The exciting, yet sometimes agonzing, twists of the recruiting rollarcoaster took another turn in Louisville's favor on Monday afternoon as one-time U of L commit Desmond Fitzpatrick announced that after reevaluating his many options that suiting up for the Cardinals was the best direction for his future.
A product of Waterford (Mich.) Mott, Fitzpatrick's recruiting timeline had its share of ups and downs as Louisville beat out many of its modern day Power 5 peers early in the recruiting process, lost his commitment briefly when the four-star prospect chose to reopen his recruitment and take official visits, only to gain his final commitment just two days prior to National Signing Day.
The Detroit Overall Player of the Year had a dream that he was catching balls for Louisville in early October 2014, which helped lead to his commitment following a visit later that month. While the dream spiked his curiousity, it was the relationships built with the Cardinals coaching staff that would secure his verbal pledge.
"Des had visited several schools and had a chance to talk to several coaches and look at offenses" his father Greg Fitzpatrick explained at the time. "One thing he really, really liked about Louisville is the coaching staff, not that he didn't like other coaching staffs, but he really fell in love with the staff."
Following his commitment to Louisville, Fitzpatrick instantly went into recruiting mode, helping the coaches attract others to join him in the 2016 recruiting class. He communicated frequently with quarterback Jawon Pass and celebrated when the fellow Scout 300 member committed to U of L.
"The Louisville '16 class is going to be great," he said last July.
After being committed for eight months when Pass made his decision, Fitzpatrick appeared to be one the most locked in members of the 2016 class. He continued to make visits to Louisville, even participating in the program's Friday Night Lights camp during the spring.
So, in November, after being a U of L commit for more than a year, it surprised most when Fitzpatrick announced he was re-opening his recruitment. Countless schools made an effort, but it was Nebraska, Arizona, Indiana, along with Louisville that would comprise his final four.
"I never imagined the recruiting process would be so hard on your emotions," he explained upon his de-commitment, adding that he wanted to be "1000% sure" of his college decision.
An official trip to Lincoln, Neb., where he watched the Cornhuskers upset then top-ranked Michigan State, had an impact and seemed to put the Nebraska in the lead for his eventual signature. That was until he announced he'd make on last visit to Louisville, an official visit the last weekend of the recruiting cycle.
During his time in the Derby City over the weekend, Fitzpatrick would spend significant time with a recruit he helped attract, Jawon Pass, and other members of the 2016 class. Upon leaving, he turned to social media, tweeting of his potential direction, saying, "see ya soon."
On Monday afternoon, Fitzpatrick announced his college choice via a pre-recorded video on the Bleacher Report, where he announced, "I'm ready to make things happen. At Louisville. Go Cards."
As a senior, Fitzpatrick hauled in 60 passes for 1,317 yards with 23 touchdowns. He's rated as the No. 34 wide receiver in the nation and among the top 300 prospects nationally by Scout.com