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Drayage Brokersin Louisville, KY

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Because a drayage load can mean a few different things, confusion among carriers is common. Many carriers link drayage with going into a port, but that isn't always true. While all drayage loads typically originate from a port of entry, there are often several legs of a drayage journey before a container turns up at its final stop. Legs of a drayage load may include:

Why Are Drayage Companies in Louisville, KY So Important?

You may be thinking, what's so important about drayage? It's such a small step in the container storage transport process. In reality, it's an integral piece needed in the logistics industry and a crucial part of U.S. supply chain management.

To truly understand the importance of drayage, let's use flowers as an example. Most cut flower shipments enter the market from areas in South America until they end up at Dutch auction houses. Once there, wholesalers purchase flowers in bulk and send those products to retail outlets worldwide. Because flowers are perishable, they typically need to be refrigerated and are often shipped in reefer containers. These refrigerated vessels must maintain a certain temp to prevent loss.

Drayage companies like RelyEx allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services. Drayage companies allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind, because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services.

If port drayage is compromised, it can cause delays and even fines. You know the packages you get delivered to your front door from apps like Amazon? Without drayage and drayage brokers, one or two-day shipping times wouldn't even be possible.

As a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, it seems like drayage shipping issues shouldn't exist. But the fact is inefficiencies and congestion are still major problems at ports. Whether it's a lack of carriers, absent chassis, or overburdened terminals, delays lead to missed deadlines, lost revenue, and worse.

But anytime challenges exist, so too do innovative solutions.

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 Drayage Louisville, KY


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RelyEx Solves Problems

At RelyEx, we like to consider ourselves problem solvers. The nature of the container drayage industry presents new challenges every day, but we're firm believers that there's a solution to every hurdle we encounter. And while some drayage businesses implement a reactive approach, RelyEx customers choose us for our proactive mindset. We take pride in solving your company's drayage challenges to help you avoid frustrating fees, missed expectations, and delayed shipments. We strive to make every transaction successful and streamlined by partnering with shippers who prioritize transparent, prompt, and accurate communication.

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RelyEx Has a Unique Vantage Point

RelyEx approaches your business from the customer's perspective - a unique approach that helps us provide high-quality, effective drayage services. We've been in the customers' shoes, know their pain points, and because of that, provide first-hand solutions to stressful supply chain issues. With over 30 years of collective knowledge, our team excels in:

  • Inventory Management
  • Logistics
  • Purchasing
  • Finance

Our varied, high-level drayage shipping experience helps us achieve our overarching goal: expertly managing your freight movement needs. That way, you can direct your time and focus on growing the core aspects of your business while we handle the heavy lifting. Throw in proactive planning to avoid bottleneck situations and strong communication for transparent customer relations, and you can see why so many companies trust RelyEx.

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RelyEx Nurtures Strong Carrier Relationships

When it comes to shipping logistics, it only takes one mistake by a mediocre worker to disrupt your business. That's why, at RelyEx, we pride ourselves on forming and nurturing relationships with carriers who match our standards of care. Our founding partner started his career transporting freight for companies as an on-demand carrier. He uses that knowledge to maximize the resources of our carriers so that our customer's expectations aren't just met - they're exceeded.

Based in the port city of Louisville, RelyEx has a keen understanding of the challenges of managing the inbound and outbound flow of containers. Our team of container drayage experts provides your business with unique solutions to nuanced shipping problems, minimizing demurrage and ensuring the successful delivery of your freight.

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Customers choose RelyEx because:

  • We are a reliable drayage logistics partner that manages your freight from beginning to end
  • We have a rare industry vantage point with 30+ years of client-side experience
  • We foster and fortify the strongest vendor relations
  • We take a proactive approach to problem-solving, not a reactive approach
Let us know how we can help.
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Your Drayage Shipments Managed from Start to Finish

Some drayage brokers don't care how customers feel about their service as long as they sign a contract and get paid. As a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx takes the opposite approach. We're motivated by the opportunity to overachieve for our customers and to provide them with the best logistics experience possible. With professional experience as carriers and shippers ourselves, we know the roadblocks and challenges you're facing. We excel at mapping out the best plans of action to solve those problems. But that's just the start.

Our tracking experts monitor and manage every aspect of your drayage shipment from booking to delivery, 24/7. Once booked, we look for the availability of your containers hourly once they're at port. When they arrive, our team acts quickly to access your storage containers when they're available.

