This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with

Sorry about the delay in posting my #1 ranked player, I planned on having it finished before the start of the regular season but I will now discuss Victor Anderson who is one of the more popular homegrown stars for the Cards in recent memory.

Victor is a 5-9 188 lb Senior RB who attended St. Xavier high school in Louisville. Victor was rated as a 4 star prospect by coming out of St. X before he committed to the Cards and Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe on 1/28/2007 He is entering his fifth year as a member of the Cardinal football program and is projected to be the #1 option at running back while Sophomore Jeremy Wright is expected to split the carries as more of an inside, physical presence to compliment Anderson who is more of a shifty multi-faceted offensive threat.

“Vic” still stands as the all-time leading rusher and scorer in the history of St. X football with 4,008 yards and 75 touchdowns. He was namvic_anderson_holding_two_horsesed to numerous prestigious “teams” including the Athlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Top 100- All-Southern team” and the Orlando Sentinel’s “All-Southern team”. Victor originally committed to West Virginia but backed out of that commitment to attend his home town school.

After his red-shirt season Victor went on to win the 2008 BIG EAST freshman of the year after rushing for 1,047 yards and scoring 8 touchdowns. Here is a clip of him taking a Hunter Cantwell pass to the house against Uconn on ESPN during his prolific freshman season. He ranked 5th in the conference in rushing overall and appeared to be poised to be the Cards #1 RB for years to come before suffering a shoulder-injury which limited him to 8 games during the 2009 season . The emergence of Bilal Powell as the team’s offensive workhorse in 2010 resulted in Victor being the Cards third leading rusher (behind Powell and Freshman RB Jeremy Wright) with only a total of 286 yards rushing and 61 yards receiving on the season.

Victor has become quite the popular personality within the city of Louisville after an interview with Drew Deener and an article by ESPN BIG EAST blogger Andrea Adelson about his summer job at Longfield farm where he helps to take care of Horses and do other farming related activities. Anderson says he plans on owning a horse farm once his football playing days are behind him and enjoys all the time he was able to spend around the horses over the summer. “I love being around horses,” said Victor Anderson. “They are such beautiful animals. Being able to watch them at my job has been a great experience.”

Louisville fans everywhere are looking forward to Victor bookending his Cardinal career with a strong senior season. After leading the Cards in all purpose yards with 84 yards (61 rushing and 23 receiving) and a rushing TD during the Cards opening day victory over Murray State University, Victor appears to be well on his way to completing his stay in the City as one of the greatest homegrown players of all-time to stay at home and star for the Cards.



This article was written by Tyler Bloyd, a contributor with


We are finally at the end to what has been a fun and interesting countdown, this one of course being the Top Ten Kentucky players according to NCAA Football 2012 and we sit with one player left to profile. This guy came to Kentucky from Leesburg, FL, or Gator Country, the #1 rated guy on the roster, #22 Danny Trevathan. He has been one of the better defensive players to come through Lexington over the years, following in the foot steps of Wesley Woodyard, Micah Johnson and Braxton Kelly to name a few as he has helped his Wildcats each season. But before he could star for UK, he helped his high school team to the Florida state playoffs three straight seasons, playing both sides of the ball as the quarterback and running back on offense, and of course his best position of linebacker. He totaled 117 tackles, 17 for a loss, 5.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries and one of those returned for a touchdown. He was named to the 3rd Team All-State by the Florida Sportswriters Association and named as the areas defensive player of the year according to the Leesburg Daily Commercial.

Moving into Lexington and his freshman season, Trevathan was able to see the field during all 13 games, mainly on Special Teams, bringing in five tackles and a big blocked kicked against Georgia to set up a touchdown. His sophomore year brought on a much larger roll for UK, again playing in all 13 games, but this time starting 6 of them. He ended the season with 82 tackles, second on the team, and 14 of those coming against Auburn and eight against Clemson in the Music City Bowl, along with a forced fumble. DT2

2010 came along, Trevathans’ third year on campus where he started every game for the Wildcats earning First Team All-America Honors from, as well as first team All-SEC according to multiple outlets. He finished the season leading the conference and team in tackles with 144, an average of 11.1 per game, also forced four fumbles which was 2nd in the SEC. He set a career high in tackles against Auburn once again when bringing down 17 tigers.

