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Louisville Football Open Practice Report: Practice Four

Wasabi Fenway Bowl - Louisville v Cincinnati Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

UofL had their fourth open practice on Friday afternoon. Below are some observations and notes.


  • The quarterbacks had a good day today with Jack Plummer and Evan Conley standing out. Plummer continues to show off his accuracy with one throw standing out to me. On the goal line, Plummer lofted a throw to the corner to Francis Sherman that dropped right over the defender into Sherman’s hands.
  • Conley had a couple of throws today that really jumped out at me with his best being a throw down the seam to Jahwar Jordan. Conley moved his feet in the pocket as the play developed and put the ball on the spot between two defenders. Conley also missed two wide-open guys today but it was nice to see him still complete the pass to his selected target for first downs. You’d like him to see those open players but he still hit other open options.
  • The running backs had the best day as a group, in my opinion. Maurice Turner ran wild all day with two long touchdowns where he showed off his speed. On his second run he navigated through the defense before he used his speed to run past two defensive backs while using a stiff arm to get away from one of them.
  • Jordan also had a long touchdown today as well as a couple of other long plays. Jordan has been the first guy up when it comes to practice reps and he looks to be picking up where he left off. Jordan has been mostly a straight-line guy since he’s been here but he’s been making people miss in small spaces which is good to see.
  • Practice started with receivers dropping a lot of passes during drills. Jarmari Thrash had two of those drops himself. However, he followed up the drops by scoring two touchdowns in the following scrimmage period. It was good to see him bounce back and finish strong. The best players don’t have bad practices.
  • Chance Morrow made two plays today that I hadn’t seen from him yet. He caught a pass in the corner of the end zone where his size allowed him to rise above the defender. Plummer put it on a rope and Morrow contorted his body to get around quick enough to make a great hands catch and he got his feet down. He later caught a pass across the middle and then ran away from the defender for about 10 yards. Good to see from the young guy.
  • Jimmy Calloway had a touchdown on a reverse where he showed off his speed and shiftiness. He cut left and right on the run to find the open space and then tight-roped into the endzone. He and others have started to show some nice things that will help with depth during the season.
  • Another tight end was subbed out because they didn’t know the play or lined up wrong. It’s happened at least once in each open practice and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t at least odd at this point. This is the third week of practice and stuff like this should be worked out by now. Especially with a group of guys who have plenty of college experience.
  • Jamari Johnson had a touchdown catch that stood out on the goal line. He ran a quick turnaround route where he essentially boxed out the defender with his massive frame and got a quick pass for the score. Jeff Brohm has the potential to get very creative with Johnson.
  • The offensive line had some changes today with Austin Collins playing some center with the first group and Bryan Hudson sliding over to guard. that happened a few times early in practice but I’m not sure if it continued past that.
  • Luke Burgess and Madden Sanker continued to be in the same group but they were the third group up this week after being with the twos last week. Izaiah Reed was the second left tackle up.
  • The line held its own during one-on-ones against the defensive line. They also did well with run blocking throughout the practice which led to some nice runs by the backs.


  • I’m gaining more and more confidence in the defensive line as we get to see more of them. Ashton Gillotte is completely unblockable so far and I think he may gain the most out of the new scheme. He can play inside the tackle and have success and he can slide out to the outer shoulder of the tackle and get around the edge. Should be a big year for him.
  • The inside is what gets me a bit excited with the line and the defense as a whole. Dez Tell, Ramon Puryear, Jermayne Lole, Tawfiq Thomas, and Jared Dawson are all guys that will rotate and fight for snaps on the inside and they have all looked good so far.
  • The success of the interior line will factor into how the linebackers play. If they can be kept clean and be allowed to run more freely, they will be able to play fast and make more plays. Jackson Hamilton and KJ Cloyd have made a handful of plays this spring where they have been untouched through the line on their way to a TFL.
  • Hamilton stood out when it came to the linebacker group as he was all over the field and did a good job to secure tackles when he got to the spot. The staff seems to be mixing up the groups a lot as the first team tandem was different for the fourth straight open practice.
  • The secondary was led by Trey Franklin today who continued to show that he will play aggressively and with toughness. He had two straight pass breakups late in the practice where he undercut the route and got his hand in to knock the ball down. UofL needs one more cornerback to step up, but as of now, they have a great chance to have a very good two-deep in the secondary.
  • Antonio Watts is a young guy that I’m really excited about. He’s a big S/LB hybrid who is backing up Ben Perry at the nickel spot. Watts looks like a linebacker but he spent the day running stride-for-stride with slot receivers. He nearly picked off a pass when he undercut one of the slot receivers on a crossing route. The ball wasn’t behind the receiver either. He just ran it down. I think he provides the type of depth they need on defense.
  • At one point, the nickel defender slid inside to a linebacker spot and they brought on another defensive back. To me, this looks like the dime package we’ll see in the fall. It’s something I hoped we’d see in Bryan Brown’s defense where the “Card” would just move to linebacker. Obviously, it worked out fine but this adds more speed to the field, in theory.
  • The defense as a whole looked good today even though they gave up some big plays. They got pressure consistently and they had a handful of TFLs.


  • D’Angelo Hutchinson (I believe. The roster hasn’t been updated) went down with what looked like a knee injury late in the practice. He tried to stop to make a tackle and went down holding his knee or thigh area. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious because he has looked very good this spring. Also, Josh Minkins and Devin Neal are already hurt.
  • Practice was again pretty even but I have to stress that Gillotte is really giving the offense fits. He just plays so hard and it is good to see at least one guy that looks to be dominant. A few others definitely have their moments but Gillotte looks to be a potential star.
  • Both sides of the ball are much crisper when it comes to lining up and getting the plays correctly. I haven’t seen a single blown coverage or a receiver getting an earful for running the wrong route. There have been some missed blocks on the offensive line but that hasn’t happened since the second open practice. It seems like the coaches are doing a good job of installing the new systems with minimal issues.