Plus, RelyEx ensures your company's requirements are met by the carrier during loading and delivery and provide necessary documentation as fast as possible. With real-time tracking updates and access to our customer service professionals, your team has complete visibility throughout the shipping process.

We Source Top-Notch Operators at the Best Prices

Over the years, RelyEx has built a strong network of drayage carriers, transloading locations, and container storage spaces to provide you with the best possible options to match your drayage service needs. We know that searching for quality service presents an added layer of complexity and stress to our customers. That's why we work hard to take that off your plate by connecting you with our reliable shipping partners.

With a background moving freight as an on-demand carrier, our founding partner understands how to maximize the resources and equipment of our carriers to match your needs.

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 Drayage Services Louisville, KY

We Make Transparent, Timely Communication a Priority

Like other industries, the global logistics space is complex. Mistakes will be made, and problems will happen. With those truths in mind, RelyEx has built its reputation as problem solvers. Unlike other drayage companies, we don't shy away from this industry's complexities because we take pride in solving problems. Even better, we aim to do what's needed to avoid those problems altogether.

As your logistics partner, we will provide your company with accurate, transparent, and prompt communication. If there are unexpected issues, we'll notify you immediately and will provide several options to remedy the problem. We even offer custom reporting for large clients who need at-the-moment updates and quick access to shipment documentation.

We Have Robust Project Management Experience

Why let the unpredictability of your industry dictate your success? With a background working in manufacturing, our founders are familiar with the demands of managing production schedules and sales orders. That experience makes it abundantly clear to us that every business and industry is different. If you struggle with seasonal surges or other factors, our team supports your business with a mapped-out plan and schedule, so you stay ahead of the game.

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Paperwork Errors

Typically, shippers need four specific documents to clear shipments through customs: A Bill of Lading (or BOL), a commercial invoice, a packing list, and an arrival notice. Seasoned drayage brokers like RelyEx are used to preparing these documents, but new shippers tend to miss this step due to inexperience.

Payment Delays

If a shipper only pays for part of their shipment, a vessel operator may refuse to release their freight until their bill is fully paid. Payment delays lead to cargo detention at the port of entry, which triggers demurrage charges.


Documents Received Too Late

Paperwork is needed when you're shipping goods with a drayage company. When documents like the Certificate of Origin or Bill of Lading arrive at their destination late, you can expect demurrage fees. RelyEx avoids this situation entirely by being proactive when submitting paperwork.

Additional causes for demurrage fees can include:

  • Damaged Container Storage
  • Custom Released Containers
  • Storage Containers Are Too Heavy

Free Consultation


The Supply Chain Partner You Can Count On

At RelyEx, we know first-hand how stressful supply chain problems can be for business owners. Though drayage shipping might seem minor on the surface, it affects every stage of your shipping process. And when inevitable hurdles manifest, RelyEx propels you over the proverbial roadblocks with a proactive mindset and a passion for challenging projects. We believe that all problems have a solution, and our unique vantage point allows us to provide first-hand solutions to customers in a wide array of industries.

When it comes to your business, don't settle for anything less than RelyEx. Contact our office today to learn more about how we make your shipping experience streamlined and stress-free.


Latest News in Louisville, KY

Investigation into deaths at LMDC finds that many could have been prevented

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —An investigation into the recent deaths inside the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections has found many of them could have been prevented.Many of the issues were traced back right to the building itself. The report calls the jail "antiquated and woefully inadequate." But it also found a big cultural problem, which included sexual harassment and not following basic safety protocols.For close to a year, former FBI agent David Beyer has been investigating LMDC. This inc...


An investigation into the recent deaths inside the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections has found many of them could have been prevented.

Many of the issues were traced back right to the building itself. The report calls the jail "antiquated and woefully inadequate." But it also found a big cultural problem, which included sexual harassment and not following basic safety protocols.

For close to a year, former FBI agent David Beyer has been investigating LMDC. This included a close examination of nine of the recent deaths inside the jail.

Lawsuit claims woman was neglected, mistreated before taking her life at LMDC

"I truly believe that most of these incidents could have been prevented had we had a better jail — one that's called a direct supervision model," Beyer said.

The Lexington jail uses that model and houses a similar number of inmates, according to Beyer.

