Louisville's main objectives with the 2012 recruiting class were four-fold: restock talent at linebacker; add quality depth and size on both sides of the line; and find immediate impact players at tight end. On all four counts, the Cardinals met their needs.
Let's take a closer look at how Strong's outstanding 2012 recruiting class met Louisville's needs:
Impact Linebacker ClassCharlie Strong need to land a strong group of linebackers and delivered one of the nation's top five ranked groups. Led by U.S. Army All-Americans and four-star prospects Keith Brown and Nick Dawson, Strong signed two of the nation's top linebackers. Brown, who is already enrolled at UofL, and Dawson could emerge as starters early in their careers. James Burgess, a former Miami commit, is one of the top ten linebackers from Florida. Burgess, a Semper Fidelis All-American, also enrolled early at Louisville. Both Brown and Burgess will take part in spring practice for Strong's Cardinals. Together, Brown, Dawson and Burgess comprise the best linebacker class in Louisville history.
Strengthening the TrenchesLouisville's offensive line was a weak-link last season, lacking depth and experience. That won't be the case with the additions of five outstanding offensive line prospects, headlined by three-star prospects DeAndre Herron (6'5, 330), Abraham Garcia (6'6, 345), Sid Anvoots (6'4, 285) and Joe Manley (6'5, 320). Herron and Garcia, who allowed just one sack in four years, are pegged as tackles, while Manley and T.C. Klusman (6'4, 275) project as guards. Anvoots, a first-team Indiana All-State selection, could end up as Louisville's future center.
On the defensive line, Strong landed monster defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown (6'1, 295). Brown was the top defensive tackle on UofL's board and can clog the middle. Sheldon Rankins (6'3, 275) is a talented three-star strong side defensive end who could make an impact next season. Pedro Sibiea (6'3, 265) is raw, but is loaded with potential. All four prospects are impressive athletes who move well and are physical at the point of attack.