University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong noted his newest signing class wasn't large in numbers. The Cardinals added only 17 players.
But Strong talked about the quality of the class – a 3.0 star average according to Scout.com – and the fact that the signing class helped "fill our needs."
The Cardinals announced the signing of 10 defensive players, including Florida transfer Willie Bailey, and seven players on the offensive side of the ball, including Kentucky Mr. Football James Quick of Trinity.
"Even though this class is small in number, it will make a great contribution to this program in the near future," Strong said.
The U of L class only ranked No. 56 among the classes nationally but if you rank the classes by star rankings it checks in at No. 33.
The Cardinals only graduated nine seniors off the Sugar Bowl team and Strong and his staff had limited scholarships to work with in this class.
"This is a day when you get a chance to build your program and see what you have," Strong said. "With this being such a small class, we had to take what we needed. We filled our needs."
Two of the biggest stars of the class are in-state prospects in Quick and Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin.
Quick, who was named MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after committed to the Cardinals during that game, helped Trinity to three state titles and is the No. 21 player in the country according to Scout.com.
Strong called Quick the "wide receiver we wanted." He finished his career as one of the state's all-time top players.
"He's a quiet kid and you don't hear a lot from him," Strong said. "But we needed a boost and to get a name like Quick was something special."
Bolin was one of two quarterback signees – along with junior-college signal-caller Brett Nelson. Bolin is considered one of the state's elite prospects and missed the final part of his senior season with a knee injury.
"We always want to control this city before we go anywhere else - actually, the state," Strong said. "Then we have to go off and recruit other places."
Louisville signed eight players from the state of Florida and all are expected to start their careers on the defensive side of the ball.
Strong said he wanted cornerbacks with "height and ones that were long" and he landed just that with Chucky Williams, Richard Benjamin and Bailey.
Defensive end De'Asian Richardson is one of the higher ranked players in the class, while Strong said the last commitment – Lyn Clark – "really impressed" him on tape and he wondered why other schools didn't get involved.
Strong said the class is exactly what the Cardinals needed coming off a Sugar Bowl win against Florida and returning a lot of starters.
"I am pleased with our 2013 class," Strong said. "Our coaching staff along with our support staff put together a really good class."