It's had three overdose deaths and zero suicides in the last 23 years, while Louisville's jail had 12 suicides and seven overdoses in the last 15 years, according to data presented in the report.

Beyer said the direct supervision model gives officers a direct line of sight from their posts without having to rely on cameras.

"If I'm a control room officer, I can see everybody in this room and what they're doing. I don't have to look at cameras and wonder what they're doing down in the hall around the corner," Beyer said.

During his visits to the jail, Beyer found officers in the control rooms are often responsible for monitoring 100-120 cameras due to limited staffing.

Beyer's investigation revealed jail cameras actually captured two overdose victims using drugs inside their cells prior to their deaths, but officers didn't catch them in real-time.

"It's a great idea to put more cameras but if you don't have someone looking at the cameras it's not going to help you any," Beyer said.

13th death inside Louisville Metro Corrections brings new calls to end cash bail

The investigation also found officers failed to conduct regular observation checks or in some cases, logs were falsified or incomplete. Beyer believes that's a result of a problem in the culture, one that also includes sexual harassment.

In each of his more than 60 interviews, when asked Beyer was told sexual harassment was a problem in the jail.

"There wasn't one person that ever said, 'No, it's not a problem,'" Beyer said.

Further questioning revealed reports of men exposing themselves and women being groped.

"For somebody to think that they can do that on the job. There's got to be something wrong either with the recruiting of people, training the people, or the culture that allows something like that to happen," Beyer said.

Beyer partly blamed the jail's problems on shortcomings in leadership under previous LMDC director Dwayne Clark.

"The leadership was either bogged down with daily minutia or didn't have the vision to look forward to what needed to be done and cease upon technology that was readily available," Beyer said.

Current LMDC director, Jerry Collins, has addressed a number of issues inside the jail since taking over but says that improving the culture is going to take more time.

Former FBI agent investigating Louisville Metro Corrections calls jail 'woefully inadequate'

Collins already added new sexual harassment training and adopted stronger policies, which has led to some staff members being fired.

"Unfortunately folks had to be made an example of. There's a zero tolerance and we had to get rid of some folks," Collins said. "Culture takes time and we will continue to do that and we will continue to increase training and we'll try to attract the best people and keep the best people and that's all we can do at this point."

New Metro Corrections director gives first jail update to Louisville Metro Council

While presenting the report's findings to the Louisville Metro Council Wednesday night, Beyer made sure to acknowledge that most of the officers are hardworking and want the jail to be a success.

"There are so many good employees here at corrections. Wonderful, passionate people," Beyer said.

He also praised the work Collins has done several times during his presentation.

"He's been here just less than a year. Today, he gave me a three-page document of all the different things that he's done that will be included in my report," Beyer said. "He's brought in what I think is a really professional executive management team that are doing an excellent job."

While Collins had to let go of some officers in order to correct the culture, he says he's also brought on a lot of new officers. They also began accepting lateral recruits.

Collins also began recruiting retired officers to return to the jail to relieve current officers of some of their duties so they could remain on the jail floors. Some of those duties included transporting incarcerated individuals to other jurisdictions.

Those transports have helped reduce the jail's population to just under 1,300, according to Collins. That's down from 1,630 in September 2021 when FOP officials first sounded the alarm on conditions in the jail. The jai's capacity is 1,353.

But Beyer warned until a new facility is built, problems will remain.

"The implications of staying with what we have are potentially severe to this community," Beyer said.

Under Collins' orders, the jail began tracking how often the jail was administering Narcan. According to Beyer's report, between April 2022 and January 2023 jail staff administered 144 doses to 69 patients.

"It again highlights the issue that we still have that we need to get control of contraband in this facility," Beyer said.

FBI launching investigation after 3 inmates found dead at Louisville Metro Corrections

The FBI is currently investigating three deaths at the jail for potential civil rights violations.

Beyer cautioned that more deaths inside the jail could trigger a Department of Justice investigation into the jail.

"It is tremendously time-consuming. It's tremendously expensive and you lose so much control over what you do and how you do it," Beyer said.

Beyer's complete 300-page written report on the investigation is expected to be released within the next week.

'Seattle roots': Louisville WBB excited for reunions — and apple juice — in NCAA Sweet 16

Louisville expects to have a home court advantage when it faces eighth-seeded Ole Miss in Seattle on Friday night.The ...

