CRAWFORD | Louisville football opens camp - Day 1 Notebook - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Louisville football opens camp - Day 1 Notebook

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — University of Louisville football players were spared the physical challenge of two-a-day workouts to open preseason camp on Tuesday.

Coach Bobby Petrino worked out the freshmen and newcomers in a morning session and his veterans in the afternoon. But he didn't ease either group in by moderating the pace of practice.

"We came out this afternoon, and didn't do everything right, but we're a better technical team, I think, than we were in spring ball," Petrino said. "Our guys got tired. They need to practice hard when they get tired. When you split practices, that's the thing. They have to take more reps."

Some notes:

MAULDIN RETURNS. After missing the spring season with shoulder surgery, senior Lorenzo Mauldin returned to the field, and was a welcome sight for Petrino.

“It was fun to seeing him coming off the edge,” Petrino said. “He is good. He can really rush the passer; he uses his hands and he is smart. He knows the sets by the tackles and tight ends. I watched him more than I usually watch the rush guys during practice. It was fun and I enjoyed watching him.”

SWIFT START AT SAFETY. Gerrod Holliman had a pair of interceptions from his safety spot during the afternoon session.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE. It's only the first day, but running with the ones in the team portion of the 23-period afternoon workout were DeVante Parker, Eli Rogers and Matt Milton at wideout, Gerald Christian at tight end, Dominique Brown at running back, Kelby Johnson and Jamon Brown at tackle, John Miller and Chris Acosta at guard, Jake Smith at center and Will Gardner at quarterback.

QUOTE OF THE DAY. Cornerback Charles Gaines, after going one-on-one with wideout DeVante Parker for much of practice: “DeVante is a monster. We just have to go out and compete. That's all it is about, competing. There are going to be plays where he makes you look ordinary and there will be some others that he is going to make. We have some of the best receivers in the country, and it will make me a better player by competing against them every day.”

FRESHMAN QB REGGIE BONNAFON Q&A. It's a little unusual to hear from a U of L football freshman during camp. It's been a while since coaches allowed that kind of thing. But former Trinity QB Reggie Bonnafon answered a few questions after his first U of L practice.

Initial statement: “It's exciting. I've been waiting since I committed, so it felt good to finally be out here. It kind of hasn't hit me yet, but it probably will in meetings or watching film.”

Q: You said you've thought about this day for a long time. Did it meet your expectations?

BONNAFON: “I expected practice to be fast. Halfway through practice it hit me that we were kind of flying through it. But all the guys stayed pretty hydrated, so I think we came out and did a good job.

Q: You physically look different. How have you changed since high school?

BONNAFON: “I've gained quite a few pounds. This morning I weighed in at 209. Last year I played at 195. The coaches put us through a lot in the weight room so I feel the change.”

Q: What difference can you feel?

BONNAFON: “Just more powerful in my legs. My arm seems to be stronger from what it used to be. Little things like that.”

Q: For your first practice you looked pretty comfortable. Does that come from knowing the system so well from high school?

BONNAFON: “Yeah a little bit. But this summer, being able to be with the coaches for meetings and stuff, I see today helped me out a lot. I could tell I was more comfortable out there today, and it just went well.”

Q: Coach Petrino was really bragging on you. Do you listen to what he has to say and try to prove him right that you can battle for the starting quarterback job this year?

BONNAFON: “You know, I hear what he says. But for my own self, I want to try to push for that job. All the quarterbacks, you know, we're trying to get better every day.”

Q: What do you think splitting up the practices between newcomers and vets does for you guys?

BONNAFON: “I think it gives us younger guys some confidence coming into camp. You know, it's new to us, it's my first camp ever, so to get some confidence before we start rolling in with the whole team should really help us out.”

Q: How good is this receiving group you're working with?

BONNAFON: “Oh, these guys are legit. I've been throwing with them all summer, but today I saw them out there making some plays. We hadn't really gone against DBs, we have a little bit, but not like we did today, and I can tell some of these guys are going to be good.”

Wednesday's practices begin at 8:50 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. Follow Eric Crawford on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks to U of L SID Rocco Gasparro for some items here.

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