Go Cats!!!


This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with

Hakeem Smith is a Sophomore Safety out of Riverdale High School in Jonesboro, Georgia which is about half an hour South of Atlanta. Hakeem wears jersey #29 is 6 ft 1 and weights 185 lbs. Hakeem played both Wide Receiver and Safety for Riverdale High School and was rated as a two star prospect by and also earned the Scholar-Athlete Award.

Smith was recruited by former Cardinals defensive coordinator Ron English and described his decision to become a Cardinal back in 2008: “It was the visit that did it,” Hakeem Smith said. “I explored the campus and stadium. We took a tour around to see the dorms and the weight-room. We talked with the academic advisors. It’s really a great campus. I love Louisville.”

After red-shirting the 2009 season Ha keem went on to truly shine during his freshman season which happened to be Charlie Strong’s first season with the Cards. Smith was named the BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Year while also earning a second team All-BIG EAST   Selection. Smith started 1 2 of 13 games (including the Bowl victory) and led the team in tackles with 88 while also recording 1 sack, 6 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble.

After Head Coach Charlie Strong has came out and said “The strength of our football team should be our defense”, it is obvious he is expecting a big season from Smith who is the star of the defense. Smith’s presence will be especially valuable in a defensive secondary that will be starting two un-proven cornerbacks in Senior Anthony Conner (missed last season due to an ACL injury) and redshirt freshman Jordan Paschal. The other safety hakeem_smith_smilingspot will be filled by fellow sophomore Shenard Holton.


The strength of the defense is projected by most to be the defensive line with impact players such as Marcus Smith, BJ Dubose, William Savoy, Roy Philon and Greg Scruggs. When asked if the lack of experience in the defensive secondary will reduce how aggressive the defensive scheme will be Strong said “We’re a pressure defense. And we’re not going to back down and we’re not going to back away. We’re going to always play man coverage and we’re going to pressure people. Now it’s just how good can we be outside”. Strong obviously agrees with the uncertainty of the CB position and feels it’s a large determining factor as to how good this defense can be.

One thing Strong doesn’t have to worry about (barring any injuries) is either of the starting safety spots with both Hakeem Smith and Shenard Holton returning after very impressive red-shirt freshman campaigns there will be stability and production from the middle of the defensive backfield.


This article was written by Tyler Bloyd, a contributor with

This time we get away from the special teams unit which seemed to be a hot topic, and move to the #2 guy on the list and Lexington product, #21 Winston Guy Jr. Guy stands at 6’1, 216lbs and has been apart of the roster his entire career, but before he could suit up for the Wildcats he was helping his Lexington Catholic HS squad to the AAAA State Championship. He played both sides of the ball, where he was named First Team All-State Defensive Back by the Associated Press & the Courier-Journal after accumulating 75 tackles, 18.5 of those for a loss and 7.5 of them coming as a quarterback sack.

His first season with UK(2008), Guy saw the field in all 13 games, becoming the team’s primary kickoff returner after former running back Derrick Locke went down to injury. He averaged 29.1 yards out of his 10 returns, one of them coming as a school record for the longest return in history with a non-scoring result, he took that for 96 yards against Georgia and he also totalled up 11 tackles during special team assignments. WGjr

Sophomore season came along and it was again the same result, seeing the field in all 13 games, this time starting 11 of those games. He set a career high in tackles, 11 coming in the win against Louisville and totalled 60 for the season, along with a 14.5 yard average per return.

Moving into his Junior year, Guy was awarded the full-time starting roll and proving on the field thar he deserved it. Came in second on the team in total tackles with 106, which also placed him third in tackles per game in the SEC out of all defensive backs. He also led the Cats in interceptions withs three and set new tackling career highs in back-to-back games against Charleston Southern with 16 and then filling up the stat sheet with 18 against Vanderbilt and later being named to the 2nd Team All-SEC according to and made PhilSteele’s College Football 4th Team SEC.

