April 20, 2001
LOUISVILLE, KY -- Three juniors and one senior have been honored by their peers earning the title of team captain for the 2001 University of Louisville Football Team. The Cardinals will be led by senior wide receiver Deion Branch, junior quarterback Dave Ragone, junior safety Anthony Floyd and junior linebacker Michael Brown.
A junior college transfer a season ago, Branch earned first-team all-Conference USA honors after catching 71 passes for 1,016 yards and 10 touchdowns. Branch's 1,016 yards marked just the fourth time in school history a receiver eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in a single season.
Ragone enters his junior campaign as the reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Year. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ragone passed for better than 2,600 yards and 27 touchdowns in his first season as a starter for the Cardinals.
Floyd became just the second player in U of L history to earn a spot on the Walter Camp All-America team a year ago. The Youngstown, Ohio native's 10 interceptions in 2000 not only set a single season U of L record but tied for the NCAA lead with Akron's Dwight Smith.
A two-year starter at the bandit linebacker position, Brown has started 24 consecutive games for the Cardinals. A record-setting running back at local Butler High School, Brown owns 198 career tackles in his two seasons while helping the Cardinals improve into the nation's No. 15 defensive unit in 2000.
Fans can get a preview of the 2001 Cardinals on Saturday, April 21 as head coach John L. Smith puts the defending C-USA Champions through their final spring scrimmage.
The noon scrimmage in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium will be preceded by a free non-contact youth clinic on the practice fields of the Cardinal Football Complex. The clinic will begin at 10:00 a.m. with U of L players and coaches instructing the campers.
The Cardinals open the 2001 season on Thursday, August 23 taking on the Aggies of New Mexico State. Proceeds from the contest will benefit the John Thompson Foundation.