Louisville visit impresses Rankins

Sheldon Rankins has narrowed his list to three finalists – Louisville, Wake Forest and USF - and says his official visit to Louisville helped the Cardinals chances to secure his commitment.

Sheldon Rankins has narrowed his list to three finalists – Louisville, Wake Forest and USF - and says his official visit to Louisville helped the Cardinals chances to secure his commitment.

"It was a real good visit," said Rankins, whose mother accompanied him on his visit. "I liked everything. It was great. The city is not too big, but it's not too small. They have great facilities, the stadium is real nice. I saw the dorms, heard about the academics, the coaching staff was great, players were real cool.

"She (mother) really likes it. The academics really stick out to her. She likes that Coach Strong graduates kids and makes sure they go to class. She really loved everything about it. It was an overall great visit."

A three-star defensive lineman from Covington (Ga) Eastside, Rankins came away impressed with Charlie Strong's staff.

"The coaching staff is great, they really know how to interact with their players," Rankins said. "They'll get on you but at the same time they'll coach you up real good and you become better. Charlie Strong has really turned it around up there. They almost went to the Orange Bowl in his second year. He's really turned it around and I see big things for them in the future."

Rankins, a potential difference maker for Louisville's defensive line, thinks there's a good opportunity to play right away for the Cardinals after watching Strong's team practice this weekend for the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC.

"They said they not only want me, they need me," Rankins said. "They're looking for depth at defensive end and they say I could come right in and I could see playing time very early as a freshman.

"I think No. 91 (Will Savoy) is a senior. I know Marcus Smith and Lorenzo Mauldin will still be there. So there's one guy on each side. Me being able to play both sides I could come in and spell them and maybe even slide in passing rushing situations. It's a real good fit for me. I had never met Marcus until yesterday and me and Marcus kind of hung out in his dorm. He's a real cool guy."

Rankins has a visit scheduled to USF on Jan. 13, but might make an official visit to Wake Forest instead.

"Louisville's right there at the top. They've been on me hard for a while," Rankins said. "I'm looking at maybe an official (visit) to South Florida but I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it there. I might just take an official to Wake Forest. I've already been to South Florida twice on unofficial visits so I know what it's like down there. I know the coaching staff and the players. I'm really looking to take a visit to Wake Forest to see what it's like up there."

Louisville plans to visit Rankins next month before he chooses a college.

"Coach Carter said they would be back down in January," Rankins said.


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