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Louisville quarterback enjoys extra time with family, remains focused on playbook during pandemic

By Rocco Gasparro
University of Louisville

University of Louisville quarterback Evan Conley has learned to take the good with the bad this spring.

As the COVID-19 situation has forced student-athletes all over the world home for the last few months, the sophomore has missed being around his teammates, but also sees the time he’s been able to be at home with his family as an advantage.

“I’m doing a lot of training,” Conley said. “I’m trying to stay in shape for when we do get the call to come back. I’ve definitely enjoyed the extra time with my family, which I haven’t had in the past. I also have some time to play my guitar, which is a passion of mine.”

Evan Conley appeared in seven games for Louisville last season, throwing for 613 yards and four touchdowns. (Louisville photo)

Conley and the rest of the Cardinals never returned to campus after leaving for spring break in March. The team concluded its seventh practice of the spring before getting a vacation.

However, that vacation has been an extended one.

“At first it was nice to get a big break because we don’t get to be home very often,” Conley said. “But it got old pretty quick and now pretty much everyday everyone is just wishing we could be back. You really look back and appreciate everything you had access to up at school.”

Typically, Conley would be spending time with his teammates, working hard and grinding together in the weight room and on the practice field. However, this time apart has given Conley some time to re-connect with family members who he hasn’t seen, which has been a reward during these difficult times.

“I’m just getting to see people I don’t always see,” Conley said. “My brother had been studying abroad the previous semester so I hadn’t got to see him too much so it’s been nice to have the whole family together and then my girlfriend goes to school at Emory in Atlanta so it’s pretty rare I get to see her unless I’m home so just being able to be around the people that u love and care about.”

The Georgia native showed immediately that he was ready for the collegiate game as a true freshman last season. Conley appeared in seven games, throwing for 613 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown, including a long touchdown run to secure Louisville’s 62-59 win over No. 17 Wake Forest.

He was named Atlantic Coast Conference Quarterback and Rookie of the Week after throwing for 196 yards and two scores while rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Demon Deacons.

Evan Conley was named ACC Quarterback and Rookie of the Week after throwing for 196 yards in a win over No. 17 Wake Forest last season. (Louisville photo)

“I’ve been staying in shape by whatever means I can,” Conley said. “I’ve been following all of what coach Mike (Sirignano) has sent us and then doing a lot of extra running on my own too. I’ve been in and out of gyms so it’s been a little odd on the weightlifting now that everything is shut down.

“I’m fortunate to have a group of a few close friends that are also college athletes and we have been pushing each other and making sure this time off isn’t being wasted.”

Despite the time away from campus, Conley is keeping his head in his playbook and staying in touch with his teammates despite being spread all over the country.

“We have frequent Zoom meetings as a team, by position, and our leadership group,” Conley said. “I’m also staying active in the group chats we have and making sure our teammates our putting the work in their supposed to just like they are making sure I do.”

“I’ve also been trying to call guys especially those I’m around a lot just to make sure everything is going well and just check in. Dorian Jones called me the other day while I was working out just to show me the snake he caught because he knows I hate snakes so it’s little things like that which help you feel connected,”

For the time being, the Cardinals are waiting for that call so they can return to campus and prepare for what many think will be an exciting 2020 football season.

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