Cards momentum continues

The building momentum enjoyed by the Louisville football program has continued during the days following the 33-23 win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl, as a pair of the nation's top prospects have committed to the Cardinals. Cardinal Authority has more on the impact of the latest pledges.

Just days removed from their dominating performance in the Sugar Bowl, Louisville continues to enjoy a run of success.  In the past two days, Charlie Strong has received verbal commitments from two of the nation's best players. 

On Friday, 4-star defensive tackle De'Asian Richardson flipped from an earlier pledge to former conference rival West Virginia to Louisville.  Rated as the nation's 25th best defensive tackle, the product of Orange Park (Fla.) High School, also turned down offers from Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Penn State, South Florida and a host of others.

"At 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, one of the first things that really jumps out at you about Richardson is how athletic he is -- especially for a kid his size," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Mike Bakas.

Richardson's commitment moved the Cardinals into Scout.com's Top 15 defensive line positional rankings, tied with, ironically, Tennessee for 14th.

Trinity wide receiver James Quick's announcement for Louisville during Saturday's US Army All-American game pushed the Cardinals even higher in the Scout.com team rankings.

The 5-star prospect is rated as the number two receiver in the country.  While his final decision came down to Louisville and Ohio State, he also had offers from Alabama, Michigan, Tennessee and nearly everyone else.

Quick put his abilities on display during the All-American game, scoring the game's winning touchdown and being awarded as the event's Most Valuable Player. He finished with 3 catches for 71 yards and the score.

He's the type of player that can make a difference as a true freshman.

"It's a big pickup," said Allen Trieu, a Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst. "He's a five-star guy from right in town, so it would have been tough to see him go to Ohio State. Beyond the local ties, you're talking about a prospect who can come in and play right away, and potentially be a true difference maker throughout his career."

The graduation of Andrell Smith opens a spot amongst Louisville's starting receivers and Scott Kennedy, Scout.com's Director of Scouting, believes that Quick's talent is on par with the Cardinals already talented group of receivers, giving him an opportunity to contribute right away.

"I think Quick has the ability to come in and make an immediate impact," said Kennedy. "While he'll need to learn the nuances of Louisville's offense, from a size/speed ratio, he'll arguably be the most talented receiver for the Cardinals as soon as he arrives on campus. He has good size and outstanding speed and quickness. He has the lateral movement to play in the slot and the size to play outside. His versatility will give him a chance to contribute in any number of ways for Louisville next season."

Quick became the 13th public commitment for Louisville, lifting the program's overall ranking to 49th.  However, U of L's average star rating has climbed to 3.15, which is 24th nationally.

While the overall ranking isn't a headline grabber, the overall star rating is noteworthy. Expected to cap out around 16, this year's recruiting ranking will be somewhat hindered due to the smaller number, making the average star rating, as well as positional ratings, even more telling.

Louisville's highest recruiting ranking since 2009 was two years ago when the 2011 class, highlighted by Teddy Bridgewater, finished 33rd in the nation. During the same stretch, the highest star average for each class was 3.05, also coming two seasons ago.

With it's current star average of 3.15, Louisville's current class is noticeably higher than any class since 2009 and is a clear indicator that Charlie Strong and his staff are filling the team needs with quality, while also bolstering depth in key areas.

While things are certain to continue to change, as national signing day is still a month away, the momentum built by the Louisville program should prove as an indicator that the Cardinals will continue to remain on the rise.


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