Post-Signing Day Breakdown

Now that National Signing Day is over, InsideTheVille.com takes an in-depth look at Charlie Strong's highly-ranked 2011 football recruiting class. We also have the latest on Seneca quarterback DaMarcus Smith.

Though Louisville lost out on a few guys they were hoping for on National Signing Day, overall this is a really good class that will make an early impact for the Cardinals.

Charlie Strong added star power to Louisville's roster, increased speed across the board and met his programs needs at several key positions.

NSD Superlatives

Top Prospect: Teddy Bridgewater. There's no question, Bridgewater is Louisville's quarterback of the future. One of the nation's top quarterbacks, Bridgewater is a dynamic playmaker, tough competitor and a leader on the field.

Offensive Star: DeVante Parker. Parker will be a star for Louisville. The former Ballard star possesses all the qualities to play on Sunday's one day. He's big, fast, and has great hands. Expect lots of big downfield plays from Parker.

Defensive Star: Gerod Holliman. One of the nation's best safety prospects, Holliman is a ball-hawk in the secondary. Look for the four-star recruit to make lots of big plays after intercepting 19 passes the last two seasons in south Florida.

Sleeper Prospect: Brandon Golson. He's not the highest rated guy, but this guy attacks quarterbacks and makes a bunch of tackles in the backfield. Golson will be a nightmare off the edge and he's big, fast, and nasty.

NSD Pickup: B.J. Dubose. Dubose has the talent to start at defensive end right away and could make an impact similar to B.J. Butler. Dubose is big, fast, and gets after quarterbacks.

Key Miss: Kaleb Johnson. Johnson was Louisville's top offensive line prospect heading into signing day. The Cardinals worked Johnson hard, and thought they had a chance until the end. However, Johnson signed with Rutgers on national signing day.

What I like about this class is that it has a lot of SWAGGER. All the Florida guys play with a level of toughness and confidence and i believe this group will help lead Louisville back to the BCS.

Offensively, Teddy Bridgewater is a dynamic quarterback who makes plays and is both a winner and leader. Louisville surrounded him with several big-time playmakers like DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers. OL Ryan Mack and John Miller could see time as freshman.

Defensively, Louisville added some firepower off the edge in B.J. Dubose, Deiontrez Mount and Brandon Golson. Those three guys will create nightmares for opposing quarterbacks. The Cardinals also landed a bunch of stars in the secondary who can stick with opposing wide receivers, make plays on the ball and deliver big hits.

This class is an example of quality over quantity. Though I don't think this class is finished, Louisville didn't take guys just to take them. They were selective. They signed players they believed could help with championships. Only two of the 20 signees were rated lower than three stars. Four guys were rated four-stars, while three were rated on the ESPNU 150.

Several guys could play next season. I'd be surprised if most of the skill players on offense don't play right away. Mack and Miller, who Clint Hurtt describes as a "road grader," could be contributors on the line. If B.J. Dubose is eligible he could make an impact like B.J. Butler. Golson certainly could see action, and a few of the secondary signees like Holliman, Johnson and Pryor will be in the mix.

A key bonus with this class is that 20% are already on campus and will learn the ropes during spring practice. That definitely gives Bridgewater, Reve, Gaines and Golson a head start.

You hate to single out anyone particular, because Charlie Strong's staff busted their humps putting together this recruiting class, but Clintt Hurtt deserves the lion's share of praise for assembling this class. Hurtt was responsible for recruiting the players in Miami-Dade and Broward County, and brought guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Gerod Holliman, Eli Rogers, B.J. Dubose and Andrew Johnson to Louisville.

Smith Decision

As we await DaMarcus Smith's announcement about his college decision, Scout.com's Jason Higdon reported Thursday morning that Smith faxed his letter of intent to UCF Wednesday and will announce that he's headed to play for the Knights.


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