Brown hopes to be better after a year off

Louisville running back Dominique Brown has the potential for a breakout season, all because he sat out last season.

Brown injured his knee and faced the prospects of competing for playing time in a crowded backfield. With Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright forming a good 1-2 punch, the Cardinals decided it would be best to redshirt Brown, allowing his injury to heal on its own while he continued to learn the nuances of playing the position.

Though Louisville could have used Brown late in the season when Perry went down with a torn ACL, the move to keep him out a year has paid off. With Perry still nursing his knee injury this spring, Brown emerged as a running back to watch, a natural to take Wright's spot in the rotation.

So how does Brown feel about his year away, and where he is better this year? I had a chance to catch up with him to find out.

On the time away: "It's benefited me a lot. I'm playing much faster, and learning who's supposed to block who. My first year when I made the switch, my biggest downfall was I didn't know where to run, what to read, who to cut off of. My running backs coach said I was running blind. Now that I know where everybody is supposed to be, I'm running much better."

On the competition with Perry out this spring: "It's a great opportunity not only for me but for the other running backs in the room. Brandon Radcliff and Corvin Lamb had a great spring. Once Senorise gets back, then it's back to square one for us all competing for the job."

On the feeling of getting back on the field: "It's going to be tremendous. I'm going to be so excited to get back on the field. The practice field has motivated to get back to playing football."

On how he feels about playing running back now: "I'm confident. I've got to tone up my game still so I can not only be a good back, but be a great back. There's a lot of room for improvement."

On his weight: I lost 20 pounds when I got hurt. I'm working with a nutritionist, and getting my muscle back so I can be the downhill runner this offense needs me to be. I played my sophomore season at 235. Now I'm 210. I want to get up to 215-220 to be satisfied with where I'm at. I definitely feel more explosive to get to the second level."