77 Bruce Armstrong - A four-year letterwinner for
the Cardinals from 1983-86... became one of the most
dominating and intimidating offensive lineman in the
history of the school... began his career at U of L as
a tight end, Armstrong recorded 33 receptions in his
fi rst two seasons at U of L... moved to offensive tackle
where he anchored the Cardinals line for the next two
seasons... did not allow a sack over his fi nal 18 games
as a collegian... appeared in the 1986 Senior Bowl and
was named U of L's most outstanding lineman following
his senior season... was drafted with the 23rd pick
of the first round by the New England Patriots in 1987
to begin an association that continued for 15 seasons.
11 Jeff Brohm - Another in a long line of great
Cardinal quarterbacks... played for the Cardinals from
1990-93... threw for 5,451 yards and 38 touchdowns
in his career, which still stands in the top 10 all-time...
named the MVP of the 1993 Liberty Bowl... threw for
a career-high 2,626 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior
in 1993... voted the team MVP in 1992 and 1993...
played seven years in the National Football League...
started his career with San Diego in 1994... also played
for NFL teams in Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Denver.
34 Ray Buchanan - Endeared himself to all
Louisville fans as "Big Play" Ray... made the
switch from wide receiver to defensive back...
two-time collegiate All-American and NFL
piling up 59
the 1990 Sunkist Fiesta
Bowl (including a key
fi eld goal block against
Memphis to preserve
the bowl bid)... made
his mark on the
national stage as
MVP of the Fiesta
fi ve tackles, a
punt in the
34-7... named a Playboy All-American as he compiled
108 tackles and set a then-school record for interceptions
with eight...was drafted in the third round by the
Indianapolis Colts... traded to the Atlanta Falcons,
where he played in Super Bowl XXXIII.
55 Doug Buffone - Standout on both sides of the
football during his career with the Cardinals, playing
offensive center and linebacker from 1962-65... remains
the Cardinals' No. 3 all-time tackler with 479,
just nine stops behind the program's all-time leader
Mark Sander ('87-90)... one of only four players to lead
U of L in tackles for three consecutive seasons... selected
by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the
1966 NFL Draft and the eighth round of the AFL by
the San Diego Chargers... went on to play 15 seasons at
linebacker for the Bears, retiring in 1980 as the all-time
leader in games played for the legendary organization.
42 Ernie Green - Rushed for more than 1,500 yards
in his career as a Louisville Cardinal... led U of L in
rushing during two of his four seasons and was a versatile
player out of the backfi eld catching
passes... also excelled on the baseball
diamond spurning contract offers
to remain on the gridiron...was selected
in the 14th round of the
1962 NFL Draft by the reigning
world champion Green Bay
Packers... sold to the Cleveland
Browns where he would make a
name for himself as one of the
league's top fullbacks...
saw limited action as a
rookie in 1962... entered
backfi eld alongside
earned a pair of
Pro Bowl appearances
the 1966 and
1967 season and
was also a member
of the Browns'
team in 1964...
gained 3,204 yards
in his six-year NFL
50 Tom Jackson - Spent three seasons
as a linebacker for the Cardinals
leading the team in tackles all three campaigns...
earned All-Missouri Valley Conference
Player of the Year honors in 1970 and
1972... native of Cleveland, Ohio... played
all three seasons under the watchful eye of the
colorful Lee Corso as the Cards posted a 23-7-2
mark in Jackson's three seasons as an active player...
was selected in the fourth round of the 1973
NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos... played 14 seasons
in the NFL.. would wear the Orange and Blue
playing in 191 games overall and starting 179... voted
into the Broncos' Ring of Fame in 1992... earned three
trips to the Pro Bowl and was twice named first-team
All-Pro... was recognized by his teammates a franchise
record six times as Denver's most inspirational player
prior to his retirement in 1986... retired fi fth on the
Broncos' all-time sacks list with 44 and was tied for the
franchise lead in interceptions by a linebacker with 20.
75 Joe Jacoby - Three-year letter winner as an offensive
tackle... was a a prep All-American in both football
and basketball from Louisville Western High School...
helped Nathan Poole become one of just 11 Cardinals
to rush for over 1,000 yards with 1,394 yards...
became a team captain as a senior... was snubbed in the
NFL draft before signing a free agent contract with the
NFL's Washington Redskins... was a founding member
of the famous "Hogs" offensive line which is considered
among the best front fives in football history...
helped lead the Redskins to Super Bowl appearances
in 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1992, three of which produced
an NFL championship... most memorable moment
was being the lead blocker on Redskins running
back John Riggins famous touchdown run which iced
Washington's Super Bowl XVII victory over the Miami
Dolphins in 1983.. was a Pro Bowl selection for four
consecutive years (1983-1986).
