BOZICH | Humbled DeVonte Fields 'appreciative' of second chance - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Humbled DeVonte Fields 'appreciative' of second chance at Louisville

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Louisville defensive player DeVonte Fields speaks to the media after practice. (Courtesy: U of L Football) Louisville defensive player DeVonte Fields speaks to the media after practice. (Courtesy: U of L Football)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Give DeVonte Fields credit for this: Some guys who have arrived at the University of Louisville carrying controversy with them failed to look in the microphones and answer questions for two years.

Fields did not follow the Michael Dyer playbook.

He spoke Thursday morning, less than a full week into his Cardinals’ career, following his transfer from a Texas junior college and dismissal at TCU.

If you watch the video of Fields answering questions as I did, he appeared apologetic, appreciative and humbled. In fact, humbled was a word Fields used once, twice, three times.

“It was tough, but I’d say it humbled me real good,” Fields said. “I really appreciate everything I had went through. It humbled me so it was worth it.

“Just going from Division I and seeing everything I had and seeing it taken away from me. It humbled me so it was worth it.”

It was a misdemeanor assault charge against Fields for allegedly hitting his ex-girlfriend. The charges were eventually dropped after Fields completed an anger management program. He arrived at Louisville with a clean record and a clear opportunity at redemption and rebuilding his football career.

In 2012 Fields was voted the Big 12 defensive player of the year, ranking 19th in the nation in sacks with 10. He was only a freshman.

Fields played three games for the Horned Frogs in 2013 before suffering an injury and then being dismissed by coach Gary Patterson because of the alleged assault. He starred at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas last season before Louisville recruited him to fill Lorenzo Mauldin’s spot as a powerful pass rusher on defense.

Striking a woman is a terrible thing. It should not be shrugged away simply because a guy stands 6 feet 4 and 245 and can make an opposing quarterback hurry his next pass.

The decision by Petrino and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to bring Fields to Louisville deserved all the debate that it received.

Fields said he understands that. He did not try to minimize what happened.

“I heard all types of negative things,” Fields said. “I was also told not to pay attention to all that because it don’t matter. All that was in the past and I’m moving forward.

“Everybody has their own opinions. I can’t fault them for their opinions. I did make a mistake.

“That’s in the past. Like I said before, I’m moving forward. I’m very appreciative. Words can’t even explain how appreciative I am to get a second chance.

“Just going to make the best of my opportunity and try to get my degree as well. Just be thankful that I’m here really.”

Fields has work to do. At U of L’s media day last Saturday, Petrino said that Fields was not in game shape. His conditioning needs work. Again, Fields did not disagree.

“I feel like I’ve gotten in better shape since the first practice for sure,” he said. “I’m still not there where I want to be or where coach wants me to be. I’ve still got to keep working.

“Just keep going. Keep my motor up. Keep going. Don’t stop until I hear the whistle.”

Can Fields be the same football player he was in 2012 for the Horned Frogs?

He contributed 53 tackles, 18-1/2 of them behind the line of scrimmage. He was credited with one interception, four passes broken up, two fumbles forced and one fumble recovered.

"I do but I don’t," Fields said. "But that’s 2012 and we’re in 2015. So that’s a long time ago. I’m trying to bring things to 2015 so I can be the 2015 ACC player of the Year.

"I would say I’m about the same right now but I want to be better. I’m not the same freshman. I’m older, smarter, more mature. I’ve got to be myself."

The college football world will be watching.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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