Now with only a week away from football, Guy has been moved to a hybrid safety/linebacker position where he quickly adapted to the new role and showcased his athletic ability and skills on the field and will be returning the kicks again as well, so let’s all hope for multiple kick return touchdowns and unlimited interceptions from our man!


This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with


Mario Benavides is a 6-4 300 lb Junior Center out of Los Fresnos High School in Los Fresnos Texas. Mario wears jersey #55 and has started 24 out of 25 games and despite missing a start this past season against Arkansas State has continued the legacy of very dependable and productive Cardinal centers from Travis Leffew (2002-2005) to Eric Wood (2005-2008). Mario will also most likely end up in the NFL like both Leffew and Wood did.

Coming out of Los Fresnos Mario was rated as the #31 offensive tackle nationally and a three star prospect according to After being named first team all-state in Texas as a Junior which is nothing to sneeze at, Mario committed to Ole Miss the summer before his senior season but changed his mind and ended up being the 8th player to commit to Louisville from the class of 2008. Benavides described his decision to switch from Ole Miss to Louisville “Not to say that Ole Miss wasn’t great and they weren’t nice to me it’s just kind of something I feel in my heart. I just felt more comfortable with Louisville. My Dad came with me on my visit and he could tell that I was more excited when I came back from Louisville than I was from Mississippi.”


Along with offers from Louisville and Ole Miss, Mario also had offers on the table from Texas Tech, Iowa State, Arizona and Houston after coming out of the very talent rich state of Texas. Although Mario played tackle in high school the Cards staff knew from the beginning that he projected as more of a Guard or Center at the college level due to his physical stature. That combined with the opportunity for Mario to learn behind Senior Center Eric Wood for a season (which was Mario’s red-shirt season) and immediately took over the starting Center position as a red-shirt freshman in 2009 created the perfect opportunity for the Cards to maintain continuity at one of the more underrated positions on the field.

In 2009 Mario started all 12 games and had a very solid season despite the Cards’ offense being inept for the most part. He started alongside Abdul Kuyateh and Mark Wetterer at the guard positions and a combination of Jeff Adams, Greg Tomczyk, Byron Stingily and Hector Hernandez at the tackle positions. Adam Froman, Justin Burke and Will Stein all got starts at the QB position and the team was considered a big disappointment after finishing the season 4-8 before Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe was fired. The offensive line was a unit that was inconsistent as a whole in 2009 but laid the foundation for a very solid season in 2010 with good experience up front during Head Coach Charlie Strong’s first season in Louisville. Going into the 2011 season the O-Line is a big question mark and outside of Benavides there is very limited returning experience.

Earlier in the year Mario was 1 of 43 players selected to the 2011 pre-season Rimington Trophy Watch List which is given annually to the most Outstanding Center in Division 1-A College Football. Despite being projected to have a big Junior season Mario has struggled with a foot injury and his status heading into the season opener on September 1st VS Murray State in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is uncertain. Mario providing stability in the middle of the O-Line may very well be the most vital piece to the Mike Sanford’s offensive unit in 2011.


Continuing with our list of the Top Ten Kentucky players according to NCAA Football 2012, we will be sticking with the special teams unit after punter Ryan Tydlacka dropped at the #4 spot with a ranking of 85 overall. This time we will go to kicker for the Wildcats and the #3 ranked guy on the roster, #93 Craig McIntosh. Craig is a hometown kid,  raised in Lexington where he played just one season for Lexington Christian Academy where he played both sides of the ball, taking care of the kicking/punting duties, as well as laying running backs out as a linebacker on the defensive side. He helped his team to a 11-4 record his senior year, kicking a long 48 yard file;d goal and made the State A championship game(lost), coached by Paul Rains.

Heading into his first season at UK, McIntosh only enrolled to school through the ROTC program, with no intentions of playing football, but come his sophomore season he decided to try out for the Cats, which turned out to be a good decision. He made the roster as a red-shirt freshman, kicking off the last 10 games of the year, ranking 4th in the SEC in touch backs and was named the National Kickoff Specialist of the Week for his performance against Vanderbilt. Worth noting, he made one tackle!

