So when Louisville assistants Clint Hurtt and Kenny Carter showed up at Rankins home Tuesday, the explosive rush end officially let the cat out of the bag that he had chosen the Cardinals over Wake Forest, where he visited last weekend.
"I did the hat thing today when Coach Hurtt and Coach Carter were here on an in-home visit," Rankins told InsideTheVille.com. "I had decided I was going to go ahead and do it so I acted like I was going to the bathroom and grabbed the Louisville hat that I had got for Christmas and I just came back in there with the hat on and everybody went crazy.
"I just told them I'm a Cardinal and they told me they were glad to have me and welcomed me to the family. Then we called Coach Strong and told him. So it was good to get the (recruitment) over with and I'm happy with the decision I made."
Rankins explained why he chose Louisville over Wake Forest and a slew of other BCS schools.
"(Louisville) is a great academic institution," Rankins said. "They play great football and I love their coaching staff. Hanging with some of their players on my visit they were cool up there. And they see me as a defensive end, which is where I see myself being most successful at the next level. Put all those things together, and add the fact that my family loved them, and that's why I picked them."
An explosive defensive lineman, Rankins has been clocked in the 4.5-4.6 range in the forty yard dash. He used his athleticism to record more than 100 tackles and 24 sacks during his final two years at Covington Eastside.
"I may not be 6'6, but I'm very explosive off the edge," Rankins said. "I've been timed in 40's as low as 4.58…so I'm pretty explosive. I have great pass rush moves and can get to the quarterback, but also I can anchor the point of attack, shed a block, rundown a back in the backfield or blowup a gap. I think I bring everything you need at the defensive end position and I believe I can contribute right away."