Recruiting hurdles vanish for Cardinals

Louisville's Sugar Bowl appearance, the school's move to the ACC and Charlie Strong's decision to remain at U of L has pushed previous recruiting hurdles away. Cardinal Authority spoke with U of L recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt and has the latest.

During the past few weeks, the nation has watched as the University of Louisville football program claimed another Big East title, secure a BCS bowl birth, become a new member of the ACC and secure its head coach long term.

The program's recent successes, both on and off the field, has also increased U of L's ability to recruit the nation's top players.

"That was obviously a huge push for us during our first week back on the road recruiting," said recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt.

Just a few weeks ago, the Louisville coaching staff was faced with hurdles that have now vanished. Gone are questions about football's stability in a fading Big East Conference and the perception that U of L was a stepping stone for successful college coaches.

"The kids are obviously excited about [ACC membership] because it provides some stability," said Hurtt. The opportunity to win a national championship is still there."

"The big thing is Coach Strong staying in town. The kids needed to see his commitment to the program, along with the rest us staying here, so we can continue to build on what we started."

Louisville currently has seven verbal commitments for the 2013 recruiting class. While a typical recruiting class allows for 25 scholarships, due to the youth of the team and expected turnover, U of L will only have room for 14-17 players this recruiting year.

"The tough thing now, is we have a young football team, so we don't have as many scholarships this year," Hurtt told "It's a gift and a curse. It's a gift because you have a lot of guys returning on our football team, but it's a curse because you don't have a lot of spots for some really good players."

With less than two months remaining until National Signing Day on February 6, the Cardinals will soon welcome prospects to campus for their official visits, with most occurring following the team's Sugar Bowl appearance.

"It's huge," Hurtt said of the future official visits. "For most of them it's the first time that they'll be coming on campus. The big thing is to make sure that they get all the information that they need. It's a critical time."

It's also a time that provides for prospects to visit with current members of the team.

"It gives [prospects] an opportunity to create a relationship with players on the current team and we rely on our players to tell us if guys fit in to who we are as a football team," said Hurtt. "When he's off the field, will he uphold the type of character and standards that we hold for our players and they tell us."

For a current list of Cardinal pledges, click here.

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