26 Lenny Lyles - A trailblazer in the integration
of the Louisville Cardinals football program... was
an outstanding player on both sides of the football
from 1954-57... four-year starter for the Cardinals and
totaled 2,786 yards on the ground... scored a school record
42 touchdowns in his storied career including
18 in 1957 to set a single season record which stood
for more than 40 years... school's second all-time scoring
leader with 300 points in his storied career... known
as the "Fastest Man in Football" in '57... became the
first Cardinal to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in a single
season... his 1,207 yards not only earned him Little
All-America acclaim but led all of college football
in 1957... selected in the fi rst round of the '58 NFL
Draft by the Baltimore Colts, where he teamed with
Johnny Unitas... returned to the Colts in '61 and played
his fi nal eight season in Baltimore... had the honor of
playing in the 1958 NFL Championship Game which
ended in sudden-death with the Colts defeating the
New York Giants, 23-17.
56 Otto Knop - A four-year letterwinner at linebacker
and center from 1949-1952... earned honorable
mention Associated Press Little All-America honors
as a sophomore and United Press International All-
America his junior year... was U of L team captain
and a Collier's Little All-America fi rst team selection...
was inducted into the U of L Athletic Hall of Fame in
1979 in its second induction class, and was inducted
into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994...
most memorable highlight was a fumble recovery that
led to the tying touchdown in a stunning 13-13 deadlock
at heavily favored Miami (FL) in 1950... lettered
in football, basketball, swimming and track at local St.
Xavier High School... played on the Boling Air Force
Base gridiron team in 1954 and 1955, captaining the
'55 national service championship team.
13 Sam Madison - Four-time letterwinner with the
Cardinals from 1993-96... remembered as one of the
top defensive backs in the school's history... ne of
the top athletes ever to play at U of L... ranks second
all-time in school history with 16 career picks...
also led U of L with 44 career pass breakups, record
that has stood since 1996... best season was in 1995
when Madison led the Cardinals with seven interceptions
and earned third team All-America accolades...
was tabbed as one of the top 15 players in the county
and was tabbed a preseason Playboy All-American in
1996... was a key performer for the Cardinals as Louisville
went 9-3 and defeated Michigan State in the
Liberty Bowl... second-round draft pick of the Miami
1 Frank Minnifield - Four-time letterwinner with
the Cardinals from 1979-82... excelled as a defensive
back and kick returner... walked on at U of L... quickly
received the scholarship recruiters failed to give him
coming out of Lexington's Henry Clay High... completed
his collegiate career as one of the Cards' three
captains for the 1982 campaign... intercepted seven
passes including a career-best three during his sophomore
campaign of 1980... led U of L in kickoff returns
in 1981 with a 30.4 yard average and topped the
Cards in punt returns with a 15-yard average... began
his professional career as a member of the Chicago
Blitz in the United States Football League... signed as
a free agent by the Cleveland Browns... went on to a
nine-year career with the franchise before his retirement
in 1992... made four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances
from 1987-90 and was a three-time all-NFL
choice by AP.
72 Roman Oben - One of the best offensive linemen
in the history of the school... played for the Cardinals
from 1992-95 and is one of the most decorated
offensive linemen in school history... was a fi rst team
All-American in 1994 by the Gannett News and was
also voted to the Football News and Sporting News
All-American squads as a junior... didn't allow a sack
duringthe 1994 season... lettered in track and fi eld...
earned bachelor's degree in economics from Louisville
and master's degree in public administration from Fairleigh
Dickinson Uni- versity in May 2001... was a
third round pick by the New York Giants
in the 1995 draft...also played
two seasons for the Cleveland
Browns and Tampa Bay
played in 139
7 Chris Redman -
career as the
N C A A all-time leader
in passes attempted and
completed ...was one of just
three Division I-A signalcallers
to throw for more than 12,000 yards
in a career... Parade Na- tional High
School Player of the Year at nearby Male
High... finished his Cardinal career completing
1,031 of 1,679 passes for 12,541
yards and 84 touchdowns... first-team All-Conference
USA selection and the league's Offensive Player of the
Year in 1999... also added the Johnny Unitas Golden
Arm Award to his mantle... junior campaign of 1998
rewrote the U of L and C-USA record books...passed
for 4,042 yards and 29 scores despite playing in just
10 regular season games... his 44-of-56, 592-yard afternoon
against East Carolina was the nation's top single
game passing performance in 1998...was the first Cardinal
QB to lead his team to back-to-back bowl appearances.
