Aug 14, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville running backs coach Kenny Carter said he would like to have six scholarship athletes at the running back position to ensure quality competition and depth. While the Cardinals may be short on numbers for Carter's statement, they are not short on talent.
Carter is blessed to have five outstanding running backs in his stable as the 2013 season approaches. Most coaches only could dream of having the talents of Dominique Brown, Senorise Perry, Corvin Lamb, and Brandon Radcliff, and then supplement that group with Michael Dyer, the former BCS national title game's Most Valuable Player to the roster in early August.
"It's a beautiful situation," Carter said of the running back battle. "Competition is always going to bring out the best in every man that is wanting to compete as a starter."
With the abundance of talent returning at running back, the Cardinals have had a great competition at the position this fall. Bringing back four talented backs is a great luxury, but the position had a lot of uncertainty because Brown missed all of 2012 with a kneed injury and Perry was coming off a torn ACL last October. To further complicate matters, Lamb had limited carries last season and Radcliff received a redshirt.
That's why adding a player of Dyer's ability was looked at as a necessity at the time. A top 10 team fighting for national recognition needs to have a number of talented running backs, and that's exactly what the Cardinals have established with Dyer's addition.
Brown has been pleased with the addition of Dyer to the lineup, even despite the former Auburn's back brief tenure in Louisville.
"He is doing a great job competing," Brown said. "He is bringing a lot to the room. He is a 2,000-yard rusher. He has won a national championship and was a national championship most valuable player. "
Carter, who has coached a number of talented backfields during his career, is excited about what he can expect from his group on a daily basis.
"We are very pleased with the depth that we have," Carter said. "We think we can continue to get those guys to grow and get them on the field as much as we can through different personnel groupings."
BATTLING BACK FROM INJURIES
Heading into camp, the Cardinals didn't know where they would be with Perry, but when the Cardinals put the pads on for the first time on Aug. 10, the first person to go through contact was Perry.
"Senorise is great," Carter said. "He is physically a freak. He has recovered so fast and is ready to go."
After a long rehab process and the first 10 practices, Perry knows that his hard work has paid off.
"If I just keep working day in and day out, and that's what I have been doing during the rehab process, I felt like I would be fine," Perry said. "The training staff has helped me a lot to get my body right. I still have some things to work on, but I feel like I will be fine if I keep working."
Another player coming off a major injury was Brown, who missed 2012 with a knee injury. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native, rushed for 533 yards and four scores in his first season as a running back after his transition from being a quarterback.
"Dominique is doing great," Carter said. "He's back. He's a 100 percent. He had a great spring. He has transitioned from the spring to the fall very smoothly."
The competition through the first part of fall camp has been solid and fun to watch, but the exciting part - for both the Cardinals and fans alike - will be to see who takes the reins for the starting role. With a robust amount of talent, the competition can only get better as the team works its way toward the season opener versus Ohio.