Louisville football’s first scrimmage provided an opportunity for younger players to prove themselves as several veterans were held out of the practice Aug. 15.
Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said newcomers and lesser-experienced players made plays and learned from mistakes in the scrimmage that included officials.
The reps in the game-like situations are valuable for younger players adjusting to the collegiate level.
“We tried to get a lot of these young guys that haven’t had the opportunity to be on the field to try to get them as many reps,” Satterfield said. “Show them as many different things as we can show them, put them in adverse situations and we will coach up off that.”
Satterfield noticed players learning from mistakes and creating plays later on in the scrimmage at Cardinal Stadium.
While the defense allowed the offense to score several touchdowns in the early going, Satterfield said the defense adjusted as the scrimmage continued with the help of some young players.
“We have some newcomers that are doing great things as well,” Satterfield said. “It has been valuable what those young guys were able to get today, they got a ton of reps out there at corner.”
Newcomers also made plays on the offensive side of the ball.
Tight end Dez Melton, a redshirt freshman from Glendale, Ariz., hauled in a reception while the defense was called for pass interference.
“He is really catching up with blocking, he will make some plays,” Satterfield said.
Renato Brown, a redshirt freshman, is adding to the offensive line.
The 6-foot-4, 330-pound right tackle has stood out to Satterfield during fall camp.
“Renato has had some of the best work up front,” Satterfield said. “He is playing as good as any of the guys up front.”
After finishing his sophomore year with 1,276 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, Tutu Atwell has become a leader for newcomers in the receiving core.
The 5-foot-9 receiver said the younger players impressed him during the scrimmage. Atwell and redshirt senior Dez Fitzpatrick are helping newcomers adjust to college football.
“We just help them everything,” Atwell said. “We can trust them when we aren’t in, we teach them every little thing that we know.”
While the newcomers continue to develop during practices, fall camp and scrimmages contribute to the ultimate goal of creating depth for this fall.
“Not only are you building depth for guys if they get dinged up, but also if they do have to start or play a significant amount of reps, then they are going to be better experienced,” Satterfield said. “It’s hard to get experience unless you go out there and play.”
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