The first member of Louisville's 2016 recruiting class, Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge cornerback Baylen Buchanan will make his official visit with the Cardinals program this weekend.
Baylen's father, former U of L and Atlanta Falcons standout Ray Buchanan, confirmed the trip with Cardinal Authority on Tuesday evening. While the school and community is very familiar to the Cardinal commit, the goal for the weekend is to learn more about the program by spending time with members of the team.
"He's been around Terrell Buckley and Todd Grantham a lot, but he hasn't seen Petrino in awhile, so he's looking forward to that," said Buchanan. "He's not evaluating the coaches and the program, he's been around awhile, so he knows what he's getting. He really wants to get around the players and see how things are ran and get the chance to hang out with them. He'll also get more of an in-depth look at the academics this time."
Joining Buchanan on the trip is Peachtree Ridge teammate and fellow U of L pledge, three-star running back Malik Staples.
"They'll be up there together," Buchanan said. "They're real tight, so I know they are looking forward to it."
A three-star prospect, Buchanan is rated among the nation's Top 50 cornerbacks and No. 14 in the South Region. His father, a former NFL All-Pro, was impressed by the continued progress that his son made during his senior season.
"I'll be real honest with you," he said. "I was really looking for a phase of his game to change and that was his physicality. I wanted to see how physical he could he be and this year he played lights out. He was striking and hitting it. I knew he had the capability of doing it, but he really showed out this year. He also had another year without giving up a touchdown, so he won more than his fair share of battles out there on the island. Another part that I've seen him grow is his maturity and leadership. His teammates voted him team captain and he really showed that leadership, both when they were up and down. He was a guy that would rally his teammates and he'd approach each game like it was just another game."
While the Cardinals have been able to hang on to Buchanan's commitment, it hasn't been without increasing competition. Georgia, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and a host of others continue to express a strong interest.
"They've been in contact with him a lot," he said. "Not only where they the first one's to offer him, but they've really stayed up with him. It's been on a week to week basis and the relationship is really, really tight with those guys. That's why it's looking so good for him going to school there. Baylen's of course interested to see what other programs have to offer, but Louisville has so much upside. Not just cause I went there and was able to make a name for myself, but we have family there and it just feels like home."