Posts Tagged ‘louisville’


This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with

After starting 20 games as a sophomore Jared Swopshire missed all of last season due to a groin injury that took much more time to heal than was originally expected. According to both The Cardinal Connect and the U of L official website Swopshire is now listed as a red-shirt Junior and will be able to play for the Cards for two more full seasons.

During his sophomore season Swopshire proved to have a very valuable and unique skill set while averaging 6.1 rebounds a game (in 25.0 MPG) but also ranking 6th in the BIG EAST at 84% from the free throw line. The only concern is that the Cards seem to be loaded with talent at the PF position with Rakeem Buckles, Chane Behanan, Stephan Van Treese and now two more years of Swopshire. How will the minutes be divided among these four proven contributors? Over the course of a long season in the grueling BIG EAST, having such depth at any position can only be viewed as a positive for the Cards but will undoubtedly result in one of the three starting PFs (Swop,Buckles and Behanan) having less playing time than they might deserve. Having Sophomore Gorgui Dieng and freshman Zach Price as the only two options at the Center position this may mean that Pitino utilizes a smaller lineup depending on the opponent at certain times during the upcoming season, with any of the four power forward options sliding over to play some center.

I think this decision by Rick Pitino is a good sign for the Cards program as a whole as it signifies Rick is convinced Swopshire’s injury is healed enough so that he will contribute over his final two seasons and also it rewards a guy who has stuck with the program during a very frustrating year of sitting on the bench. Jared can provide leadership and also contribute on the floor for two more years in a complex offensive and defensive system which only Kyle Kuric and Swopshire are entering their fourth year of being familiar with.



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 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 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 Kelly Patrick, a contributor with


Continuing with my countdown of the top ten highest rated Cardinal football players I will talk a little about Dexter Heyman:

Dexter Heyman wears jersey #46 and is a 6-3 238 pound Senior linebacker out of Male, High School in Louisville. Coming out of high school Dexter was rated as a three star prospect by both and Dexter chose to become a Cardinal and follow the path of his older brother Earl Heyman who eventually earned a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints this past season.


Dexter has outstanding physical athleticism and measurables, he runs a sub- 4.6 40 yard dash and before his sophomore season Ron English (former Cardinal defensive coordinator and current head coach at Eastern Michigan/a guy Cards fans have generally fond memories of) and Steve Kragthorpe (almost destroyed a solid Louisville football program and is now the offensive coordinator for the LSU Tigers) decided to move him from OLB to Defensive End to try and help a defensive line that dramatically needed help, this move really seemed to set Dexter back and he had a very sub-par season (only 4 tackles with 0 sacks) Going into his junior season Dexter was moved back to his original position of Outside Linebacker and had an impressive year compiling 48 total tackles. It was very refreshing for me as a fan of local talent to see a guy who was close to being labeled as a bust follow through with a big season. This switch-back to the Linebacker position will impact the Cardinals defense even more during his senior season and should allow Dexter to be able to maximize his impact for the Cardinals due to his outstanding combination of size, speed, agility and strength.

I look for Dexter Heyman to have a very impressive, even surprising senior season and to be playing on Sundays in the future like his brother did this past season.

This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with


Continuing with my countdown of the top ten highest rated Cardinal football players (according to NCAA Football 2012) I will talk a little about BJ Butler:

BJ Butler wears jersey #44 and is a 6-2 270 pound sophomore defensive end from Kissimmee, Florida. During his freshman season Butler made a name for himself while disrupting opposing QBs and offensive lines all season he compile 23 total tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Coming out of Osceola High School Butler was highly touted, a four star prospect according to both and he had offers from Georgia, Florida State, Florida, Alabama, Michigan and West Virginia but ended up choosing to be a Card and play for Head Coach Charlie Strong. ”Coach Strong, he’s just a real person. He’s a good coach, a good friend. He’ll teach you right from wrong and get you right.” Butler said when he decided to choose Louisville after de-committing from the University of Georgia

Words like Big, Bad, Aggressive, Junk Yard Dog and even discipline problem have been used to describe Butler in the past, but since arriving on campus Butler has been nothing short of a hard-working student-athlete who plays the game with a mean-streak and a level of physicality that this Cardinals team had been sorely missing during the Steve Kragthorpe era. I look for BJ to lead the young Cardinals defensive line this season and to build on what is already a very impressive career as a Louisville Cardinal during his sophomore campaign.