Last season for McIntosh, his third year in Lexington, he earned the starting spot as the field goal man. Totalling 67 points through the season, second on the team while making 11-15 attempts with 34-35 extra points sailing through the uprights. His career long came against Ole Miss when he nailed a 50-yarder, tying that same distance against Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl. He also took over the kickoff duties later in the year after proving his accuracy was the right foot for the job and again, he made two tackles!!

McIntosh is now heading into his third season with the Wildcats where he will most likely start in both kicking roles with his experience and proven ability, allowing UK to have another productive special teams unit heading into the 2011 campaign.


This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with


Continuing with my countdown of the top 10 Louisville Cardinal Football players according to EA Sports NCAA 2012 I will talk a little about the Kicker/Punter Chris Philpott. Because Philpott represents the special teams unit when it comes to this count-down for the most part I will also discuss a little about the state of the Cards Special Teams unit as a whole.

Chris is a Senior Kicker out of St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta, GA. He stands 6 ft and weighs about 200 lbs. Chris wears jersey #12 and coming out of high school he was rated as the second most accurate kicker according to and, also according to as the 10th best overall kicker.

Chris handles both the punting and kicking duties for the Cards and has handled all of the kickoff duties ever since his freshman season as he has always been known for having a very strong leg. His freshman season he was 1-3 on field goal attempts connecting on a 19 yard field goal versus Tennessee Tech. As a sophomore he was 5-5 on FG Attempts before having a very solid all around Junior season going 14-18 for the season and hitting a career long 46 yarder in the win over Arkansas State and a 44 yarder versus Kentucky. Along with the good season as the field goal kicker he also had a very strong season handling the back-up punting duties (he took over as the full time starting punter against Pittsburgh and doesn’t appear to be losing the double duties any time soon), averaging 41.3 yards on six chris_philpott_in_actionpunts in a win over Syracuse and also had a 72 yard punt which was the longest in school history since the 1992 season.

Special teams are often overlooked but can be as important as any other unit especially during crucial moments of the game. Last season the Cards were very improved on special teams and that was a large reason why the team had a relatively successful season despite the lack of talent and discipline issues that Steve Kragthorpe left behind. The Cards ranked very well in both kick-returns (10th in the nation with 25.5 yards per return) and punt-returns (Victor Anderson averaged 30.23 yards per return which was 7th in the country while Jeremy Wright averaged 30.56 yards a return which was 5th best in the country).

Despite losing punt return specialist Doug Beaumont (graduation) the Cards appear to have a strong special teams unit heading into the season. The punt-return duty vacancy left by Beaumont will be handled this season by Josh Bellamy (Senior WR), Scott Radcliffe (Junior WR out of Trinity in Louisville) and Michaelee Harris (Redshirt Freshman WR). The special teams unit as a whole will be Lead by senior Chris Philpott because he will handle the kickoff, punting and field goal duties while Jeremy Wright and Victor Anderson will continue to handle the kickoff return duties.


This article was written by Tyler Bloyd, a contributor with

OK, so I know a lot of you will say punters/kickers really don’t count towards the actual team, let alone one of the best players on the team, but when these guys can seal the deal with a 35-40 yard field goal to win a bowl game, I would say that all kickers are true parts to the program. Now with that being said, we move on to the #4 player on the countdown of Top Ten Kentucky players according to NCAA Football 2012, the kicker with a overall rating of 85, #9 Ryan Tydlacka. Ryan is a product out of Louisville Trinity high school where he was named to the First Team All State by the Associated Press his Junior and Senior year, where he kicked his Rocks team to two state championships. He averaged 40.3 yards per punt for his 3 year starting career.

Heading into college with the Wildcats, he red-shirted his first season and then appeared in 10 games the following season where he served as the team’s pooch kicker, as well as the backup kicker. He was able to keep 16 of 22 punts inside the 20, and tallying up a 51-yard field goal against South Carolina. His Junior season in Lexington, sophomore year on the roster brought Tydlacka the starting roll where he was later named to a 4th Team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele’s College Football after averaging 40.0 yards per punt and only seeing 11 of 64 punts returned. His longest punt of the year against South Carolina when he nailed a 59-yarder.


