College Football Preview: Leffews focus on Cards, not NFL

August 18, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Like most major college football players, brothers Bobby and Travis Leffew have National Football League aspirations. However, the two Louisville linemen are intent on staying focused on this season, which starts Sept. 5 when the Cardinals host Kentucky, and not what might happen in the future.

"The NFL really doesn't bother me," said Bobby, a senior defensive lineman. "I am a laid-back kind of person. If I get a chance to go to the next level, I do. It doesn't bother or worry me. I am the same way on game days. I don't get all pumped up or hyped like some guys do.

"Travis is a little different. He's more anxious. He worries more. He's seen that I've got some attention from agents and teams. He gets to thinking about it and asking questions. He wants to know what is going on. Plus, we both have buddies now in the NFL and that makes you think more about it."


Travis, a junior offensive lineman starting for the third year, says his football career has already been full of surprises.

"Growing up I never thought Boyle County would be winning state championships, but now we've accomplished that," Travis said. "Then I never thought getting a Division I scholarship would be possible. I always looked up to my two older brothers and knew they would be good players, but finally I hit my spurt and Louisville gave me a chance to play.

"But I never thought about playing, much less beating, Florida State. Now we get to play Miami this year."

Travis said he realized two years ago that he might have a chance to one day play professional football.

"I finally knew after I made it through one season playing against good teams that I could turn into a good player," Travis said. "I got it in my head that if I kept driving and pushing, I could possibly one day have a professional future.

"But all that talk about how one day you might be able to play on Sundays (in the NFL) has to stay in the back of your head. You have to remember where you came from and what got you to where you are. Bobby has always been real good at that. I just have to realize I am a guy with a little experience who has to get better. When my time (at Louisville) ends next year, then we'll see what happens."

Bobby hopes his time with the Cardinals ends in a major bowl game. Whenever the time comes, he's ready to deal with what lies ahead.

"If I don't make the NFL, then I'll go into the real world," he said. "As soon as I get done with football, I am going to graduate school and get my Master's degree. I would like to coach at the college level, but if that doesn't work out, then I would like to be a high school teacher and coach."

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