1 Howard Stevens - One of the best running backs
in the history of the school... despite playing just two
seasons, Stevens ranks fourth in school history with
2,723 yards and recorded 25 touchdowns (which places
him sixth all-time)... also stands four all-time with
509 career rushing attempts... holds the school
record for rushing yards in a season with
1,429 yards in 1971...fi nished fourth
in the nation in rushing also ran for
1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns in
1972...guiided the Cardinals to
a Missouri Valley Conference
Championship in 1972... was
drafted in the 16th round by
the New Orleans Saints in the
1973 NFL Draft.
99 Ted Washington - One
of the dominating defensive
players in the history of the
school... played for the Cardinals
from 1987-90... recorded
298 tackles and 14 sacks during
his career... earned Honorable
Mention All-America and All-
Metro Conference accolades
in 1988 after recording a career-
high 88 tackles... finished
fi fth on the team in tackles
as a freshman... was drafted by the
San Francisco 49'ers as the 25th pick in the
fi rst round... went on to enjoy a 17-year career in the
50 Otis Wilson - Three-time letterman for the Cardinals...
fierce competitor and sure-handed tackler...
dominating defender and one of the school's all-time
leading tacklers... Co-captain of the 1979 team...
referred to by head coach Vince Gibson as
one of the best players he ever coached...
fi nished his career as the school's second
all-time leading tackler with 484
tackles... recorded 175 stops in 1977,
which is the third-best total in
school history... named the Defensive
Most Valuable Player in
the 1977 Independence Bowl... first team All-American
selection in 1979... registered 152 stops in 1979
and 157 duringthe 1978 campaign... was a first round
pick of the Chicago Bears, the sixth player in school
history to garner first round status in the NFL Draft...
played eight years for the Bears from 1980-87, including
a 1986 World Championship.
Dwayne Woodruff - A three-time letterman for the
Cardinals... opened his career as a reserve running back
and wide receiver from New Richmond, Ohio but was
moved to the secondary by then-head coach Vince
Gibson following his sophomore campaign... collected
161 tackles while intercepting three passes and recovering
three fumbles... accounted for 97 total tackles in
1977 as the Cardinals advanced to the Independence
Bowl... was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the
sixth round of the 1979 National Football League
Draft... spent 11 of the next 12 seasons as a member
of the Steelers earning a victory in Super Bowl XIV as
a rookie for the Steeler dynasty... his 37 career interceptions
still ranks fi fth all-time in the Steel Curtain record
books while his three interception returns for touchdowns
is the third-most in Pittsburgh history... was
named the team's most valuable player following the
1992... topped the team with five interceptions... led
the Steelers in picks during fi ve different campaigns -
1982, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1989.
16 Johnny Unitas (Retired) - Five games into
Johnny Unitas' freshman season (Unitas was allowed
to play as a freshman because U of L didn't belong
to the NCAA), head coach Frank Camp knew he had
something unique.Tossed in against St. Bonaventure
when U of L was trailing 19-0, Unitas completed 11
consecutive passes, three for TDs, in a steady rain and
helped put the Cards in front 21-19.
But the Cards couldn't stop St. Bonaventure from
kicking a last-ditch field goal and U of L lost 22-21.
Despite the loss, nothing could detract from Unitas'
With Unitas leading the way, U of L went on to win
its next four games, including a 35-28 victory over
Houston. Louisville was a 19-point underdog against
One of the greatest plays of Unitas' career took place
in that game when the Cardinals were leading 28-21
and had the ball on their own eight-yard line in the
After two unsuccessful running plays, Unitas
dropped back into his own end-zone, sidestepped two
defenders and threw a pass to Babe Ray who scored a
In the next day's Louisville Courier-Journal, reporter
Jimmy Brown wrote: "If Coach Frank Camp is smart,
he'll take Unitas, enclose him in a cellophane bag and
put him away with the Cardinals' uniforms for safekeeping
over the winter.
In his sophomore season, Unitas completed 77 of
his 154 passes and threw 12 TDs. U of L went 3-8
that year. At Florida State, Unitas had one of his best
games, completing 17 of 22 passes in a 41-14 victory.
U of L, though, almost fumbled away Johnny Unitas
after his sophomore season. After an administrative
hassle which saw 15 players dismissed from school,
leaving the Cardinal roster empty, Unitas thought
about leaving and transferring to Indiana.
But Unitas decided against leaving the Cardinals
when he was reminded that Indiana shunned him earlier
in his career.
Unitas now holds just a few records at U of L, most
of them eclipsed by quarterbacks John Madeya, Ed
Rubbert, Browning Nagle, Jeff Brohm, Marty Lowe,
Chris Redman, Dave Ragone and Stefan LeFors. Unitas
fi nished his career completing 247 of 502 passes
for 2,912 yards and 27 touchdowns.
The rest of Unitas' story is well documented. He
left Louisville when he was the ninth-round pick by
the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955 and was cut by them in
a numbers game. The Steelers had four quarterbacks;
they only needed three. Unitas was the odd man out.
Unitas took a job with a Pittsburgh tiling company
following the cut and then he latched on with the
Bloomfi eld Rams, a semi-pro team. He made six dollars
a game. But Unitas didn't linger long in the bush
league. The Colts got wind of him and invited him for
a tryout. He made the team - signing for $7,000 - and
the Steelers made history for one of the biggest blunders
of all time. Unitas was inducted into the NFL Hall
of Fame in 1979 and his record 47-consecutive game
touchdown passes is a record compared to Joe DiMaggio's
56-game hitting streak.
Sid Luckman once said: "Johnny Unitas is the greatest
quarterback ever to play the game - better than
me, better than Sammy Baugh..."