There's reason to expect a continued improvement for Louisville football recruiting. The Cardinals now reside in the tradition-rich ACC and have quickly become an annual contender for the Atlantic Division and league crown.
Following a strong start to the 2015 recruiting season, the Louisville football coaching staff capped the pre-camp period off with a flurry, including a stretch of five commits in seven days in July. While the entire staff plays a role in the recruiting process, each is assigned specific recruiting areas and one region that has been fruitful for the Cardinals staff for the current recruiting class has been the state of Georgia, including the Alabama border region.
Louisville has collected six verbal commitments from the Peach State, including three – Jawon Pass, Michael Boykin and Tabarius Peterson – during the five commit blitz in mid-July. Louisville's last commitment, three-star defensive end Caleb Tillman, hails from Dothan, Ala., which is located 30 minutes west of the Georgia border.
Former Cardinal and current defensive line coach L.D. Scott has served as the primary recruiter for many of those in that region. Scott, who suited up along the U of L defensive front from 2006-2009, views recruiting as a priority in his position on the staff.
“I feel like that is what my job is,” Scott told Cardinal Authority. “My job is to coach the d-line. I'm not deciding what kind of scheme we run on defense, my role is to get the d-line ready to play hard, get lined up properly and stop the run. But, also to go out there and to build relationships with coaches and parents and to get more players up here.”
The recruiting class – currently 18 players deep – doesn't have much more room to grow. With little scholarship room remaining, the staff will be more selective in their direction and making sure that they fill all their needs.
Home states of Louisville commitments
The current group of commitments currently ranks among the nation's top 30 and is on pace to to rival some of the program's best signing classes. Louisville has pledges from throughout the southeast, plus California, Michigan and Ohio.
“I feel like we're recruiting some really good players and there is a little bit of buzz about us in recruiting, but we're not satisfied,” said Scott. “We have to go out there and win games to prove what we've been telling all these people.”
Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons agrees, adding the U of L is doing a great job of securing commitments from high-profile prospects, such as Pass, a four-star quarterback who chose the Cardinals over Alabama and Auburn, as well as locating great athletes that others may be missing out on.
“Louisville is doing an excellent job of identifying guys who fit their scheme, evaluating them, and recruiting them,” said Simmons. “There is definitely a positive buzz in the south about the Cardinals — especially in the state of Georgia. Bobby Petrino is a proven winner, he has shown he and his staff can develop players, and Louisville is not only getting top prospects to commit, but they are reeling in some guys who could be getting overlooked by some big programs as well.”
Of course, the current rankings are nice, but as the saying goes, nothing is certain until the ink is dry. With National Signing Day – Feb. 3, 2016 – still months away, the recruiting process continues as the Cardinals staff now has the often difficult task of retaining commitments until the day they sign.
“I'll feel good about it in February once it's over,” said Scott. “Nothing is set in stone.”