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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

That's Louisville grad Jordan Heil taking the 2016 CC Summer Tour to the land of Matz (Svolvær, Norway).

I_medium No team in college football returns more production in 2016 than the Cardinals of Louisville.

I_medium Stewart Mandel writes that Lamar Jackson might be the breakout star who gets Louisville into the national title picture.

Petrino's 2016 team begins the season ranked 19th in the AP poll, which may seem a stretch to some. But after watching the Cardinals practice last week, I believe it's too low.

Petrino has recruited much better than anticipated and it shows, especially on offense, where the Cardinals are loaded with young skill players. It's also no secret he's taken in transfers who ran into disciplinary issues at their previous schools, two of whom, standout pass-rusher Devonte Fields (TCU) and safety Josh Harvey-Clemons (Georgia), are among the best players on the team.

But more than anything, optimism for Louisville centers around Jackson,who could emerge as a legitimate Heisman contender this fall thanks to his highlight-making ability. The guy who didn't know the playbook last year now looks like a surprisingly poised and confident passer.

"We took him [as a recruit] saying he's a great athlete," said Petrino. "I was shocked when he got here how well he threw the football, to be honest with you. I didn't know he could throw it that well.

"We'd like him to throw for 3,000 yards," said quarterback guru Petrino. "If we can execute our passing game and do the things we've worked really hard on in the spring and [fall] camp, the running yards will take care of themselves. What will really help our running game is if we can throw the ball."

Mandel also reveals that Louisville's Sugar Bowl win over Florida may wind up being even more significant than we've been thinking.

"I found out [Bridgewater] was from Miami -€” that's close to home," saidLamar Jackson. "I remember watching the game where they beat Florida. I'm like, ‘Man, he's good.' So when I got an offer [from Louisville], I was like, that's where Teddy went? I'll go there."

I_medium Top Louisville target Alex O'Connell (2017) picked up a scholarship offer from Duke Wednesday night, which just so happens to be where his dad played. A less than stellar development.

I_medium In related news, Jeff Greer updates his U of L recruiting big board.

I_medium If you love Louisville football and want to celebrate the eve of the 2016 season, head out to CC Powersports next Wednesday.

I_medium Rodger Sherman says that the 2016 Olympics were a ‘success,' but only if the Olympics are the only thing you care about.

I_medium Those who watched Lamar Jackson compete as a high school quarterback in South Florida aren't surprised by what he's doing in college.

I_medium Louisville-colored Ultra-boosts are here, which is apparently a very big deal for sneaker heads who love the Cards.

I_medium The latest installment of the U of L football newsletter is here, and it focuses in on Geron Christian.

I_medium Current college hoops coaches say that UConn's Kevin Ollie is the head man most likely to make the jump to the NBA. John Calipari and Bill Self also got some serious love.

Here are the quotes:

  • "Calipari wants to do it. But he wants big money, total control and the chance to win big immediately. And I just don't know if anybody in the NBA is ever going to be willing to give him that."
  • "Calipari. I think he learned a lot from his first gig as an NBA coach. He is coaching and recruiting NBA talent and treating them like pros. He would be a players' coach. The Xs and Os would concern me."
  • "(Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski) is the obvious one with his Olympic pedigree, but I'd say Kevin Ollie is next. Former player, has had some success at the college level already. (Alabama coach) Avery Johnson is an obvious throw-in too."
  • "I think Bill Self. Obviously has a great basketball mind, but more importantly has the right intangibles to be successful at the NBA level. Relates extremely well to players, understands that players run that league, can put ego aside, and has the charisma and likeability that superstars would like to play for."
  • "Without question (Virginia coach) Tony Bennett. He seems to get his locker room to operate extremely close all year long. His guys always appear to be on the same page, and to have no sense of individualism. He played in the NBA, so I think it would translate."
  • "I'm sure Bill Self comes to people's minds when this question comes up. And I think he would do great. I like Jay Wright, though. Does a great job with spacing, and while I'm sure he has an ego, I think he does a great job of suppressing it. And Villanova was underrated defensively. Kevin Ollie has a (Cavaliers coach) Tyrone Lue feel as well."
  • "Kevin Ollie is probably next. But Cal is going to happen eventually."
  • I_medium Could Alabama really win it all with a true freshman at quarterback? Sure.

    I_medium The ACC Digital Network makes some bold predictions (video) for the upcoming season, and one of them includes Devonte Fields.

    I_medium The NCAA's investigation into Laremy Tunsil and Ole Miss has now reportedly expanded into an investigation of Auburn, Mississippi State and at least one other SEC West program.

    I_medium Louisville volleyball's ACC championship rings for last season arrived today.

    I_medium Louisville is one of five soccer cities that is helping to make the sport great in America.

    I_medium U of L serves up a preview of its 12th-ranked field hockey team.

    I_medium Kentucky's 2016 football hype video is sure to have BBN forgetting all about Big Blue Madness.

    I_medium Four-star small forward Jordan Tucker was already on Louisville's radar, and is even more so now that he's transferring to Wheeler High School to play his senior season with Cardinal commit Darius Perry.

    I_medium Miami suspended a defensive tackle for its meaningless season-opener.

    I_medium I answered some questions about the 2016 Cardinals on SB Nation Radio's "Night Moves" program early this morning. You can check out the podcast here if you're feeling frisky.

    I_medium Eat it, Duke.

    I_medium U of L baseball will be hosting a high school select camp on Oct. 29 and 30th.

    I_medium The Cardinal baseball players are now back on campus after a busy summer.

    I_medium ESPN previews Coastal Division favorite North Carolina.

    I_medium The Summer Tour is all about the Swiss Alps and extremely cool, borderline alcoholic, dogs.

    I_medium SB Nation's college football writers share their best stories from their days of playing the EA Sports NCAA Football video game.

    I_medium Remember Pancake Thomas? Well, he's transferring from Hartford, and there's talk that he could wind up at Western Kentucky.

    I_medium ESPN has a betting preview (insider) of the 2016 Louisville football team.

    I_medium Our first Summer Tour submission from inside a shark. Historic day.

    I_medium The Harlan Daily Enterprise thinks Kentucky is going bowling, but doesn't think the Cats are taking out Louisville.

    I_medium The Crunch Zone previews Louisville's running backs.

    I_medium Louisville still appears to be the leader for four-star wide receiver Justin Marshall, but USC is making a strong push.

    I_medium Syracuse still hasn't gotten over the cardboard Ryan Nassib locker room fiasco.

    I_medium Louisville is paying SIU $95,000 to play them in basketball this season.

    I_medium And finally, R&R is live from the OPC from 3-6 this afternoon. Pete Fiutak will join the show at 3:30, and Lonnie Ali will be on at 4:10. Listen here.