaines/Lamb will have 4 or more kick return touchdowns. (Gaines took one back last year, and with a healthy Lamb as his counterpart they only need a couple blocks and a small seam before they hit pay dirt)
3. Louisville wins two out of three against FSU, Clemson and Notre Dame (I keep thinking they’ll be a slip up somewhere along the way when the Cards are favored, but Bobby gets his guys ready to play the big game as well as anyone. I think we steal a couple ‘W’s from this group and falter elsewhere)
4. Reggie Bonnafon finishes Top 7 in all-purpose yardage. (Even though he isn't getting the start, the special packages they have installed for Reggie will be enough to produce a decent amount of passing yards and rushing opportunities for the freshman. If he performs early, expect to see him more frequently as the season goes on)
Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m all hopped up on Mountain Dew and Pixie sticks…either way I’m ready for some Cardinal football.