Henry Famurewa has been waiting patiently to be an asset to the University of Louisville football team.
The Powder Springs, Ga., native arrived on campus in 2014 and appeared in one game – a rout of Murray State. He earned a redshirt the following year, but kept working to attract enough attention from the coaching staff to warrant playing time.
That time came this year and the results are quite evident over the Cardinals’ last two games. Famurewa has totaled eight tackles in that span, including his first career sack in the victory at North Carolina.
“For everything I have been through since I was on campus in 2014, it’s kind of built me and molded me into the person I am today,” Famurewa said. “I’m just happy to be out there playing meaningful snaps and being able to give my team the best chance to win.”
The redshirt junior is not only helping Louisville’s defense set the tone in the trenches, but Famurewa has become an example when the stadium spotlights are off and the cameras are absent.
“He’s demonstrating the ability on the practice field, which is what practice is for – you need to put your player face on and demonstrate ability,” defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon said. “He’s shown that he’s starting to make those plays. He’s being more physical. He’s playing with more effort the last several weeks, and when you do that, you’re going to get more play time.”
After a rocky defensive performance against Clemson, albeit the unit was on the field for more than 35 minutes, Sirmon is getting his group to refocus. Before facing the reigning national champion, the Cardinals’ were one of the top run defenses in the country.
Much of that success is attributed to the defense’s effort.
“Every time they go on the field – effort is mandatory,” Sirmon said. “Effort has to be mandatory, and execution – you see the good teams execute over and over again.”
Fortunately, the Cardinals have obeyed the 24-hour rule and have showed the willingness to move forward. Practices, as head coach Bobby Petrino alluded to on Monday, were not going to be easy heading into Saturday’s matchup against Kent State.
“It’s been a positive attitude,” Famurewa said regarding the spirit of practice. “We continue to focus on getting better on every little thing – technique, running to the ball, communicating – and just getting ready for the next game.”
For Louisville to continue to develop – and excel – on defense, it’s going to come back to giving maximum effort. Defense isn’t always the most glamorous side of football, but the Cardinals’ have a group that is devoted to improving and making each play count.
“Coach Sirmon preaches on effort,” Famurewa said, “so each chance I get in the game – whether it’s one, two, or 10 – I try to give maximum effort and make as many plays as I can.”
by Rocco Gasparro