Louisville expects to have a home court advantage when it faces eighth-seeded Ole Miss in Seattle on Friday night.

The NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game will be a homecoming of sorts for junior guard and Washington native Hailey Van Lith and junior forward Olivia Cochran, who was born in Seattle.

“We have some Seattle roots going on here,” U of L sophomore guard Merissah Russell said. “Hopefully everybody can show up in that red. People are gonna be surprised about how many fans we have down there just because of this girl (Van Lith).”

Van Lith grew up about 150 miles east of Seattle in Wenatchee, Washington. Three years ago in the city of Yakima, southeast of Seattle, she played her final high school basketball game for Cashmere, scoring 27 points in a loss in the WIAA state championship.

Making the trip:What it'll cost to watch Louisville women's basketball NCAA Tournament action in Seattle

“I haven't been to see my family in a while,” Van Lith said. “A lot of my grandparents have suffered from some illnesses lately, so they haven't been able to travel and watch me play. Just getting to play in front of those people in my hometown is going to be really special for me and it's really important for my parents, too, getting to bring me back home.”

Cochran, who spent the first three years of her life in Seattle before moving to Georgia, said she still has some family in the city. And her mother will be making the trip.

“I don't even remember half of the things that was going on there, but I'm very excited to go back,” Cochran said. “It's gonna be exciting, though. I'm ready.”

But there's another treat for the fifth-seeded Cardinals awaiting them in Seattle — apple juice.

Louisville vs Ole Miss WBB:What to know about NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 matchup in Seattle

The Cardinals have become big fans of Tree Top apple juice ever since they played the University of Washington in Seattle last season.

Van Lith’s family made the nearly two-and-a-half-hour drive to see the Cardinals beat the Huskies 61-53, and her mother gave the team bottles of the apple juice before their win. It was an instant hit.

Cochran said she had “four or five” bottles and plans to bring a case back to Louisville following this week's trip to Seattle.

“Me and Merissah talked about it before the game (against Texas),” fifth-year guard Mykasa Robinson said. “We're like, 'Listen, we need to win. We got to get to that apple juice.'”

Making her name:How a simple question changed Louisville's Hailey Van Lith's approach to basketball, brand

U of L routed Texas 71-53 on Monday in Austin, Texas, to earn its Sweet 16 berth, a trip to Seattle and more Tree Top apple juice.

According to the Northwest Horticultural Council, Washington produces 90% of the nation’s organic apple crop, with Gala apples making up 19.5% of that. The fruit was named Washington’s state symbol in 1989 to celebrate the state's 100th year in the union.

“It’s elite,” Van Lith said. “I'm not a big juice person. I wouldn't say it's my favorite. I just know it's fire and my teammates (are) juice people.”

Heart and soul:How Louisville women's basketball captain Mykasa Robinson found strength in vulnerability

The Van Liths will be back in full force this weekend when the Cards and Rebels tip at 10 p.m. ET Friday at Climate Pledge Arena. Win, and U of L will face either No. 2 seed Iowa or No. 6 seed Colorado in the Elite Eight on Sunday in Seattle.

Van Lith's parents, brother, sister and grandparents were given tickets from her allotment that is provided as a player. But more family and friends are expected to be in attendance. And Van Lith’s mom is expected to come through again with the juice.

Reach Louisville football, women's basketball and baseball beat writer Alexis Cubit at and follow her on Twitter at @Alexis_Cubit.

'We kind of hit the jackpot'; Archaeologists unearth history buried beneath Oxmoor Farm

One-room slave cabins, first built of wood and then brick and stone, hold the remaining pieces of a past buried more than a foot beneath the surface.LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An archaeological dig on Louisville's oldest working farm is uncovering a piece of Kentucky's past you won't find in the history books.Nestled 8 miles outside of downtown is Oxmoor Farm. It was home to five generations of the Bullitt Family, dating back to the Revolutionary War.A Vi...

One-room slave cabins, first built of wood and then brick and stone, hold the remaining pieces of a past buried more than a foot beneath the surface.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An archaeological dig on Louisville's oldest working farm is uncovering a piece of Kentucky's past you won't find in the history books.

Nestled 8 miles outside of downtown is Oxmoor Farm. It was home to five generations of the Bullitt Family, dating back to the Revolutionary War.

