The Cardinals, who finished the 2003 season at 9-4, hit the state of Florida hard, grabbing eight players from the Sunshine State. Head coach Bobby Petrino also signed three from the talent-rich states of Georgia and Alabama. The Cardinals also took five players from the state of Kentucky.
"It's a really exciting class," said Petrino. "We got the best quarterback in the country and we focused on improving our team speed with the signings of Elijah Daniel, Marcus Folmar and George Stripling. The combo of speed and size of a player like Mario Urrutia is going to be exciting. We addressed our needs at linebacker with guys that are physical and can run."
Headlining the class is USA Today Offensive Player of the Year Brian Brohm of Trinity High School in Louisville, Ky. The 6-4 quarterback is one of the top recruits ever to sign with the Cardinals. Brohm threw for 10,579 yards and 119 touchdowns in leading the Shamrocks to three state titles.Brohm, whose dad and two brothers played for the Cardinals, finished second in state history in career passing yards and career touchdowns, and also set a state record for career completion percentage.
As a senior, Brohm threw for 3,720 yards and 33 touchdowns, completing 298-of-463 passes, as the Shamrocks rebounded to win the state title after an 0-4 start.
The Cardinals put a lot of focus on the defensive side of the ball during this signing period, inking 12 players, including four linebackers.
The Cardinals took only one player from the state of Illinois, but grabbed one of the best in defensive back Bobby Buchanan from Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet, Ill. Buchanan, the brother of former Cardinal great and current Atlanta Falcon Ray Buchanan, was a three-year starter at Joliet Catholic Academy. As a cornerback, Buchanan guided Joliet to its 11th state title and was a first team All-State honoree.
Brandon Cox, a defensive end from Douglas High School in Atlanta, Ga., registered 86 tackles and a team-best 12 sacks in leading Douglas to the state playoffs. Adrian Grady, from Nichols, Ga., and Coffee High School, registered 69 tackles and was an All-District selection.
Louisville grabbed another of the Bluegrass' top recruits in Fern Creek wide receiver Mario Urrutia. The 6-6 wideout is a big target and showed big play ability this season. Urrutia caught 65 passes for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns to earn first team All-State accolades.
Scott Kuhn, a 6-5 tight from Conner Senior in Burlington, Ky., fills a big need for the Cardinals, who lost four-time All-Conference USA tight end Ronnie Ghent and Richard Owens. Kuhn caught 20 passes for 200 yards and three scores last season.
Linebacker/defensive end Maurice Mitchell from Glasgow High School in Glasgow, Ky., is another solid find inside the state lines. Mitchell recorded 100 tackles last season, but also recorded 13 touchdowns from his wide receiver position. Josh Waller, a defensive tackle from Southern High in Louisville, Ky., rounds out the players grabbed from Kentucky.
One of the biggest steals of the recruiting class might be 6-7, 242-pound Breno Giacomini from Malden High School in Malden, Mass. The tight end/defensive end who's also an excellent basketball player, has a tremendous upside and should fill a need on defense.
Phillip Moody of Tallahassee, Fla., is one of eight players from Florida to sign with the Cardinals. At 6-5, 260 pounds, Moody gives the Cardinals some size and athletic ability on the offensive line. Linebacker Lamar Myles of Winterhaven, Fla. and Lake Region High School, averaged 130 tackles a season during his four seasons as a starter. Drew Steinmetz of Jacksonville, Fla., rushed for 1,187 yards and 16 touchdowns at Trinity Christian Academy.
Terrance Butler of Green Cove Springs, Fla. recorded 88 tackles and was a second team All-State performer at Clay High School. Gary Barnidge from Middleburg, Fla., and Middleburg High School is a talented tight end and fills a major need for the Cardinals. George Stripling of Jacksonville, Fla., Johnnie Burns of Neptune Beach, Fla. and Mozell Axson of Lakeland, Fla. round out the players from the Sunshine State.
The Cardinals signed three players from Alabama in Marcus Folmar of East Brewton, Elijah Daniel of Brundidge, and Anthony Douglas of Eufala. Folmar is an all-purpose performer, who returned two punts and three kickoffs as a junior and recorded 78 tackles last year. Daniel guided Pike High School to a state title, catching 57 passes for 932 yards and 12 scores. Douglas, a defensive end from Eufaula High School, had 91 tackles and 12 sacks last year.
Eric Wood of Cincinnati, Ohio and Elder High School, led Elder to back-to-back state titles and earned first team All-League honors.
