#71 Toryque Bateman
Class: RS Freshman
Position: Offensive Line
Hometown: Gadsden City, AL
Thoughts: Bateman, in my mind at least, was the first domino to fall in the re-hiring of Coach Mike Summers. Not to undersell the work the rest of the staff, and Coach Galloway in particular, had done for the prior two years but Bateman will be the first to tell you that his interaction with the newly hired Summers and Coach Petrino while on his visit helped seal the deal [best football hire in the last four years in my mind].
Bateman was a decent player early in his high school career but was being recruited early on for his potential. At 6-6 and flirting with 300lbs he was hard to miss. In an article from the AL.com his high school coach Matt Scott said his Junior season was the first year “he had ever gotten serious about football”. Adding that “If a 10 is [his] ceiling, he’s only a two and a half right now”. That two and half was certainly not going unnoticed though. Approaching NSD Bateman had over 20 scholarship offers from the likes of Michgan, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The final decision for Toryque came down to UofL, Miami (FL), and South Florida and after some thought he went with team who had made him a priority for over two years…
Per the comments above, and the comments from the Card’s staff once Bateman arrived on campus, I think a redshirt was the plan from the jump. The Cards had some depth at tackle and knew they wanted Bateman on the outside with his length, push, and “strong hands” as described by Coach Summers. While I would be surprised to see Bateman unseat McNeil or Becton in the starter’s role he will absolutely play significant minutes this year in a supplementary position. I’d expect to see him every week as he continues to develop and learn under the tutelage (awesome word) of Summers and fifth year Senior McNeil.
Game 8: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Key Player: Matt Colburn II, Running Back, Senior
If the name Matt Colburn sounds familiar, he was the young man who was the center of the “Grayshirt” story back in 2015. A situation that unfortunatley happens every year but became national news at Louisville (shocking, I know). In my opinion it was just an opportunity to take an easy shot at Petrino who was back at a Power-5 program for the first time in 3 years, but I know for Colburn it was much more personal. In fact, he said as much after the game last year…
I was nervous heading into that game because WF had a couple guys go down and it looked like Colburn, who had not seen more than 14 carries in a game all season, was primed to be the go-to back against Louisville and you knew revenge was on his mind. Quite frankly, revenge is exactly what he got. Clawson fed him the ball over and over again (24 attempts) and the mid-season rushing defense reared its ugly head once again allowing Matt to rack up 134yds, over 5.5 yds/carry. While WF will have some folks back and they have a nice young back in Christian Beal, Colburn will get the call often. I have no doubt he will be ready to go against the Cards once again in 2018, and I’m not so sure my mind can handle a “Wake Forest win streak” against UofL if the pull off the ‘W’ again this year. Hope the D is ready to play.
Sweet Tweet: Tweets are protected….and so the future QBs shall be also. As I mentioned above, Bateman may have been the first domino to fall but the future continues to look bright for the position group. In fact, this photo from the Louisville twitter account shows five guys who are all sophomores or freshman from an eligibility standpoint, three of which will likely be starters this season. The size of Bateman and Becton is almost comical in this photo, making 6-3/316 Cole Bentley (66) somehow appear small.
Momma said ‘We gonna be alright’.