UofL aims for Big East's top class

Louisville's 2012 recruiting class ranks below Cincinnati and West Virginia in Scout.com's Big East rankings heading into National Signing Day. Can Charlie Strong's Cardinals close strong enough to claim the Big East recruiting title and a Top 25 national ranking?

Though Louisville's 2012 recruiting class ranks below Cincinnati and West Virginia in Scout.com's Big East rankings, make no mistake about this statement: Charlie Strong's recruiting class is the best in the Big East.

Recruiting rankings are funny thing. While Cincinnati and West Virginia's recruiting classes both are ranked higher than Louisville's heading into National Signing Day, if you look closer you'll find they really aren't better classes.

For one, Cincinnati's recruiting class ranking is based on having 32 commitments. However, schools can only have 25 scholarship players per recruiting class.

West Virginia, which has three more commitments than Louisville's 23, is currently 50 points ahead of the Cardinals in the rankings. The additions of three-star running back Anthony Wales and/or three-star cornerback Sean Draper would likely propel Louisville's recruiting class ahead of the Mountaineers.

More importantly Louisville has more four-star commitments (3) than any other Big East team except WVU, which also has three. Cincinnati has only one four-star recruit. Louisville's average commit ranking of 2.91 is also higher than both Cincinnati (2.66) and WVU (2.85). Louisville has 15 three-star recruits, more than every Big East program besides Cincinnati (22) and WVU (16).

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With National Signing Day approaching, Charlie Strong's recruiting class is also making a push for the national Top 25. Louisville begins the week ranked No. 30 in Scout.com's team rankings, slightly behind both Cincinnati (21) and WVU (29).

Strong's third recruiting class at Louisville is anchored by a linebacker group that ranks fifth-best nationally. Four-star linebackers Keith Brown and Nick Dawson, US Army All-Americans, headline the group, which also includes three-star prospects James Burgess, a Semper Fidelis All-American, and Patrick Jean. Brown, Jean and Burgess are all Top 10 ranked linebackers in Florida.

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