The University of Louisville football staff hosted more than 90 visitors last week for Saturday's 63-20 blowout win over Florida State. Among the visitors was a handful of prospects from the area and around the state.
Cardinal Authority has chatted with many of the prospects and has this reaction from some of the locals:
Scott County sophomore offensive lineman Bryan Hudson, who already has an offer from Kentucky, was on hand for the game and said it was a great first impression for him at Louisville.
"It was an amazing atmosphere," he said. "It's a great place to play and watch football."
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Hudson is one of the '19 prospects on a Midwest 'watch list' by Scout.com.
Doss '18 offensive lineman Charles Allen and athlete Terez Traynor both made the trip across town to the game on Saturday and left with the same impression - that Louisville's program has a lot to offer.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Allen, who already has two offers, has been to U of L's camp and several games hoping to land an offer. He has offers from Cincinnati and Western Kentucky and interest from Purdue.
"I loved the game and the atmosphere was unbelievable," Allen said. "The fans make you feel at home."
Traynor, who also has an offer from Cincinnati, said he was impressed again by the Cardinals.
"Yeah, I enjoyed it even more then the last home game," Traynor said. "The atmosphere is still great. I feel like I'm apart of it."
Manual High School wide receiver Jaelin Carter has been a regular at games the last year for the Cardinals and is still hoping for an offer. He has nine catches for 179 yards and one TD in four games this season.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Carter is one of the state's top uncommitted senior prospects.
"I love the atmosphere," Carter said. "I just feel so much at home and hen I'm at Louisville and I really wanna be apart of the program."
Eastern Kentucky commitment Sean Cleasant of Manual made the short trip to campus to check out the game. Cleasant is one of the top defensive tackles in the '17 class statewide and has been committed to the Colonels for more than a month.
Cleasant, who has helped Manual to a 4-0 start this season, said he's still committed to EKU.
"It was a big game and I noticed the coaches were a lot more serious," Cleasant said. "I didn't expect the game to turn out that way. It was a great atmosphere and I enjoyed it a lot."
Ball State commitment Bryce Cosby of Manual High School, one of the state's elite senior defensive backs was also in attendance. He leads the Crimsons with two interceptions on the season.
Cosby said he's still committed but was super impressed with the effort by U of L.
"The atmosphere was great," he said. "It was good to see the former players, (Muhammad) Ali's family, and College GameDay in attendance. The game wasn't really a surprise to me honestly. Louisville has a great athletic director, a coach who has been in this position during the Brohm-era, and a Heisman candidate as a quarterback. Along, with numerous weapons on offense, and a fast, experienced defense.
"It's not a surprise to me they are so good."
Waggener High School junior wide receiver Manny Harper was back for a second time this season, watching the Cardinals. He's an explosive athlete in the '18 class that the U of L staff is monitoring.
"I was very impressed," Harper said. "I saw U of L dominate on both sides of the ball and you could tell just by how loud the stadium was. It really felt like a bowl game atmosphere."
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Harper has 12 catches for 175 yards and five touchdowns in four games for the Wildcats. He also has two interceptions and 13 tackles on defense.
Harper's older brother, Larry, is the quarterback at Waggener and was also in attendance. He said the atmosphere was "electric" in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and as crazy as he's ever seen it.
"You could feel the energy everywhere," Harper said. "It was a dominating performance by Louisville. This was huge for the program and for the city. I am so excited I was able to see it live."
In four games this season, Harper has completed 39 of 59 passes for 642 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has also run for 104 yards and two touchdowns as the Wildcats have a 3-1 record.null