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January 8, 2009With the news that primary backup Matt Simms was transferring from the Louisville program Wednesday, UofL fans are wondering who is going to be the starter for the Cardinals in spring football. There's good news and bad news.
First the bad news. The bad news is that Simms is gone (likely transferring to a junior college) and Hunter Cantwell, last year's starter, graduated. More bad news is that none of the returning contenders have significant experience at Louisville.
Now the good news. Louisville coaches anticipated the problem and brought in a pair of players who can challenge immediately for playing time. NC State transfer Justin Burke will challenge current roster players Tyler Wolfe and Zack Stoudt for playing time immediately, and the Cards brought in junior college transfer Adam Froman during the Holiday break.
BREAKING DOWN THE CHALLENGERS
Tyler Wolfe - Wolfe has played sparingly during his Louisville career, but he'll be a redshirt junior this fall and would certainly have the edge on the other quarterbacks in the race in terms of time in the program. Since coming out of Louisiana as a three-star prospect, Wolfe has grown into a 6-foot-5, 216-pound strong-armed quarterback. No. 17 has all the physical tools needed to be the starter, but will need to prove his leadership in winter workouts and the film room.
Justin Burke - The 6-3, 220-pound Lexington native spent the first two years of his career at NC State and appeared to be the Wolfpack's starting quarterback coming out of spring practice last year. But the off-season wasn't kind to Burke and he ended up transferring to Louisville before the start of the fall semester. He redshirted his first season at NC State, then played as a backup in three games - Wofford, Clemson and Florida State - during his redshirt freshman year. He'll join the Cardinal squad with two years to complete two years of eligibility. He's a fairly accurate passer, but his arm isn't necessarily as strong as Wolfe's. He'll wear No. 13 in the spring.
Adam Froman - While not much is known about Froman, the transfer from Santa Rosa Junior College recruit has impressed Cardinals coaches enough that they brought him in for spring practice to immediately challenge for the starting job. Wearing No. 9 this spring, the 6-4, 220-pound quarterback is more of a dual-threat option than either Wolfe or Burke, but his arm-strength and accuracy are somewhat a mystery. Fans and media alike will be anxious to see him on the practice field this spring.
Zack Stoudt - While it's difficult to expect a redshirt freshman to challenge for the starting spot, Stoudt could be right in the mix during spring practice. A high three-star prospect coming out of Dublin, Ohio last year, Stoudt redshirted the fall, but was impressive in the few open workouts we saw. He's 6-4, 210-pounds with a strong arm and comes from a very strong high school program. He'll be wearing No. 18 in the spring.