Louisville, under Strong's direction, is making progress on the field, evidenced by a hard-fought loss at No. 25 Oregon State last week. The Cardinals are also making headway on the recruiting front, evidenced by a 2011 recruiting class that has vaulted to No. 27 in the Scout.com rankings after the latest commitment from three-star Port Saint Lucie, Fla., defensive back Terrell Floyd.
Floyd, rated one of the Top 100 prospects in Florida, verbally committed to Louisville Wednesday without ever stepping foot on campus. How did the Cardinals pull that off? Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt, who is in Florida recruiting during the Cardinals bye-week, deserves much of the credit.
"I talked to Coach Hurtt today and he just told me about how the depth chart looks and that I can go up there and play early," Floyd told InsideTheVille.com. "Me and my mom have sat down and talked about a decision for the past two weeks. We came to the conclusion that it was the best school for me. I like Charlie Strong and feel that he's going to change the program. So that was a part of my decision, too."
Floyd, obviously, is familiar with Strong from his coaching days at Florida. He also knows that Strong has assembled a strong coaching staff at Louisville.
"He brought in a lot of good coaches like [UofL DC] Coach [Vance] Bedford," said Floyd. "He's got a good coaching staff and he's bringing in good players, too. And I've had a good bond with Coach Hurtt from the get-go. We've joked around since the first time we talked on the phone and he had a big impact on my commitment."
Floyd, who held more than a dozen scholarship offers, said he chose Louisville over West Virginia. Floyd said he and his mother reached the conclusion that Louisville offered better opportunity than its Big East rivals.
"My pick was between Louisville and West Virginia," Floyd said. "That was the two schools that I was thinking about going to. [My] mom did a lot of research on both schools and she liked what Louisville brought to the table both academically and on the field. That had a big impact on her."
Louisville has enjoyed recruiting success in the Port St. Lucie area recently. Last year, the Cardinals signed Treasure Coast HS standout linebacker Deon Rogers, and hold a commitment from Rogers' former teammate Mike Romano.
"I've talked to Mike," Floyd said. "He's been there and he was telling me that it's a nice school and the [facilities] were nice. He kind of helped me because he had been there."
Strong's staff believes Floyd is capable of playing either cornerback or safety because of his size, speed and physical style of play. Though he plays safety in high school, the Cardinals probably will give him an opportunity at cornerback.
"They've told me they want to put me at cornerback, but they said they can see me at safety, too," said Floyd. "They say they're going to move me around a little bit. I'm going to try to hit you as hard as I can. Every time I get a chance I'm going to put a hat on you."
Floyd plays both ways in high school. Offensively, Floyd has 84 rushing yards and 82 receiving yards and has scored three touchdowns this season. On defense, Floyd says he's made 20-30 tackles.
"We have two tough losses, but I think we're looking pretty good," Floyd said. "I think I'm doing pretty good and the team is looking pretty good this year."
Though Floyd hasn't made a visit to Louisville, he plans to do so soon. He also sounds solid about his decision to commit to Strong's Cardinals.
"I haven't visited yet, but I'm going to soon," Floyd said. "I don't have a date set, but I'm going to visit. It will probably be during the middle of the season during a bye-week."
"I'm pretty firm," added Floyd. "I don't think I'm going to check out any more schools."