Jeremy Darveau, a 6-7, 320-pound offensive lineman from Dodge City Community College, signed earlier and is enrolled in class at Louisville. He's ranked as the nation's 108th best junior college prospect and is rated as the 13th best offensive lineman by collegefootball news.com.
Mozell Axson * LB
6-1 * 230
Lakeland, Fla. (Jenkins)
One of the top linebackers in the state of Florida... registered 403 career tackles... credited with 139 tackles this year, including a team-best 81 solo stops... credited with 26 tackles for loss... rated the 61st best player in the state of Florida by the Orlando Sentinel... recorded 129 stops as a junior, including 78 solos... named one of the top linebackers at the University of Miami's Nike Camp... also recruited by Kansas, South Florida and Iowa State.
Gary Barnidge * TE
6-6 * 215
Middleburg, Fla. (Middleburg)
Follows in the footsteps of former Middleburg High School product and Louisville tight end Richard Owens, who played four years with the Cardinals... played both tight end and defensive end... recorded 17 receptions and five touchdowns... named to the Florida-Times Union Top 24.... registered 65 tackles, 10 for a loss, and registered three sacks... had three caused fumbles, six fumble recoveries, eight quarterback pressures and one blocked kick that he returned for a touchdown... played basketball, averaging about 18.0 points per game on the hardwood.... chose the Cardinals over South Florida and Louisiana-Lafayette, as well as interest from Mississippi and Florida.
Brian Brohm * QB
6-4 * 205
Louisville, Ky. (Trinity)
Named USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year... one of the top recruits to ever sign at the University of Louisville... threw for 10,579 yards and 119 touchdowns at Trinity High School... rated the No. 2 high school player in the nation by Tom Lemming and No. 5 by Rivals.com... ranked as the sixth-best quarterback by theinsiders.com and the 32nd best player overall... selected by Max Emfinger as one of the Ultimate Super Seven All-American Playmakers at the quarterback position... voted one of the 2003 National Top 150 Adidas Playmakers... appeared in 44 games... led the Shamrocks to three state titles... awarded the Roy Kidd Award and was a three-time state finals Most Valuable Player... guided team to a 15-0 record in the state playoffs... started for the East squad in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl... finished second in state history in career passing yards and career touchdowns... also set a state record for career completion percentage... threw for 3,720 yards and 33 touchdowns during senior season, completing 298-of-463 passes... passed for 3,777 yards and 47 touchdowns as a junior... completed 226-of-335 passes and tossed just one interception... threw for 3,082 yards and 39 scores during his sophomore season, completing 174-of-273 passes and just five interceptions... selected 2003 Kentucky Mr. Football... two-time Courier-Journal All-State selection... given the Paul Hornung Award in 2002 and 2003... honored as the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year... 2003 Frank Camp winner... voted to the Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team... brother of ex-NFLer and current assistant coach Jeff Brohm, and former U of L wide receiver Greg Brohm, and the son of ex-Louisville QB Oscar Brohm... chose Louisville over the entire country.
Bobby Buchanan * DB
5-11 * 180
Joliet, Ill. (Joliet Catholic Academy)
Three-year starter at Joliet Catholic Academy... ranked the nations's No. 69 cornerback prospect by theinsiders.com... tabbed No. 19 in the Rivals.com Illinois Top 25... named first team All-State by the Chicago Tribune... ranked as the No. 52 free safety by SuperPrep Magazine... had a 59-yard punt return for a touchdown and also had a 75-yard kick return for a touchdown as a senior... received All-Area accolades by the Chicago Sun-Times... guided the Hilltoppers to its 11th state title... earned All-Conference accolades as a junior... younger brother of Atlanta Falcons defensive back and former Louisville Cardinal Ray Buchanan... chose Louisville over Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
Johnnie Burns * LB
6-3 * 225
Neptune Beach, Fla. (Fletcher Senior)
Four-year starter in football and basketball at Fletcher Senior High School... earned second team All-State honors as a senior... recorded 116 tackles and four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown... named the team's Defensive Most Valuable Player... guided 2003 team to a 12-2 record, losing in the regional finals to the eventual state champion... was also recruited by Florida State, Georgia Tech, South Florida and Southern Mississippi.