A Virginian named Alexander Bullitt purchased the land in 1787 and built what became the family's home until 2005. Today, the Bullitt Homestead Preservation is a trust overseen by Stock Yards Bank, preserving 235 years of history.

"It all comes back to life for you when you step on the property," Shirley Harmon, Oxmoor Farm's curator, said. "This house, it's like walking through three centuries of American history. The Colonial period, to the Antebellum years and then, into the 20th century and it's all under one roof."

Credit: WHAS11 News

The Kentucky Archaeological Survey has been digging inside the Oxmoor Farm buildings to uncover a picture of what life was like for those enslaved.

Today, guests can tour the property and the many outbuildings that predate the Civil War -- from a spring house to an ice house, a hemp barn, two outdoor kitchens and a smokehouse.

Just to the left of the long drive leading up to the home are four former slave dwellings. It's something many locals never knew existed here.

At one point, in 1815, more than 100 slaves worked and lived on this farm. Harmon said these slave dwellings typically didn't survive past 1865, but these four did because they remained in use for more than a century later.

"We still farm about 260 acres so it's the oldest continually working farm in Jefferson County. It's mainly corn, wheat and soybeans these days. Back in the 1800s, it was hemp," Harmon said.

The one-room slave cabins, first built of wood and then brick and stone, hold the remaining pieces of a past buried more than a foot beneath the surface.

"Earth builds up over time and that layer got buried, but we found it," Lori Stahlgren, the project archaeologist with Kentucky Archaeological Survey said.

Credit: WHAS11 News

Lori Stahlgren holds one of the more interesting finds from the dig site: a machete that was found laying against a wall of a slave cabin.

Stahlgren's spent the last year and a half digging inside the buildings at Oxmoor Farm uncovering a better picture of what life was like for the enslaved.

"When you find certain things, you really touch the past," she said. "It allows you to have empathy and gives you a space to think about how the past influences today."

Her team got involved when Oxmoor Farm decided to convert these slave dwellings into a museum space. They had no clue what they'd find.

"We kind of hit the jackpot," Stahlgren said.

In the center of one dwelling is a pit cellar, the 1800s version of a mini fridge.

"You would've stored root vegetables, eggs, and butter, squash, all kinds of food. You would've stored it to use on a daily basis," Stahlgren said.

Credit: WHAS11 News

A unique collection of artifacts that's been uncovered at Oxmoor Farm including nails, bones from food, coins, corset hooks, straight pins and more.

Today, she's helped uncover a unique collection of artifacts including nails, bones from food remains, and coins.

"We don't usually find very many intact pieces, because this is the stuff that didn't matter to people because they left it behind," Stahlgren said. "We find garbage. You would not believe how much your garbage can tell about you."

The corset hooks, straight pins and embroidery scissors tell the story of the women on this land.

"Why they had all these coins, who they sewed for, what they were eating. Just their day-to-day life, which we have no record of," she said. "We have found descendants of enslaved people who used to live here before the Civil War. They've come out and helped with the excavation and been really touched and excited. These are things their people may have touched. It gives them a sense of ownership."

Credit: WHAS11 News

Felicia Jamison has turned the archaeological dig site into a history lesson for her class at UofL.

Felicia Jamison is used to digging in the archives -- not the dirt.

"When you walk over to the former slave dwellings, it's a humbling experience," Jamison said.

She's turned this project into a history lesson for her comparative humanities class at the University of Louisville, giving students a hands-on experience.

"My favorite thing was part of a pot. When I found it, I didn't know what I was doing. I called Lori over and said, I found a thing, I think. And she took over," Hayley Salo, a UofL second-year Ph.D. student said.

Stahlgren says one of the most interesting pieces discovered inside a slave cabin was a machete, found laying against a wall.

"They may have used it to chop vegetables. But they also may have used it to feel safe. And maybe they would have never used that because the potential repercussions would have been horrible. But just having it may have been empowering. Reclaiming some of the humanity that enslavement stole," Stahlgren said.

The digging continues at Oxmoor Farm, but this Wednesday, UofL students are giving a presentation to the community about their findings. It's from 4:30-6 p.m. inside the home's library and is free to attend. Guests will need to register online at The property is not open to the public on a regular basis just yet.

