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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Cards fans have made the trek to Salt Lake City to support Donovan Mitchell in the NBA Playoffs.

—Your must read of the day/weekend comes from The Undefeated, which says Lamar Jackson could change the NFL ... if he gets the chance.

Watson’s story offers hope for Jackson. “Offenses are more suited now to what Lamar can do,” said the scout. Whichever team drafts the Louisville quarterback, he said, must be willing to show the same sort of creativity as O’Brien. “If not, they’re being stubborn.”

One would imagine that any organization that covets Jackson — he’s been linked to teams ranging from New Orleans to Pittsburgh to New England — has a flexible approach in mind. But stubbornness is hardly lacking in the NFL. The Titans, for example, drafted Marcus Mariota, who led one of the most prolific spread offenses in college football history; over the past two years, he’s been stuck under center in a turgid run-first scheme. Now, it appears they’re changing course: Tennessee fired its head coach this offseason and replaced him with Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, who has suggested he’ll install more RPOs and bootlegs. “You have to be creative. You have to cause conflict,” he said in January. “[Colleges] are taking great athletes and putting them in similar positions to succeed.”

When the draft finally arrives on April 26, it won’t make a difference if Jackson is picked 10th or 30th; the only thing that matters is where he lands and what he’s expected to do when he gets there. No one knows this better than Vick. “The team that drafts him has to understand: We’re going to change our mindset, our thinking,” he said. “You have to take advantage of the talent. If you’re going to waste it, don’t draft him.”

Nearly 20 years after Vick hurtled into the NFL, the league is still debating whether a quarterback like him can achieve sustainable success. He’s hoping that Jackson will put the question to rest.

—A big home series for the U of L baseball team against Virginia begins tonight. Here’s a preview of the weekend ahead.

—I was wondering if this was going to happen. Nice to see that it did.

—An early WNBA mock draft for 2019 has Asia Durr as the No. 1 pick.

—Jeff Walz basketball camps are back this summer.

—There’s a fascinating recruiting battle brewing between John Calipari and Penny Hardaway.

—Here’s the first part of a “Road to the Draft” web series on Lamar Jackson that I’m guessing is being produced by someone close to Lamar.

—The U of L softball team is hitting the road for a matchup with No. 8 Florida State. The Cards are coming off a solid 11-7 win over Indiana.

—This year’s Thursday night NFL games actually seem not so terrible.

—The ACC Digital Network says Donovan Mitchell was this good at Louisville, which I don’t totally agree with, but here are some cool highlights:

—Three Ohio State basketball players have been declared ineligible because they met the ESPN College GameDay crew. Nice to see the NCAA is still focused on the things that really matter.

—Greg Postel is going to wind up making more than new U of L President Neeli Bendapudi.

Sure. Whatever.

—247 Sports has set its final rankings for the class of 2018. Of note: Romeo Langford is No. 5, Anfernee Simons is No. 9, and Courtney Ramey is No. 31.

—The Louisville Bats are going to become the Louisville Mashers for one night, and the Mashers gear is beautiful.

—Friday Irrelevance:

Second helping because it’s late April:

—Lamar Jackson has a plan against the NFL, and he plans to initiate it in six days.

—Class of 2019 QB Jaden Johnson remains committed to Louisville, but he also says his ultimate decision will come down to the Cards and Georgia. Proving once again that “committed” is the least meaningful word in American sports.

—Jaire is the best.

Eight draft decisions that will make or break college basketball next season.

—The long-awaited Chris Mack/Stephan Van Treese meeting of the minds appears destined to happen.

—Congrats to Louisville’s Mallory Comerford on being named the 2018 ACC women’s swimming and diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

—USA Today says Donovan Mitchell is well on his way to becoming one of the NBA’s next great stars.

—A very happy birthday to Jeff Greer, the second most embarrassing thing to come out of the University of Pittsburgh.

This took me eight days to make.

—Logan Wyatt is the “ultimate teammate” for the U of L baseball team.

—My top five candidates for the Louisville Bats manager job:

1. Rick Pitino — It would be the most profitable season in Bats history and just picture him in a full baseball uniform frantically waiving a runner home while coaching third

2. Jake the Diamond Dog — He has paid his dues

3. Russ Smith — Everything Russ does is gold and I feel like he would get super into it

4. Brad Stevens -- Obviously

5. Howard Schnellenberger — Greatest string of ejections in minor league baseball history

—Kevin Ollie is calling out UConn.

—Happy anniversary.

—The U of L men’s golf team is gearing up for the ACC championships.

—New season ticket packages for Louisville football are officially on sale. These packages include the first opportunity to sit in the newly expanded north end zone.

Below you can find links to the new seating map and the 2018 schedule:

http://gocards.com/documents/2018/2/26/2018_FB_Seating_Map.pdf

http://gocards.com/schedule.aspx?path=football&

To secure your seats for the upcoming season, call our ticket guy, Dylan, at 502-852-3706 or email him at Dylan@GoCards.com.

—We had Wiley Brown on the show yesterday to talk about National High-Five Day and roast my jumping ability. This is the video I was talking about where U of L brought the high-five mainstream for the first time:

It’s wonderful to hear Billy Packer referring to what is now one of the most well-known tools of non-verbal communication as if it’s some sort of alien technology.

—Streaking the Lawn previews this weekend’s Louisville-Virginia baseball series.

—And finally, R&R is back on the radio this afternoon from 3-6 to talk U of L basketball recruiting, the weekend ahead, and my unpopular take that Thunder Over Louisville is massively overrated. Listen here.