University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong and several assistant coaches arrived at the scene not long after junior defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin was hit on his moped by a car on Tuesday morning.
Strong said he spoke with Mauldin at the scene and again later in the Emergency Room at Jewish Hospital where the defensive end will spend the night.
”Under the circumstances, I would say it’s good news,” Strong said of Mauldin, noting “we’ll know more in the morning,” but adding the player said he had “a little pain and soreness more than anything.”
With five days left until the season-opener, Strong addressed the media after practice on Tuesday evening about Mauldin.
“I know everyone is concerned about Lorenzo Mauldin,” Strong said. “He’s going to stay overnight tonight in the hospital for just tests and observations and then we’ll know more about it tomorrow.”
Mauldin was riding his moped down Floyd Street on campus when a car struck him. The car then sped off and police are still searching for the vehicle and the driver.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Mauldin is expected to start at one defensive end spot for the Cardinals. He played 11 games in 2012 and had 6.5 tackles for loss, including a team-best 4.5 sacks. He has already played in 24 career game at U of L.
Strong said most of the team knew about the accident not long after it happened. He updated them on his progress prior to practice and the team went on about business because offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said, “Of all guys, Lorenzo would have wanted us to stay focused.”
While his status for Sunday’s opener against Ohio University at 3:30 p.m. is unknown, Strong said junior B.J. Dubose would get the start if Mauldin can’t go. Strong said he would know more tomorrow after hearing from doctors.
Mauldin is from Atlanta and as a young kid was in 16 foster homes and two group homes, telling Cardinal Authority recently that “this is my family,” in reference to the U of L football program.
”Lorenzo came here, and he was the shyest person any of us ever had met,” Watson said. “He is a totally different person two years later. The transformation in his life made him a totally different person. He’s dear to all of us.
“He’s always in our facility. You’d think he was a member of our staff. He’s always there. I think he had just left here. I did not see him, but the defensive guys said he was just in the office. He’s always here. The players and coaches alike have a love and affection for him.”
Strong echoed those sentiments, noting Mauldin is “an outstanding person.”
”He’s grown up and he’s matured a lot since he has been here,” Strong said. “The players here really respect him and like him.”