Last season, his official Junior year for UK, Tydlacka averaged 43.8 yards per punt, almost four extra yards from hsi previous year. He was named the Co-SEC Special Teams Player of the Week against South

Carolina(he hates the Gamecocks!) after landing 3 punts inside the 20-yard line and later in the year launched a career best 73-yarder against Ole Miss, which led to him receiving the College Football Performance Awards National Punter of the Week.

His senior season is about to “kick” off and his sporing couldn’t have been better. Named to the All-Spring Team by and is expected to have a good season with a year under the belt.


This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with

Continuing with the countdown of the top 10 Louisville Cardinals football players according to EA Sports NCAA 2012 I will now discuss… Shenard Holton.

Shenard Holton is a Junior Safety who wears jersey #36, he stands 6-1 and weighs 190 lbs. Shenard is from Bowling Green, KY and attended Warren East HS, where he was the first Raider to sign a National Letter of Intent since 1997. He was rated by as the tenth best prospect in the state of Kentucky.

Shenard appears to have a pretty cool Mohawk and started 11 out of 13 games and recorded 74 total tackles which was second on the team only to the Cards other starting safety Hakeem Smith (who is also a Junior). The biggest game of the season for Shenard was probably when he recorded 8 tackles against UK despite the Cards losing the game. Between Holton and Smith the Cards have a very solid pair of Safetys and will be counted on to make up for the lack of experience at the cornerback position.

Ware Should Not Be Counted On

Posted: August 25, 2011 by robjoneslyes in Louisville Basketball, Posted by Rob Jones

Kevin Ware still not eligible

In what seems to be an annual late-summer ritual for the Louisville basketball team, another top-notch recruit is having eligibility issues. This year, the recruit is G Kevin Ware from Georgia who has seen his fair-share of status already this off-season.

The newest blogger in town, coach Rick Pitino, posted today that Ware  “still has not been cleared to play.”. As he was breaking down each player individually, Pitino went on to say senior Chris Smith is “working on his passing skills as he may need to play some back up point.”. Using deductive reasoning, that says to me that Pitino is preparing a contingency plan in case Ware does not show up on campus.

If history is an indication of anything, odds are against Ware ever donning the red and black. Just last season, Huntington Prep swingman Justin Coleman was in Ware’s similar situation and never showed up. Previously, guys like Donte’ Smith and Amir Johnson who went on the play in the NBA, saw a similar fate.  It almost seems like it wouldn’t be an off-season recruiting period without some academic controversy surrounding an incoming recruit.

After de-committing from 2 different schools in less than a year, Ware picked the Cards a few weeks after competing in the Derby Festival Classic at the Yum! Question marks surrounded Ware, who was at the center of the Caldwell/Bender/Central Florida fiasco that was reported by Pat Forde and Pete Thamel. Ware is a great player who would give Louisville quality minutes off the bench early. Yet, it seems like problems just follow him around whether he had any hand in them or not. Just another reason why the odds don’t look to be pointing in the youngster’s favor.

However, Ware is not the missing ingredient in a potential national championship run for Pitino’s Cards. At least he doesn’t seem to be. Pitino was looking for Ware to play a little back-up point, a position he has never played before, so the learning curve would be greater than that of the other incoming freshman. Also, Pitino had an outstanding class before the late addition of Ware. He was icing on an already delicious cake…or maybe even just some sprinkles. Louisville will have a Final 4 caliber team with or without Ware’s services.

Nothing official has come out as to whether or not Ware will become eligible. However, the writing is on the wall and (to me) his chances have become slim. We can all hope he becomes eligible to both further himself and the potential of this year’s Cardinal squad…I just wouldn’t get my hopes up. Time and time again, Louisville fans have been burnt in eerily similar situations. I don’t think they will be burned again.

Follow Rob on Twitter – @RobJones502