Louisville, KY (WAVE) Devonte Fields, the 2013 and 2014 Big XII Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, spoke to the media on Thursday, for the first time since arriving at the University of Louisville.
" I'm very appreciative, words can't even explain how appreciative I am for this second chance," Fields said. " I'm just going to make the best of my opportunity, try to get my degree as well, just be thankful that I'm here really."
Fields was dismissed from TCU after he was charged with assault, in a case that involved his then girlfriend. Those charges were later dismissed. He completed an anger management program.
Fields spent last season at Trinity Valley Junior College.
" I heard all type of negative things but I also was told not to pay attention to all that cause it don't matter," Fields said, adding, "all that was in the past and I'm moving forward."
At media day on Saturday, Cards head coach Bobby Petrino said Fields needed to get in shape to contribute.
" He's continuing to get himself in the kind of shape he needs to be to be a playmaker," UofL defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "We're not there yet with him, but he gets better each time that he takes the field. He wants to work, he wants to improve and you see progress in his play. He's got some instincts to him, as far as locating the ball, finding the ball."
Fields could be used much like Lorenzo Mauldin was in 2014. Mauldin converted from defensive to linebacker and finished the season with 51 tackles and 6.5 sacks. He was a third round pick by the New York Jets in the May NFL draft.
UofL defensive line coach LD Scott says Fields has been a pleasure to coach so far. "He's been awesome, I mean he's been awesome. He's got bright eyes, you know, he really enjoys taking the field and so far we love him."
Fields, a 6-4, 240 pound pass rusher, registered 10 sacks as a freshman at TCU in 2012. He was the 2012 Big XII Defensive Freshman of the Year.