Signing DayLouisville hoped to add a few prospects to the class on signing day, namely Kaleb Johnson, Jon Davis, Elkino Watson, B.J. Dubose and Andrew Buie. While Dubose, a three-star defensive lineman switched his commitment from Miami to Louisville, Johnson, Davis, Watson and Buie all signed elsewhere. Regardless, Strong's second recruiting class is one that should make an impact right away for the Cardinals.
Star PowerFor a program lacking star appeal, Charlie Strong added several big-time players in this recruiting class. Teddy Bridgewater headlines the group. A former five-star recruit, Bridgewater, one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, chose UofL over Miami and could be the Cardinals starting quarterback next season. Louisville also landed U.S. Army All-American safety Gerod Holliman, who led Dade County with 11 interceptions this season, Under Armour All-America wide receiver Eli Rogers, and four-star local products DeVante Parker, one of the nation's Top 25 wide receivers. Bridgewater, Holliman, and Rogers are all members of the ESPN 150.
Florida NorthThe strength of Charlie Strong's first complete recruiting class comes from 11 Florida high school stars. Besides Bridgewater, Holliman and Rogers, Louisville also signed three-star Miami CB Andrew Johnson, three-star Miami WR Charles Gaines, three-star Miami safety Jermaine Reve, three-star Port St. Joe safety Calvin Pryor, three-star Fort Pierce CB Terrell Floyd, three-star Miami OL John Miller, three-star Fort Walton DE Deiontrez Mount and two-star Port Saint Lucie OL Mike Romano. Clint Hurtt, Louisville's recruiting coordinator, made quite a splash in Miami, landing seven of Dade County's top players.
Local FlavorThough Louisville's class was constructed with mostly talent from Florida, Strong locked up several of the top prospects in Louisville. DeVante Parker is the headline local signee, but three-star Fern Creek teammates Jamon Brown and Jalen Harrington are solid prospects.
Needs MetCharlie Strong had a few main goals for this recruiting class. He wanted to increase his team's speed. He wanted to find his program's quarterback of the future. He wanted to strengthen both sides of the line and the secondary. And he wanted to add a few talented playmakers at wide receiver. Mission accomplished. Strong landed eight players who run 4.5 forty's or better, signed an Elite 11 quarterback, signed one of the five-best secondary classes nationally, and stocked up several talented interior lineman. Oh, and Strong also landed one of the nation's best wide receiver/tight end classes.
Offensive PlaymakersTeddy Bridgewater will be surrounded by talented playmakers. DeVante Parker, 6-4, 200, is a talented deep who also makes plays in the middle of the field. The second-best prospect in Kentucky, Parker led the state in receiving and has All-American ability. Eli Rogers, one of the top wide receivers at the Under Armour All-American game, is a dangerous wide receiver that runs great routes and knows how to get separation in the secondary. Charles Gaines was one of the top receivers in south Florida and averaged 18 yards per game.
Lines StrengthenedLouisville sustained heavy losses on the offensive line, losing four of five starters, but Strong landed a solid group of offensive linemen. Three-star offensive tackles Ryan Mack and Aaron Epps, three-star offensive guard John Miller and two-star center Mike Romano form a strong nucleus for the future. On the other side of the line, three-star defensive tackle Jamon Brown and three-star defensive end Deiontrez Mount will strengthen an improving defensive line for the Cardinals.
Strong SecondaryLouisville's secondary needed a major talent upgrade and Strong delivered. In total, Louisville landed two of the Top 12 cornerbacks (Andrew Johnson and Terrell Floyd) from the state of Florida, and two of the Top 10 safety prospects (Holliman and Calvin Pryor). Strong also landed three-star safeties Jalen Harrington and Jermaine Reve for good measure. Only Texas, Ohio State, Florida State and Georgia signed a better group of defensive backs than the Cardinals.
Early ArrivalsMaybe the best thing about Louisville's recruiting class is that four talented players have already enrolled in school and will take part in winter conditioning and spring practice. Teddy Bridgewater is the most important early addition, as he'll get a chance to learn the offense this spring as he tries to win the starting quarterback position. Fellow Miami standouts Charles Gaines and Jermaine Reve also enrolled early, as did Brandon Golson, a talented three-star linebacker who signed with South Carolina, but attended prep school this year.