In 2012 Teddy Bridgewater happened. Teddy had the 3rd most effective offensive season in Louisville football history in 2012 with 3744 yards (3718 passing) and 28 total Touchdowns. Bridgewater is already making an impact on the UofL Record book, now #6 All-Time in Career Offense, 5th in Completions, 5th in Touchdowns. In my opinion Louisville has never had a QB play as well as #5 did in 2012. When I think of the long history of top QBs that Louisville has produced he trumps each of their weaknesses, he’s technically very good and he’s also clutch and doesn’t make silly mistakes.
Louisville went from 74th in passing at 211.5 yards per game in 2011 to 296.1 yards per game ranking 24th. The most impressive thing about the Louisville offense was that it finished 5th in the Nation in Red Zone Conversions at 92.98%, much of which is due to the QB.
Teddy Bridgewater (6-3, 218, Jr.) see above. If Bridgewater has a similar 2013 he’ll be in the 2014 Draft, and I’ll be firmly behind that decision. There may be some factors that could keep Teddy in Louisville following a similar season that he may personally justify. But I think he’ll be a Top 10 NFL Draft Pick in the 2014 Draft and I’d never want a player to pass up on that type of opportunity. But without looking too far ahead Card fans should expect to fully enjoy Teddy Bridgewater in 2013. Great player, great person. Enjoy him in the red and black while you can!
Jerry Arlinghaus (6-4, 197, Soph) did not play during 2012 and is a walk-on.
Will Stein, the ultimate underdog, capped off his unlikely college career contributing to the largest upset in BCS history. Stein played a key role in the Rutgers/Big East Championship game and also filled in nicely in 2012 completing 20 of 34 passes for 131 yards through the air and 17 on the ground. Stein finished his career as a Cardinal with 1271 yards passing and 6 Touchdowns. He leaves us forever with his famous “Sunny Will Stein”.
Luke Brohm (6-1, 200, Soph) moved to fullback.
Kyle Todd (6-3, 205, RS-FR) was on campus last year but redshirted.
Will Gardner (6-5, 200, FR) sat out season after additional knee surgery was needed at the beginning of Fall Camp. Gardner is listed #2 at QB for the Cards this Spring.
Kyle Bolin (6-3, 195, FR) Lexington native had his season cut short with a knee injury.
Brett Nelson (6-3, 225, JR) has a red-shirt available after playing first two years in Junior College. Nelson is listed #3 at QB for the Cards this Spring.
Andrew Risher (6-0, 181, RS-FR) walk-on Red-shirt freshman from Louisville Christian Academy.
It’s nice to have these new options for a back-up/understudy to Bridgewater. This is an important group to keep any eye on because whoever comes off the bench for the first time in 2013 is the likely incumbent to Teddy for 2014. Kyle Todd comes to UofL without a D1 offer (heard this story before?), but threw for 3028 yards and 27 TDs in 11 games in 2011 at Elizabethown H.S.
Will Gardner I like a lot, but he’s recovering from two knee surgeries. One from the initial ACL tear, and the second when it was discovered that his knee wasn’t right at the beginning of Fall Camp. Obviously the surgeries and recoveries have held Gardner back a bit, but he was practicing leading up to the Sugar Bowl and we’ll get a good look at him in the Spring. Gardner choose Louisville over offers from Alabama & Mississippi State and reportedly has good speed and a canon for an arm.
Kyle Bolin is the same as Gardner…….coming off knee surgery. Bolin comes to Louisville as a fan favorite after the Lexington native chose the Cards and remained steadfast in his commitment for well over a year. Bolin chose the Cards over offers from Cincinnati and Illinois and he is more mobile than you might expect. As a junior Bolin threw for 3088 yards and 29 TDs in 14 games and was on track for a similar Senior Season before his injury.
Brett Nelson has really nice size and throws a very nice deep ball and comes to the Cards from the West Coast. Nelson threw for 2833 yards and 28 TDs at JUCO Southwestern, and played H.S. ball at Pasadena St. Francis High School. The lefty enrolled during the January semester and will compete in Spring Drills.
Obviously having a player like Bridgewater at the helm is HUGE. He’s the heart and soul of the Cardinal Football team and the undisputed leader. But if we’ve learned anything in football, especially at the Quarterback position, it’s that you better have depth. Bridgewater had to miss time after a broken wrist and ankle injury in the Connecticut game, and we’ve all seen him take some shots and keep playing. BUT the QB will always be a target. Obviously I like the #1 option, but it is unreasonable to assume that Bridgewater (or any QB playing high-level football) will be able to play 100% of a team’s snaps in a given season.
I bet that Louisville really measures Teddy’s activity in blowouts, but there MUST be an emphasis on cultivating the incumbent/back-up. I’m interested to see how Nelson fits in. His highlight tape is very good, but he isn’t as mobile as Gardner or Bolin. Bolin should see a redshirt in 2013, and I think the Spring battle between Nelson & Gardner should tell us a lot. But these should be two very good options to fill the role. Whether or not they are the future remains to be seen and you can bet that the coaching staff will continue to recruit top talent under center.
But other than that the OUTLOOK is AWESOME. Teddy Bridgewater is a premiere player in college football.
2013: Teddy Bridgewater, Brett Nelson, Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Kyle Tood, Luke Brohm, Jerry Arlinghaus, Andrew Risher
2014: *Teddy Bridgewater (has eligibility, expected to go to NFL early), Brett Nelson, Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Kyle Todd, Luke Brohm, Jerry Arlinghaus, Andrew Risher
2015: *Brett Nelson (if red-shirt is used) Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Kyle Todd, Luke Brohm, Jerry Arlinghaus, Andrew Risher,
2016: Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Kyle Todd, Andrew Risher
2017: *Kyle Bolin (if redshirt is used)
Next Release: Running Backs (2/19/13, 8:30 a.m.)