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Which first-year players have played for U of L




defensive lineman Tawfiq Thomas was the first of the true freshmen to see action this season.

The 6-foot-4, 311-pound Thomas played a few snaps in Game 1 at Syracuse in the middle of the defensive line, then had a few more against Florida State. He went on to play 10 snaps, including several early in the win over USF. He had a tackle in the Boston College loss and one against Pittsburgh.

Thomas has three tackles this season.

Thomas signed with Louisville over Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan, Indiana, Miami and Arkansas among the offers.

As a senior, Thomas had 43 tackles (15 for a loss), seven sacks and a forced fumble for a Tampa Gaither team that made the first round of the Sunshine State 7A playoffs according to MaxPreps.

Game/Snapwatch: Thomas played in six games for a total of 34 snaps in defense; he won’t be able to redshirt.

The lean: Thomas will continue to get snaps every game.


Come back Maurice Turner played special teams in the Florida State game in kick return and kick return teams. He was then in the backfield for the first time against USF and ran three times for three yards and caught two passes for 40 yards. He caught a pass for three yards against Boston College.

In the win at Virginia, Turner carried seven times for 23 yards and had one catch for six yards.

A three-star prospect from Douglas, Ga., Coffee High School, Turner is a multi-position prospect who began his career in the offensive backfield. He can also play receiver and kick returner. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound target finished his senior season with 948 all-around yards and 10 touchdowns.

As a junior, Turner was named Region 1-5A Athlete of the Year.

Turner garnered more than 15 scholarship offers, including in Tennessee, Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, Tulane, Eastern Carolina and Coastal Carolina.

Game/Snapwatch: Turner played four games; he is not able to use a red shirt.

The lean: With his speed, Turner could become a key weapon on special teams and will get more snaps on offense.


True freshman wide receiver Chris Bell received a ton of preseason hype and saw his first action against USF after Dee Wiggins was injured.

Bell had 21 snaps in that game and one catch for 26 yards, while he had eight snaps against Boston College and had one catch for 18 yards. In the win over Pittsburgh, Bell played his most snaps yet with 27 and had a big catch for 29 yards in the first half.

University of L coach Scott Satterfield said Bell was a guy who would see more shots because of the needs at his position.

Bell, who originally signed up with Southern Miss and then chose the U of L over Mississippi State on the final day of signing, was an important part of the Condition MAIS Class 3-A championship raced last season at Greenville Christian. He had three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in a 46-6 win over Canton Academy in the Finals and finished with 38 catches for 880 yards and 15 touchdowns in nine games this season.

Louisville had been involved in recruiting with Bell for a long time. He made a visit to check on two games during the season and then was back for his official visit just before signing on signing day. Bell was a three-star prospect and was ranked as the No. 124 wide receiver in the nation and the No. 26 prospect in the state.

Game/Snapwatch: Bell starred in four Games; he is not able to use a red shirt.

The lean: Expect Bell to become one of the best receivers on the roster.