Steve Jones' practice report from this morning focuses almost entirely on the offensive line. Word has been swirling the last few days that true freshmen Geron Christian and Kenny Thomas have been getting some first team reps, which can either make you excited or terrified depending on how you look at it.
Keep an Eye On: The continued attempts of Thomas and Christian, both of whom are 6-6, 320 pounds, to get on the field. Epps said both freshmen have held their own when they've been matched up against U of L's top defensive linemen like Sheldon Rankins and Pio Vatuvei, especially early in scrimmages before some fatigue set in.
Epps' first impression of Thomas? "He's a big dude. But he's willing to work. That's what I like about him. He asks questions and willing to learn."
Epps likes Christian's competitiveness. "He's not going to sit in there and get punked," Epps said. "He's not going to take nothing from the older guys."
Top U of L target and five-star guard Markelle Fultz is nearing a decision.
Recruit last night said to me: "I like Louisville's swag with those Adidas jerseys." Recruits love em!— Mike Singer (@Rivals_Singer) August 20, 2015
Very cool story about a local third grader selling candy bars to raise money to help her classmates.
Four Tallahassee Democrat writers tackle the topic of Florida State's toughest 2015 game, and only one seems concerned about Louisville.
3. What game on FSU scheduled do you think will give the Seminoles fits?
Corey: "Boston College could be tricky. It's the first road game of the season. It's a short week. It's on a weird night. And Boston College has given FSU fits the last two years. You know what you're going to get with B.C. A physical running game, a physical defense (albeit one with not a lot of athletes in the back seven) and one that can pull off an upset if you don't play well."
Safid: "This football team will iron out most of its kinks in games more than it will in practice this season. But the Seminoles will face an early test in Week 3 at Boston College on Sept. 18. Last season in Doak Campbell Stadium, the Eagles lined up with as many as seven offensive linemen on offense to run the ball. Defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample won't be able to hold them all by himself. With a defense thin at linebacker behind Reggie Northrup and Terrence Smith, FSU will need all hands (and big bodies) on deck to leave Boston College with a victory. Oh yeah, that game will be a prime time affair on a Friday night, too."
Jim: "Make it 3-for-3, sort of. Boston College seems to be a natural answer, though I am not entirely convinced the Eagles will push FSU to the limit. Not with an inexperienced quarterback and a suspect offensive line. Even on a short week, on a Friday night and early in the season. Given a second choice, I would say Georgia Tech and its triple option. What about Clemson? Nah. Clemson had that nice run when it won six of nine (2003-11), but the Seminoles have won four of the last five in the series. Louisville? Nope. Not winning at Doak Campbell."
Ariya: "The obvious games on Florida State's schedule that will present major challenges are road games against Georgia Tech and Clemson. However, I think the most dangerous game for Florida State will be the Louisville Cardinals on Oct. 17 in Tallahassee. Florida State will be mentally prepared to play both the Yellow Jackets and Tigers come those days. The match against the Cardinals will present a daunting challenge against a quality opponent, sandwiched in-between a rivalry game against Miami and the aforementioned match-up against Georgia Tech. The Seminoles will be their most vulnerable here after a physical contest against a rival that has plenty to play for and a week prior to playing one of the biggest games of the season. Louisville is more than talented enough to beat Florida State on any given day in 2015, but these circumstances pose the biggest threat to the Seminoles this season."
Paul Petrino apparently raged on a reporter in Idaho yesterday. The reporter was not especially thrilled about it.
Devonte Fields continues to make major strides during fall camp.
"He's fast off the edge and he knows what he's doing when he comes off the ball," linebacker Keith Brown said. "He's going to make a big impact for us, a very big impact."
U of L defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been careful not to put too much pressure on Fields in the media. He only arrived on campus two days before fall camp started.
"He's done a great job for us," Grantham said. "He's attentive in meetings and is a guy when he first came here he needed work to get in shape but he had 60 plays in the scrimmage the other day. I saw the guy get better as the scrimmage went along.
