Cards looking for a kicker in '15 class

The University of Louisville hosted over 20 prospects on Monday night during the season-opening victory over Miami, Fla. Among those prospects visiting were three placekickers from the Class of 2015. Cardinal Authority has the latest on a search for a specialist.

With kicker John Wallace now a junior, the University of Louisville football staff is looking to bring in a kicker in the Class of 2015 to hopefully be Wallace's successor.

On Monday night, the U of L staff took a step in trying to lure a top kicker to campus.

The Cardinals hosted over 20 prospects for the 31-13 win over Miami, including the top kicker from the state's of Kentucky, Indiana and South Carolina among those prospects.

Shelbyville, Ky., Collins High School Blanton Creque, Plymouth, Ind., High's Jacob Lafree and Blythewood, S.C., High's Tucker Smith were all in attendance for the win over the Hurricanes.

"They said they need to bring in a kicker in the '15 class," Lafree said.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Lafree is also getting looks from Syracuse, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Indianapolis. He hit a 46-yard field goal last week for Plymouth and is 11-for-11 on extra points this season.

"That place was rocking," Lafree said of PJCS, noting he made an unofficial visit to U of L last month. "It was a great atmosphere."

Lafree said the U of L coaches have told him he's one of the top guys on their board at kicker and he's intrigued by the program.

"I really have never been that in to Louisville football," he said. "I watched them and remember seeing them on TV when (Bobby) Petrino was there the first time. But I'm an IU guy and I grew up going to those games. But watching Louisville and getting to know the coaches, I really like the program."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Creque said he "loved" the unofficial visit to campus. He said the coaches have also been telling him they'll need to bring a kicker in with the next class.

"It seemed like an awesome crowd to play in front of just because of how loud it was," he said. "I thought they played great. The defense looked extremely fast. I loved it there."

Creque said his only offer at this point is from Morehead State. But he has also talked with Kentucky, Stanford, Western Kentucky and UAB. As a junior, Creque connected on 80 of 81 extra points and was 9 of 14 on field goals. He's ranked as the No. 19 kicker in the country by ChrisSailerKicking.com.

The 5-9, 160-pound Smith said he liked the visit so much he "hopes to get back up there this season," for another unofficial visit.

Smith is also hearing from East Carolina, The Citadel and Georgia Southern among several others. He has rated high at camps for both his punting duties and averaged almost 40 yards a kick on 37 kicks as a junior, while averaging 37 this season on six punts and regularly putting his kickoffs into the end zone.

"I had a great time," he said. "It was just such a great atmosphere and a good game. I really just loved the feel of it all."

All three prospects know as kickers that must be patient about a scholarship offer. Most top Division I schools wait until they see how the rest of the class shakes out to offer a specialist like a kicker or punter.

But U of L special teams coordinator Tony Grantham told Cardinal Authority on media day that the new U of L staff would "for sure," have a kicker on scholarship because "it's just such an important position for a program."


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