Louisville pulls in an impressive haul

The University of Louisville football team has seven new players in the fold after signing five junior-college players and adding two mid-year high school prospects on Wednesday. It was the first day of the JUCO signing period and U of L head coach Bobby Petrino was elated with the haul that the Cardinals' were able to pull in.

University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino said recently that his staff was looking for the Class of 2015 recruiting class to "fill a few needs."

After the first part of the class has been filled - on the first day of JUCO and mid-year high school graduate signing day - Petrino has to be smiling.

The Cardinals signed two incoming freshmen in North Carolina cornerback Jaire Alexander and Alabama playmaker Traveon Samuel, who signed two weeks ago.

U of L also added five JUCO players: running back Jeremy Smith, fullback Tim Cook, wide receiver Paul Harris, defensive end Drew Bailey and offensive lineman Khalil Hunter.

Smith, Bailey and Harris all have three years of eligibility left.

All seven newcomers will be on campus next month and will participate in spring practice starting in March.

"I’m excited about the additions to our football team today," Petrino said. "We filled a number of needs with good football players, who will help our team next season. We are looking forward to them enrolling in January, and getting an opportunity to work in the weight room with our staff and be here for spring football."

Alexander, who attended Rocky River High School in Charlotte, N.C., had previously been committed to South Carolina. Alexander had 30 tackles, four interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 12 games this season, while also playing wide receiver caught 68 passes for 1,123 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Samuel appeared in 10 games this season during his senior season, accounting for 1,764 all-purpose yards. He rushed 111 times for 861 yards and 11 scores, while catching 39 passes for 553 yards and three touchdowns.

During his junior season in 2013, Samuel racked up 781 rushing yards, 452 receiving yards and 24 total touchdowns. As a sophomore, Samuel totaled 823 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns, while catching 43 passes for 734 yards and five touchdowns.

Bailey, a 6-2, 285-pound defensive end from Pearl River Community College, finished the year with 22 tackles. He was top among Mississippi defensive linemen with 10 sacks.

Smith is a powerful, bruising back, who played one season at Fresno City Community College. This past year, Smith ran for 1,735 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 157.7 yards per game. Smith attended Hammond (La.) Magnet School before heading to Fresno City for one season. As a junior, Smith had one of the best games of the season nationally with 31 carries for 447 yards and seven touchdowns against Pearl River High.

As a senior in high school, Smith was named a first-team all-district defensive end, linebacker, running back and kick returner. He carried 59 times for 418 yards and six touchdowns that season on offense.

Harris is a standout wide receiver who attended Iowa Western Community College after playing one season at Tennessee, where he appeared in five games. Harris was a consensus Maryland All-State selection in 2012 after totaling 32 receptions for 732 yards and 11 touchdowns to help lead Frederick Douglass to a second-consecutive Class 2A state runner-up finish as a senior. As a junior, Harris totaled 39 receptions for 735 yards and 12 TDs.

Cook, who will join the Cardinals as a fullback, enters UofL after playing at Eastern Arizona Community College. Cook ran 100 times for 639 yards and 10 TDs in nine games and ranks as the No. 61 player in the JUCO ranks by Scout.com.

Hunter, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman, fills a huge need for the Cardinals upfront, who will graduate three starters on the offensive line this season. An athletic, big body, Hunter was named a second team junior-college All-American after playing at Eastern Arizona Junior College this season.

The Cardinals are expected to add around 19 or 20 more prospects on the regular February National Signing Day time.

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