"He's a little bit unique in the sense that he can play and recover pretty quickly. He's really an instinctive player who understands our defense for the most part. He still has to work at it but for the most part he understands the concepts and what to do. I'm certainly glad he's here and we're going to do everything we can to put him in a place to make plays."
Longtime Big East ref Jim Burr is calling it a career, which is probably the best call he's ever made.
I miss writing poetry with my big school letter on. Don't take these moments for granted, kids.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander continues to be one of the biggest freshman standouts during fall camp.
Louisville has two players on NBC's list of the most important transfers in college football for 2015.
DEVONTE FIELDS, DE, LOUISVILLE
The former Big 12 freshman defensive player of the year is finally back on the FBS playing field. Now at Louisville, Devonte Fields has a chance to bring havoc in the trenches to opposing ACC offensive linemen and quarterbacks. The former TCU Horned Frog should play a huge role on Louisville's defensive line. But Fields is not the only player looking to embrace a second chance on the Cardinals defense...
JOSH HARVEY-CLEMONS, S, LOUISVILLE
Former Georgia Bulldog safety Josh Harvey-Clemons landed in the Louisville nest last season but had to sit out the 2014 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Now he is eligible to play and leave an impact on what could be a very good Louisville defense. Harvey-Clemons was often among the best players on the field when he played at Georgia, and that could be the case once again at Louisville if he has not lost a step in his year away from the field.
Blogger so Dear has Louisville as Wake Forest's 6th-toughest game for this season, somewhat surprisingly behind both Duke and North Carolina.
The occasion means that I am contractually obligated to link this.
Today's U looks at five things Louisville basketball must do to get back to the national championship game.
It appears Kentucky still has a significant amount of work to do on its Commonwealth Stadium overhaul, including the back of a video board which currently reads "'Til the Battle is Won." The problem? The 'til in the fight song is actually spelled (for whatever reason) with two Ls. UK announced yesterday that they will be completely redoing it to say something new.
If you're interested in helping out Brady Walz, the nephew of U of L women's basketball coach Jeff Walz who was diagnosed with Leukemia in May, 2014, here's a way you can do that.
New York Jets beat writer Connor Hughes singles out both Bilal Powell and Lorenzo Mauldin as two of the five players who have had the best camp.
Apparently an asteroid might strike near Puerto Rico, which explains Bompy's eagerness to come to the KFC Yum Center.
Stewart Mandel names Louisville as one of the three college football programs most likely to win its first national championship in the next 20 years.
Stewart: I think you will love this question. The premise is to correctly predict a college football team that will win a national championship in the next 20 years. You can pick any five teams -- but only if they haven't already won a national championship since 1980. For every team you correctly pick you get a million bucks. Which five would you take?
-- Craig, David City, Nebraska
You're right, I do love that question. And not just for the imaginary potential millions in future earnings I'm about to enjoy.
One obvious choice is Oregon, seeing as it's already come close twice in the past five years. I'll also take TCU, because Gary Patterson isn't going anywhere anytime soon and he could definitely pull if off. But it's also important to take a step back and look at longer-term growth potential, because the landscape could look completely different five years from now, much less 20. With that in mind, for my other three, give me Texas A&M, Louisville and, as a wild card, UCF. You never know what that school could accomplish if it ever moves to a power conference.
Keep in mind, though, I've previously written that even a four-team playoff, much less the inevitable eight-team field or larger, actually reduces the chance of seeing a new-money program take home a trophy. Only a finite amount of schools possess the recruiting cachet necessary to put together a roster capable of not just winning 11 to 12 games in a major conference but then beating back-to-back elite foes in the playoff. Those tend to be established blueblood programs, but the five I listed either aren't far off now or have the location and/or resources necessary to eventually join the list.
And finally, we have a big-time Ramsey & Rutherford show planned for this afternoon, headlined by a Tom Jurich appearance at 4, and then driven home by Mark Jurich at 5:10. Two Jurichs, one show. Listen in.