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Louisville quarterback ready for return to campus next week; to begin voluntary workouts June 8

By Rocco Gasparro
University of Louisville

After two months of being away from campus, University of Louisville quarterback Micale Cunningham is excited about returning to campus.

The junior quarterback is among as many as 30 football student-athletes, 15 each from men’s and women’s basketball, and 15 from swimming and diving that will be returning to the UofL campus on June 1 and begin voluntary physical workouts on June 8 under a phased plan.

“I leave out Sunday morning and once we get there Sunday, we’ve got a Zoom meeting on what we need to do the next week or two before we can start working out as a group because they want us to stay away from others and quarantine, I guess for a week or two and go from there,” Cunningham said.

Louisville quarterback Micale Cunningham passed for 2,065 yards and 22 touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 482 yards and six more scores. (UofL photo)

The bond that was set in motion last season is in full effect again, especially with the players being away from each for this extended period of time. The Cardinals left in mid-March, and were asked to stay home until the call comes to return to normalcy.

“I feel like everybody really wants to come back,” he said. “It’s crazy how much we’ve missed each other the last month or so. We talk every day on Zoom calls, group chats, and we always talk about how much we miss it, so I feel like everybody’s ready to get back get things rolling.”

Going 7-4 as a starter, Cunningham is one of the keys to the offensive success this season, and it was apparent that he be in that first workout group, which should begin voluntary workouts on June 8.

“It’s very important to be able to be in the first group to come back to campus,” Cunningham said. “Matt (Summers) has done a good job of putting the protocols in place for us to come back. They are trying to put things in place to allow us to work out and keep us safe.”

“I’m not nervous because I have a lot of faith in Matt and his staff,” Cunningham said. “My mom is ok with me going back, and the plan that Matt has put in place for us to resume workouts.”

Life will be a little different when the players return to campus next week, which is understandable considering the virus that has impacted most of the world. The first group of 30 players will quarantine upon their arrival, but other safety measures will be put in place to protect the student-athletes.

“When you are at the stadium, you have a mask and gloves on, staying six feet away from guys and when away from the stadium, try to stay from as many people as you can and stay at home,” Cunningham said.

Despite being at home, Cunningham continued to put in the work to continue his improvement, which made him one of the most surprise players in the country in leading the Cardinals to an 8-5 record.

Micale Cunningham posted a 7-4 record as a starter last fall.

“I’ve been working out every single day from the time that we talked. I do want to get back to my teammates and things like that, but I feel like I’m in great shape and ready to go. I wish the season could start tomorrow honestly.”

Cunningham set a school record for efficiency last fall with a mark of 194.45. He passed for 2,065 yards and 22 touchdowns, while also rushing for 482 yards and six more scores.

With the expected return of college football starting with the return of players throughout the country, there are questions if fans will be in the stands when the Cardinals open the season, College administrators and health officials are still grappling with all the concepts, Cunningham would be disappointed if fans were left out of the stadium, but he reiterated that he just wants to play football.

“I just love the game so much that I would just want to play,” Cunningham said. “Without their support – there’s a lot of things we can’t do without those fans. As players just want to go out there and play. If the fans are there we’d love it even more.”

Louisville’s season and Atlantic Coast Conference opener against N.C. State is scheduled for Sept. 3.

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