By Conner Farrell —

Former running back Jeremy Smith has returned to the football program.

The senior transferred from Louisville in December 2017, granted to play his final year of eligibility elsewhere. Smith  ran for five carries during the 2017 season before a foot injury put him on the sidelines.

Hoping to land at a different school for his final year of eligibility, Smith never found another team. Last week, the tailback returned to the Cardinals for his redshirt senior season.

Smith arrived at U of L in 2015 by way of Fresno City College. He had a breakout 2016 season with 362 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, causing fans to expect him as the feature back in 2017.

Smith’s eight touchdowns were second most on the team behind Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. Also impressive were his 6.7 yards per carry.

At 6-foot-2 and 225 lbs., Smith is both a bruiser and workhorse. The powerful running back has a nose for the end zone, so he should be a welcome sight to a Cardinal backfield.

What Smith’s return means going forward

Adding quality depth to a position is essential for the Cards to succeed in 2018. With Smith in the fold, Louisville will have more options behind redshirt sophomore Jawon Pass.

Trey Smith is the leading running back on the depth chart, so Smith will have to find his niche in the offense as the season progresses. Numerous backs populate a crowded backfield, so the redshirt senior still needs to prove himself alongside Dae Williams and Colin Wilson.

Nonetheless, head coach Bobby Petrino should count himself lucky to have Smith back on his team. If Jeremy can match or better his total of eight touchdowns from 2017, then Louisville will have gained much needed boost on the ground.

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Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal