Two years ago, Miami stars Michaelee Harris, Corvin Lamb and Jamaine Brooks headlined Strong's first recruiting class. Last year, South Florida standouts Teddy Bridgewater, Eli Rogers, John Miller, B.J. Dubose and Andrew Johnson were the backbone of Louisville's Top 25-ranked recruiting class, earning Clint Hurtt National Recruiter of the Year honors.
Louisville's Miami stars have helped Strong, the 2010 Big East Coach of the Year, turn the Cardinals into Big East co-champions in short order. Though Louisville missed out on a BCS bowl this season due to Big East tie-breaker rules, the Cardinals, led by a strong contingent from the state of Florida, should challenge for the BCS the next few seasons.
If Brown, Burges and Waters are looking for early playing time, Charlie Strong has proven he's not afraid to play true freshmen – lots of them. If that trio wants to play for a rising program nationally that will challenge for the BCS the next few years, following Bridgewater and company to Louisville makes a lot of sense. And if they want to play for an outstanding coaching staff that has produced NFL talent Charlie Strong has one.
Brown, a 6'2, 230-pound linebacker from Norland H.S., is the star of Strong's impressive group of campus visitors. A four-star prospect, Brown is rated the #12 outside linebacker in the nation.
Brown, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American game, runs a 4.5 forty. As a junior, Brown recorded 142 tackles and four sacks, leading Norland to the state finals. A one-time Miami commit, Brown committed to Illinois before Ron Zook was fired. Louisville hopes to change his mind this weekend.
Brown and Atkins will try to help lead to the Class 5A state championship game for the second straight season when they play Palmetto Friday in the state semifinals. Brown, an early enrollee, leads Norland with more than 100 tackles for the season.
Burgess, Waters and Sibiea are teammates at Holmstead. Burgess, a three-star linebacker, and Waters, a three-star wide receiver, have given Miami verbal commitments. But with the Hurricanes facing NCAA sanctions for recruiting violations, Burgess and Waters are considering all of their options. Louisville has a major need at linebacker, and could use Waters, a speedy playmaker that is also considering Vanderbilt and North Carolina.
Sibiea, a two-star defensive tackle, has already visited Cincinnati. At 6'3, 265, Sibiea is considered athletic enough to play either spot on the defensive line. Louisville hasn't offered Sibiea a scholarship yet. FIU is also in the mix.