There has been a lot of uncertainty in Josh Chichester’s athletic career at the University of Louisville. Uncertainty on who was going to coach the Cardinals, who was going to throw him the football, what position would he play and which sport should he focus on.
Out of high school, Chichester’s athletic ability on both the football field and on the basketball court attracted the attention of many Division I programs. He was actually close to playing football at Ohio State, until the Buckeyes took away their offer. Other schools, Chichester seriously considered for both sports, included Purdue, Illinois, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, to name a few.
“Josh was a tremendous athlete, he had Division I basketball offers as well as football offers,” Lakota West football head coach Larry Cox said. “But he has always, really loved football and that has always been a passion for him.”
Chichester passion for football led him to sign with U-of-L and head coach Bobby Petrino, who left for the Atlanta Falcons job before Chichester participated in a single practice. Chichester described the coaching change as “a tough time” for him and the other recruits. However, he has enjoyed playing for head coach Steve Kragthorpe (hired in 2007 and fired in November of 2009) and for current head coach Charlie Strong.
Meanwhile, his basketball career at U-of-L lasted one year when he averaged 1.8 points in six games for U-of-L head coach Rick Pitino in 2007-2008.
“My ultimate goal is to play professional football,” Chichester said. “As I grew older and wiser, I realized … I couldn’t worry about being a dual-sport athlete, so I decided to drop basketball.”
Chichester was also a dual-position player for the Cardinals last season, splitting time between tight end and wide receiver. Out of high school, he was recruited only as a wide receiver. Currently, in this year’s media guide, the 6-foot-8, 258-pound Chichester is listed as the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart.
“Playing tight end never came up until last year when I was bigger, faster, stronger, which I had to be in order to play the position,” Chichester said. “The transition was not as difficult as I thought it would be. The difficult part was learning the proper blocking techniques and schemes.
“I hope it helps me (reach the NFL), but I was determined to play wide receiver or any other position to help our team.”
In his career, Chichester has 69 receptions for 860 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season, Chichester was tied for the team lead with five touchdown receptions. He also graduated from Louisville with a degree in justice administration. Currently, he is working on his master’s degree.
WHO WILL THROW IT TO CHICHESTER IN 2011: As well as having numerous head coaches, Chichester has seen four different quarterbacks start for the Cardinals during his three seasons on the team. This season, he could see two more if high-touted recruits freshman Teddy Bridgewater or sophomore Dominique Brown (Winton Woods) can wrestle away the starting job from former walk-on junior Will Stein.