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Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Opponent Breakdown: Louisville Cardinals Offense

I decided to do something a little different this year and go through the week of the spring game as if UofL were playing an actual opponent. So, we’re going to breakdown the offense and defense as if they were a real opponent and hopefully it provides some insight into the team under a new staff.Jack Plummer will be the starter for Louisville after transferring in from Cal. He has experience in Jeff Brohm’s system from his time at Purdue where he was a starter for an extended period of time. After playing a year at Cal, h...

I decided to do something a little different this year and go through the week of the spring game as if UofL were playing an actual opponent. So, we’re going to breakdown the offense and defense as if they were a real opponent and hopefully it provides some insight into the team under a new staff.

Jack Plummer will be the starter for Louisville after transferring in from Cal. He has experience in Jeff Brohm’s system from his time at Purdue where he was a starter for an extended period of time. After playing a year at Cal, he comes to Louisville with a pedigree of being a strong game manager with the potential to excel with a solid group of skill position players around him.

The second group will be headed by a rotation of quarterbacks as the staff looks to land on a backup quarterback. Brock Domann will likely get the first snaps with Evan Conley, Khalib Johnson, and Pierce Clarkson following him in some order.

Domann has the experience after starting a couple of games last year but Clarkson is the guy that comes in with the highest pedigree. He is the son of a quarterback coach and he comes in as the highest-rated quarterback recruit Louisville has signed since Teddy Bridgewater.

Running back is the one position on offense that returns the top player from last season. Jawhar Jordan returns after taking over the starting role late in the season and breaking out for 111 yards per game and 7.4 yards per carry over the last five games of the season. Jordan had shown fans that he was a tough runner who finished off his carries with power but he finally had a few breakout runs last year that showed his ability to make people miss and then run away from them.

Maurice Turner has had a strong spring and he should be the next man up in the rotation. A huge bowl game seems to have been a nice springboard for Turner as he has shown off impressive speed and elusiveness over the last month. He will team with Isaic Guerundo to spell Jordan and provide the potential for big plays in the run game. Guerundo transferred in from Wisconsin after being buried a bit on the depth chart. However, his time on the field was impressive as a running back, pass catcher out of the backfield, and return man.

Louisville was in need of a revamp of the wide receiver room before Scott Satterfield left for Cincinnati but the prospect of playing for Jeff Brohm’s offense seems to have really helped the staff improve the position group in a serious way. Jamari Thrash is the crown jewel of the transfer class and he has looked the part during spring practices. I would expect him to be the player that could cause the defense the most issues.

The depth at receiver will likely be on full display this weekend as guys like Kevin Coleman and Jimmy Calloway will step into the spots opened by Tyler Hudson and Braden Smith moving on. Jadon Thompson (if healthy enough to play) and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce will also be in the mix with the first group. Add in William Fowles, the highly touted true freshman and UofL has more options than they’ve had in a few years. Keep an eye out for Cataurus Hicks who is a speedy slot receiver in the mold of Tutu Atwell.

Jeff Brohm has an easy sell to tight end recruits because he can just point to all of the guys who are in the NFL right now. The current Louisville group doesn’t have a proven commodity but the potential is there for a couple of young guys. Francis Sherman will be the likely starter but I would look for Jamari Johnson to get a lot of snaps this weekend. Nate Kurisky is another guy to keep an eye on.

A position of concern for Louisville when it comes to depth is the offensive line. The Cards have to replace two starters on the interior but each of the linemen. Quarterbacks aren’t live during the scrimmage but how this group handles a very good defensive front when it comes to clearing up space for the running backs to work with.

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How time away from hoops prepared guard Skyy Clark for key role with Louisville basketball

Skyy Clark returned to his family's home in Atlanta for Christmas break after Illinois basketball's 22-point loss to Missouri on Dec. 22. The ...

Skyy Clark returned to his family's home in Atlanta for Christmas break after Illinois basketball's 22-point loss to Missouri on Dec. 22. The 6-foot-3 freshman guard went scoreless in 19 minutes of run, but what happed on the court quickly became an afterthought.

Clark knew his father, Kenny Clark, had been struggling with diabetes. But during his trip home for the holidays, he finally saw firsthand just how much it was impacting his quality of life.

"Barely being able to see; heart getting affected," said Kenny Clark, who attributed the symptoms to his lack of a sound diet and workout plan. "Legs in constant pain; feet in constant pain."

