Bye-week? UL scores big on recruiting trail

Charlie Strong's staff didn't rest on their laurels during the bye-week. With no game to prepare for, Strong's assistants hit the recruiting trail and picked up a slew of commitments that has vaulted Louisville's 2011 recruiting class to the brink of the Top 25.

What did Charlie Strong's coach staff do during the bye-week?


With no game to prepare for after last week's encouraging road loss at Oregon State, Strong's assistants hit the recruiting trail with a purpose.

Calvin Pryor
Defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and wide receiver coach Ron Dugans crisscrossed the state of Florida in search of talent and delivered three talented new commitments.

The first commitment came from Calvin Pryor, a three-star prospect from Port St. Joe, who is rated the No. 26 safety nationally. One of Dugans' main recruits, Pryor chose Louisville over Maryland and FSU, and has the tools to challenge for a starting job next season.

Hurtt struck next with three-star Port St. Lucie cornerback Terell Floyd. Floyd, the highest-ranked of Louisville's four current corner commitments, is a physical defender who could play either cornerback or safety for the Cardinals.

Terell Floyd
Before returning to Louisville, Hurtt, the former recruiting coordinator at Miami, delivered a commitment from Charles Gaines, one of the top playmakers in south Florida. The Miami Central standout is a significant addition to the Cardinals recruiting class and a perfect compliment at wide receiver to DeVante Parker.

Those three commitments, plus the recent addition of three-star Cincinnati defensive back Chris Dukes, has vaulted Strong's recruiting class all the way up to No. 27 nationally in the rankings.

Now with 20 prospects verbally committed for next season, Louisville has more commitments than any team in the Big East. After finishing toward the bottom of the Big East recruiting rankings under the previous coaching staff, Strong's first full recruiting class currently ranks second in the conference behind Pittsburgh, whose recruiting class ranks No. 15 nationally.

Charles Gaines
The strength of Strong's recruiting class is built around four-star wide receiver DeVante Parker and more than a dozen three-star recruits. Louisville holds commitments from 13 three-star prospects, more than any other Big East team.

Strong's recruiting class also has good balance, with 10 defensive commitments, nine offensive, plus kicker John Wallace. Clearly, finding help in the secondary and on the offensive front were top priorities for Strong's 2011 recruiting class. Louisville holds commitments from six defensive backs – all three-star players – and four offensive linemen. UofL's defensive back crop currently ranks 10th nationally, better than Alabama, Virginia Tech and Michigan State.

With just a handful of slots left in Louisville's 2011 recruiting class, Strong's staff likely will be selective with their remaining scholarships. Some of the top remaining recruiting priorities for the Cardinals: more help on both the offensive and defensive fronts.

Jordan Williams, a three-star defensive end from Gainesville, Fla., is one of Strong's top targets at the position. He visited Louisville this summer, and received a visit from the Cardinals staff last week. He's one to keep a close watch on.

Offensive linemen Josue Matias, a three-star prospect from Union, NJ, and Kaleb Johnson, a three-star prospect from Jacksonville, Fla., are two of Louisville's top prospects on the line. Louisville assistants checked in on both prospects during the bye-week.

Louisville loses four senior starters to graduation on the offensive line, plus top defensive ends Malcolm Tatum and Rodney Gnat.

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