Bridges lands first offer at Louisville

Chandler Bridges missed most of his junior campaign with a knee injury. That's why the 6'5, 275 pound Flowery Branch, Ga. offensive lineman was so excited when he landed his first offer this weekend while attending Louisville's spring game.

Chandler Bridges missed most of his junior campaign with a knee injury. That's why the 6'5, 275 pound Flowery Branch, Ga. offensive lineman was so excited when he landed his first offer this weekend while attending Louisville's spring game.

Bridges played less than two games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Louisville saw enough on film during those two games to extend an early offer.

"He played a game and a half and he played about as good as a kid could play," Flowery Branch coach Chris Griffin said. "If you watch that game you'll see some phenomenal play by him. They probably saw a kid that has one speed and that's all out. And they saw a kid that has tremendous fundamentals, his technique is extremely good and he's athletic for his size. I think they saw enough to know he's a legit guy."

Bridges said he was thankful that Charlie Strong extended an offer this weekend.

"I was very impressed with Coach Strong and his coaches," Bridges said. "I really liked the town a lot. I was humbled by the offer and really appreciate them taking a shot at me. It's a relief because I was worried the [injury] would hurt my recruiting process."

Bridges visited Louisville with his mother and girlfriend. He said his parents have friends that live in Louisville and they attend the Kentucky Derby often. He said they were all impressed with Louisville.

"Coach Strong is a very high character man and seems like he's building a very strong foundation for his program," Bridges said. "I met a couple linemen and they were all very nice. The facilities were very nice."

Bridges said Louisville assistant Dave Borbely told him the Cardinals decided to offer because they were impressed with his athletic ability.

"They told me they were looking for bigger guys that have a lot of athleticism," said Bridges. "He [Dave Borbely] told me he saw my athleticism in the film, really liked my footwork and saw a lot of good technique things. He said they liked my combination of size and athleticism. He said that's what they're looking for the three linemen positions that they have to fill this year."

Though Louisville is his first offer, several other BCS programs are monitoring his recovery from knee surgery this spring. Cincinnati paid a visit to Bridges school on Monday.

"He's gotten a lot of interest from several ACC schools," Griffin said, noting that Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Cincinnati are showing interest. "They want to see how he does this spring and how his knee holds up. It's strong and he feels confident it's stronger now than it was before the injury."

Bridges said he's not in a hurry to make a decision, but lists Louisville, Clemson and Vanderbilt as the top schools he's considering.

"I'm highly considering Louisville right now," said Bridges. "I've got interest in a few other schools, but if I had to pick a top three Louisville would definitely be in there right now. They are high up there on the radar. I'm very impressed with Vanderbilt and also Clemson. I'm keeping my options open and those are the top three I'm considering right now."

Bridges hopes to make a decision before his season gets underway in the fall. "I plan on committing to a school before the start of the school year," Bridges said.

Whichever school lands Bridges will get a good prospect and leader.

"I think the biggest thing with him is his leadership ability," Griffin said. "He'll be one of our captains and he's a phenomenal leader. He does everything you ask him to do and he's a smart football player. He understands the game and he's one of those rare total package guys. He's strong and works hard in weight room. He knows his assignments, gets it done and makes sure everybody does the right thing."


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