Skyy Clark rejoined Illinois and scored just two points while playing 20 minutes in a Jan. 4 loss at Northwestern. Two days later, with the Fighting Illini sitting at 9-5 and winless in Big Ten play, he announced he was stepping away from basketball in a now-deleted tweet, writing: "This decision has nothing to do with basketball, but it does have everything to do with prioritizing myself and my family’s wellbeing."

"I didn't really feel comfortable with just leaving my dad alone," Clark told The Courier Journal last week. "I'm also the oldest of six kids, so being there for them at the time was a huge thing for me, as well."

Skyy Clark:Former Illinois guard, UK signee joins Louisville basketball via transfer portal

On May 27, Clark will arrive in Louisville as a key member of head coach Kenny Payne's rebuilding process. A former Kentucky signee who was the first of six Illinois players to enter the NCAA transfer portal this offseason, Clark signed his National Letter of Intent with U of L last week and as point guard will be asked to orchestrate the Cardinals' collection of newcomers and returners on the court.

"His ability to score, distribute and run a basketball team as a leader is what we need," Payne said last week in a news release. "In order to truly change a culture, you need guys that have the mental makeup on and off the court to do the right things, and he's an example of one of the players that this community will love watching grow."

With U of L coming off its worst season in modern program history and losing its primary ballhandler, El Ellis, a lot will be riding on Clark, who said the past year has prepared him well. He's learned what is required to compete at the college level and demonstrated his ability to put others above himself.

"I promise that I'll do everything I can," he said, "to do everything for the team and for the city."

'No-brainer':Why Trentyn Flowers reclassified, picked Louisville basketball

Louisville basketball transfer tracker:Eight leave Cards; El Ellis commits to Arkansas

'He leaned on me'

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood supported Clark when he announced his departure from the program, but the move left more questions than answers after Clark chose to not disclose publicly what his father was going through.

"We didn't want anybody feeling bad for me," Kenny Clark said. "We handled our stuff in house; we do it privately. That's why we never felt the need to explain anything to anybody."

Clark continued to put in work on the court with trainers at Overtime Elite, an Atlanta-based professional league for emerging young talent where one of his brothers, ZZ Clark, plays. In between sessions, he would take his father to doctor's visits or the gym, pick up his medication and prick his fingers for blood tests.

"He's basically a registered nurse right now," said Kenny Clark, who's now close to full strength. "He knows everything, all the ins and outs of diabetes, and how to deal with a diabetic in a worsening condition. He's actually been very prominent in helping me get myself back to health."

Clark said he was just returning the favor to someone who has "been nothing but amazing to me and my siblings." The process, he said, helped him mature.

"For me to be able to have a chance where he trusted me and he leaned on me for help, I don't even know how to explain it in words, really," he said. "It's just an amazing feeling."

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'A whole new, better version'

To establish himself as a leader among his new Louisville teammates, Clark took it upon himself to collect everyone's phone numbers and create a group chat. There, they eagerly discuss the start of summer workouts, crack jokes on one another and take baby steps toward building on-court chemistry.

"I think that's the biggest thing you got to have with a team — trust," Clark said. "Once you lay that foundation, it just keeps on building from there."

While others are putting their trust in him, Clark has also been working on trusting himself after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee during the summer of 2021 and missing most of his senior season at Montverde (FL) Academy while recovering from reconstructive surgery. He said some of his performances during his shortened freshman season at Illinois "weren't what I wanted" but called his stint with the Fighting Illini "a learning experience" to get back to where he was physically and mentally before the injury — before certain moves prompted fears of getting hurt.

"I think I'm really close to rediscovering that," Clark said, "and revamping that to a whole new, better version."

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In signing with Louisville, Clark said he and his family are putting their trust in Payne to continue his development. Across 24.4 minutes per game during 13 appearances (12 starts) in his first collegiate season, Clark totaled 91 points on 41.1% shooting with an average of 2.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds per contest.

Very little went right for the Cardinals during a 4-28 finish to Year 1 of the Payne era, but Clark has gotten positive feedback from returning players like Mike James and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield about the steps they took as individuals working with the head coach and his staff.

"I honestly think (Payne) achieved a lot more than people think," Clark said. "He really helped build some of those kids' confidence to really develop their games."

Kenny Clark added, "He's someone I can pass my son onto and I know he's gonna make him a better person and get him ready for life."

Reach Louisville men's basketball reporter Brooks Holton at and follow him on Twitter at @brooksHolton.


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