It’s a great acronym. And people often debate about its true origin or when the phrase was technically spilled out into the public for the first time. However, one thing is for certain: they’re back. Some people, actually, could be inclined to say that certain circles around the University never stopped using the phrase. And no knock to the players of the Steve Kragthorpe era (it certainly wasn’t their fault that the program dove into such obscure depths – they played their hearts out and left it all on the field, for better or worse), but there wasn’t much blinding speed or overwhelming talent from 2007-2010. But here we are today, having come full circle, with a loaded roster of elite wide-outs ready to take on the college football world in 2013.
The term AFROS (America’s Finest Receivers On Saturday) was coined by some UofL wide receivers some time in the late 90′s or early 2000′s. Though a long line of fine Cardinal speedsters existed in both the 70′s and 80′s (Ernest Givens or Mark Clayton, anyone?), the phrase really didn’t become known to the UofL faithful until the beginning of the John L Smith era. Lavell Boyd, Arnold Jackson, Miguel Montano, Ibn Green, J.R. Russell, Deion Branch, Zek Parker, Harry Douglas, Mario Urrutia and many others represented the ‘FROS week in and week out and helped to establish Louisville as one of the premier air attack’s in the nation.
So, while it’s been relatively quiet on the receiving front over the last few years as Charlie Strong and his talented assistants rebuild the program, the commitment of Trinity stand-out James Quick this past Saturday had me thinking. Was it time for the AFROS to make their triumphant return? That list of receivers above is second-to-none on the collegiate level, but they were also spread out over a 15-year span. One look down the current roster (and counting the additions – like Quick – for next year) the talent jumps out at you in an almost overwhelming fashion. Never before has there been so many talented receivers on a Louisville roster. Not even close. The depth is overwhelming and the team could possibly have the best corps of wide-outs in the entire nation in 2013. They might have taken a few years off, stepped away from the spotlight, but ladies and gentlemen, America’s Finest Receivers On Saturday are officially back.
2013 Louisville Wide Receivers
- Damian Copeland, Sr, Miami (FL) – 628 yards, 2 TD’s
- Eli Rogers, Jr, Miami (FL) – 505 yards, 4 TD’s
- DeVante Parker, Jr, Louisville (KY) – 744 yards, 10 TD’s
- Charles Gaines, Soph, Miami (FL) – 172 yards, 1 TD
- Matt Milton, Jr, Belleville (IL) – Tennessee Transfer
- Michaelee Harris, Jr, Miami (FL) – Missed 2012 season with a torn ACL
- Robert Clark, Jr, Palm Beach Gardens (FL) – Florida Transfer
- Kai Dominguez, Jr, Montvale (NJ) – Limited snaps offensively, returned kicks and punts on special teams
- Jarrett Davis, Sr, Tyrone (GA) – 7 catches for 54 yards
- Hunter Bowles, Soph, Glasgow (KY) – No receptions in 2012
- Gerald Christian, Jr, Palm Beach Gardens (FL) – Florida Transfer
- Ryan Hubbell, Sr, Marion (IA) – 239 yards, 2 TD’s
- Chris White, Sr, Elizabethtown (KY) – No receptions in 2012
- James Quick, Fresh, Louisville (KY) – 4-Star Wide Receiver
- Keith Towbridge, Fresh, Toledo (OH) – 3-Star Tight End
* Class based on 2013 projections (some players could be redshirted)
I know, only a few options for our Heisman-Trophy-hopeful QB to throw to, right? Upon first glance, that line-up of players seems almost surreal. You”re not going to be a 1,000 yard receiver if you come here, there’s just too much surrounding talent across the board. But what it does guarantee is that nothing will come easy for these players. They’ll have to fight, claw and scratch each and every day in practice if they want to see the playing field. Nothing will be given or taken for granted. All that will do is provide a hyper-competitive culture where nobody can ever take a day off. It’s still unknown whether Harris will fully recover from his third knee injury since arriving on campus, but the additions of transfers Gerald Christian, Robert Clark and Matt Milton (all three are SEC-caliber players) along with the commitment of superstar freshman-to-be James Quick, make this the biggest, deepest group of receivers in UofL history.
Is it Labor Day Weekend yet?