Petrino begins work on recruiting class

University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino has started to reach out to players who have already committed to the Cardinals. The Cardinals had 24 commitments before Charlie Strong left for Texas and many are still committed. Cardinal Authority has an update on the progress of the commitments.

One day after being hired as the head football coach at the University of Louisville again, Bobby Petrino is busy at work in his new office.

Petrino is trying to put the finishing touches on his staff, is breaking down his current roster and has started to reach out to recruits.

Louisville had 24 verbal commitments before Charlie Strong bolted for Texas last week and many of those kids are still committed to the Cardinals.

One assistant coach with knowledge of the U of L situation said he feels like Louisville "has been very lucky keeping as many as they have."

Now, it's Petrino's turn to make sure they stay committed.

Offensive lineman Kavaris Harkless enrolled at Florida, while defensive lineman Poona Ford has eliminated U of L from his list. But the remainder of the 22 commitments are either still committed or still looking at the Cardinals.

Jacksonville, Fla., wide receiver Isaiah Ford decommitted from U of L but still said he lists the Cardinals as one the four schools that he's considering.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., wide receiver George Rushing also said he has re-opened the process but still has a visit set to U of L for later this month. Lakeland, Fla., defensive tackle Chris Nelson also said he is still likely to make a visit to U of L, while also considering other schools, including Texas.

But with the other players, so far the reaction has been positive.

Fort Worth, Tx., running back Daniel Gresham said he "can't wait" to chat with Petrino and is still committed, while Trinity quarterback Reggie Bonnafon said he is "very excited about this move."

"I am ready to sit down and talk to him ASAP," Bonnafon said. "I know he will keep this program moving in the right direction.

"Coach (Bob) Beatty (at Trinity) is close to him and gets a lot from him, so I feel like it will be (an offense) I am used to."

Powder Springs, Ga., linebacker Henry Famurewa said he had heard of Petrino before and "like him for what he has done."

"I hope we really click once we are together and once we meet," Famurewa said. "I will take my visit (on Jan. 17) and right now that's it."

Tallahassee, Fla., cornerback De'Eric Culver said he didn't know Petrino but was "aware of who he is and I am still committed." Culver also has a visit set for California this month and is hearing from Nebraska.

Jacksonville, Fla., wide receiver Desean Blair said he has heard of Petrino and his offensive prowess and remains committed to the Cardinals. He is also scheduled to visit Nebraska later this month.

"I have heard a lot of stuff about him and his offense," said Blair, who has already chatted with Petrino, Kolby Smith and Lamar Thomas. "It was a good start," Blair said.

Cincinnati Walnut Hills safety Nilijah Ballew said he's also only slated to visit U of L – on Jan. 17 – and remains committed to the Cardinals.

"I'm just waiting to get to know him," Ballew said. "I hope I can form a great relationship and I hope he and his staff can get me to the next level."

Columbus, Ohio, tight end Micky Crum said he has done some research on Petrino and "I kinda like the guy a lot."

"I like that he's one of the best offensive minds in the country," Crum said. "Yes, I am still committed to Louisville.

Other players informing Cardinal Authority they are still committed include Ohio lineman Danny Burns and Cincinnati tight end Devin Pike.

Fort Pierce, Fla., defensive end Rashawn Shaw is also listed as a "soft" commitment and will take some other visits.

Marion, Ohio running back L.J. Scott, junior-college defensive end Trevon Young and Indianapolis wide receiver Cameron Polk have already enrolled. North Carolina linebacker Isaac Stewart is hoping to enroll next week.

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