Satterfield excited for camp, ready to piece puzzle of Louisville's team together

Scott Satterfield has participated in football in some way since he was 7 years old.  

Even then he loved the month of August and competing in the fall. That hasn’t changed for the 46-year-old first-year coach at Louisville.  

“It’s fun for me to see things come together,” Satterfield said on Saturday, one day ahead of Louisville’s first practice of fall camp.  

While he enjoys this time of the year, it’s not necessarily relaxing. Relaxation will come when the wins pile up. Fall camp, to Satterfield, is about opportunity.  

The Cardinals have 29 practices before they open the season on Sept. 2 against No. 9 Notre Dame. What happens Sunday is the first step in preparing for what Louisville hopes is a bounce-back season.  

“To me, everything we have done, including August ... is for 12 opportunities we get,” Satterfield said. “We get 12 opportunities to show our stuff. We talk about what we do in the dark will show in the light; well, the light is 12 times.”  

Since his arrival in December, Satterfield has done just about everything that’s been asked of him in the dark. He’s sparked interest in a program coming off a dismal 2-10 season and has gotten off to a strong start in recruiting with a 2020 class that’s ranked in the top 30 nationally.  

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But now things get serious on the field. Just how will this team come together? With the exception of two freshmen — Ja'Darien Boykin and Jamel Starks — Satterfield said the entire 2019 class will be at camp, along with all six graduate transfers.  

Fitting the new pieces with the returning players is a puzzle Satterfield is itching to put together.  

"That’s the fun part. Seeing these guys get better and seeing the joy on their face when they do make the play. I’m excited,” Satterfield said.   

Along with the absence of Boykin and Starks, Louisville will be without three other players. Defensive lineman Dejmi Dumervil-Jean, safety TreSean Smith and Lamarques Thomas will not practice during camp.

Dumervil-Jean will miss the entire season as a medical redshirt, but he'll be around the team.

Smith, who was listed as Khane Pass' backup at free safety, has been suspended for a violation of team rules and has not been with the team all summer, Satterfield said. 

“We’ve known it for a while, and this is where we are at with him. We will see if anything changes,” he said.  

Still, Satterfield likes the depth he sees at various positions entering camp. The challenge for the coaching staff, though, will be to get everybody brought in to their new roles on the team.  

"That will take time,” Satterfield said. “The quicker we can roll these roles out the better. For us as coaches it’s finding the right guys in the right spots.”  

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And there's also the balance of how physical they need to be without picking up injuries for a team that enters the month fairly healthy.  

"We talked about the first two weeks being pretty intense; well, there’s a fine line in there to where are we pushing so much and hitting so much that we are losing guys?” Satterfield said. “Now do we have to dial back a little bit? We are really going to push that, but we have to somehow try to stay healthy as well. That’s the tough part of football when you start tackling and figuring out that fine line, but at the same time we have to be physical.”  

Those are things Satterfield and his coaching staff will need to work out, along with the quarterback battle between Malik Cunningham and Jawon Pass. 

Regardless of what needs to be addressed during camp, the North Carolina native is entering his first camp as an ACC coach without nerves.  

“We are a different football team than when we got here in December, 100%,” Satterfield said. “We have had some attrition, lost some guys and added some guys. What that looks like, we don’t truly know yet. As we start off here in August, starting practice tomorrow and so on and so forth, we will get a true feel for these guys and see how they fit in our program.”  

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Cameron Teague Robinson; Twitter: @cj_teagueSupport strong local journalism by subscribing today: