BOZICH | Lesson learned, James Quick primed for Louisville lifto - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Lesson learned, James Quick primed for Louisville liftoff

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James Quick will catch more than six passes for Louisville this season. James Quick will catch more than six passes for Louisville this season.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – August is prediction time in college football. Here are my first bold words on this University of Louisville team:

James Quick is going to crackle through defensive secondaries and quickly identify himself as one of the breakout players in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Quick caught six passes last season. He's good enough to catch six – and score six -- in any game.

He's elusive. He's a burner. He can catch. And Quick is supremely motivated because of all the puzzling time he watched everybody else catch passes from Teddy Bridgewater last season.

There's only been one burp in Quick's inevitable progression from bench jockey to fearsome weapon:

Quick and Kentucky defensive end Jason Hatcher, his teammate at Trinity High School, were cited for possession of marijuana in Quick's U of L campus apartment May 26. The police citation said Quick had 39.5 grams of marijuana, a grinder and a digital scale. The citation against Hatcher has already been dismissed.

Quick said his case is still working through the legal system. He's practicing with the first group, trying to earn a starting spot at wide receiver and returning kicks. U of L coach Bobby Petrino said that Quick has performed well – and handled his team punishment this summer.

“I had to come in early, but it really wasn't that big of a deal,” Quick said. “Come in and do whatever coach Petrino asked of me. I'm just keeping my head up, staying out of trouble.

“I don't really have any regrets because as a kid we make mistakes. Coming back just building and learning from your mistakes that's what I have to do.”

Quick said that it was the first time he had seen his name in headlines for something other than catching passes or winning track titles. The most difficult moments were explaining the situation to his parents as well as to Petrino.

“He (his father, Rhonyia) was a helpful parent,” Quick said. “He really didn't get on me as bad because everyone makes mistakes. He just told me to make sure I learn from my mistake and that I don't do it again.”

Petrino's reaction?

“Probably the same as my Dad,” he said. “He was disappointed in me more so than angry at me. He was disappointed because I was stupid and making dumb decisions. He just told me to make sure that I learned from my mistakes and come out here and keep performing.”

Quick is listed as the starter at the Z wide receiver in the U of L football media guide, ahead of Matt Milton. After scoring his only touchdown by scooping up a fumbled punt against Central Florida last season, Quick isn't trusting playing time projected in a media guide. Practice is the only place where he can secure meaningful minutes.

Last season was the first time where James Quick found himself unable to compete whenever he wanted to compete. He said he worked through it by having regular conversations with Ryan White, his former Trinity teammate who found himself on the bench at Vanderbilt during his freshman season.

He also huddled with the other members of Louisville's talented group of receivers, guys who had to earn their way on the field earlier in their careers. Damian Copeland was a veteran who had the trust of the coaching staff. He was impossible to overtake.

“I asked them, ‘Is it really going to be like this?' ” Quick said. “They said, ‘Yeah, you've got to accept it and try to win a starting position.'

“That's what I did, I tried to compete for a starting position.”

James Quick will earn a starting position this season. In fact, I'm convinced he's the best choice for a breakout star on this Louisville team.

“I would hope to say I'm a good choice,” he said. “Playing behind Copeland last year, getting that experience and actually playing in big games, it gives me a confidence that I can play better this year.”

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