Terrance Butler * SS
6-2 * 212
Green Cove Springs, Fla. (Clay)
Three-year starter at linebacker and safety at Clay High School... considered one of the team's defensive playmakers... recorded 88 tackles and nine tackles for loss as a senior... batted down four passes at the line of scrimmage and had six pass break-ups... also registered four sacks, two interceptions and a team-best eight caused fumbles... named the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player... earned second team All-State accolades... named to the Florida-Times Union Top 24... two-time All-County and All-District performer... guided Clay High School to an 11-2 record and a trip to the state playoffs... two-year letterwinner in track and field... placed eighth in the state in the discus... chose the Cardinals over Southern Mississippi, South Carolina, Wake Forest and South Florida.
Brandon Cox * DE
6-3 * 225
Atlanta, Ga. (Douglass)
Recorded 86 tackles and 12 sacks as a senior at Douglass High School... two-year starter and three-year letterwinner... played defensive end and also some tight end in certain running formations... converted to defense after playing his first two years at tight end... named Player of the Game twice during his senior campaign... earned All-City honors after leading Douglass to the state playoffs... named to the All-Metro team... voted the team's top defensive lineman... registered 110 tackles as a junior... plays centerfield on the baseball team... batted .370 with three home runs during his junior campaign... also recruited by Memphis, Arkansas and Auburn.
Elijah Daniel * WR/DB
6-0 * 175
Brundidge, Ala. (Pike County)
Three-year starter and letterwinner in football at Pike County High School... caught 57 passes for 932 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior... caught four passes for 100 yards in the state title game... led the team with seven interceptions... also recorded 56 tackles... guided Pike County to the Class 3A state title... earned All-State and All-County accolades... named to the Super 12 team... selected team captain... registered 49 catches for 1,028 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior... caught 10 passes for 150 yards and four touchdowns against Eufaula High School... three-year starter in basketball... also recruited by Florida, Alabama, NC State and West Virginia.
Jeremy Darveau * OL
6-7 * 320
Hilton Head, S.C. (Dodge City CC/Hilton Head)
Ranked as the nation's 108th best junior college prospect... competed at Dodge City CC... ranked as the 13th best offensive lineman by collegefootball news.com... opened holes for one of the top 25 offenses in the country... red-shirted and played one season at the University of Kentucky... has two years of eligibility remaining... spent the 2000 season at the Naval Academy Prep... started at offensive tackle... played scholastically at Hilton Head High School... never played football until his junior year, but emerged as a starter... two-year starter at tackle... earned All-Area honors as a senior... also played some on the defensive line in goal-line and short-yardage situations... three-year letterwinner on the track team, competing in the shot put and discus throw... placed sixth in the state meet as a sophomore in the discus... also recruited by South Carolina, Nevada, Middle Tennessee, Rutgers and Central Florida.
Anthony Douglas * DE
6-4 * 215
Eufaula, Ala. (Eufaula)
Two-year starter and letterwinner at defensive end at Eufaula High School... recorded 91 tackles as a senior... given the Headhunter Award for the top tackler on the squad... invited to play in the Down Under Bowl in Australia... also selected to compete in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game... registered a team-best 12 sacks and blocked four kicks... recovered five fumbles and caused three... named the team's Most Valuable Defensive Lineman... voted first team All-State by the Birmingham News... selected team captain... guided team to an 11-1 record and a berth in the state playoffs... lost in the second round to the eventual state champ... also recruited by Southern Mississippi , Middle Tennessee State, Auburn, Arkansas and Troy State.
Marcus Folmar * WR/DB
5-11 * 175
East Brewton, Ala. (Neal)
Played wide receiver and defensive back at Neal High School... all-purpose player who is also dangerous returning punts and kickoffs... three-year starter... recorded 78 tackles and four interceptions as a senior... caught 21 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns... also added a pair of rushing touchdowns... returned a punt 62-yards for a touchdown against Hillcrest... guided squad to a 10-3 record, losing in the quarterfinals in the state playoffs... two-time All-Region and All-County honoree... voted Senior Class President and won academic award on the football team... returned three kickoffs and two punts for scores during his junior season... chose the Cardinals over Clemson, Marshall, UAB and Southern Mississippi.
Breno Giacomini * DE/TE
6-7 * 242
Malden, Mass. (Malden)
Three-year starter at Malden High School... solid defensive player who played both defensive end and outside linebacker... led team in passes defensed and recorded one interception... earned Greater Boston League All-Star honors... started his freshman and sophomore years, but didn't play football as a junior to concentrate on basketball... averaged 21.0 points per game as a senior and was second in the league in scoring... also recruited by Mississippi State, Maine, New Hampshire and UMass.
Adrian Grady * DT
6-3 * 270
Nichols, Ga. (Coffee)
Two-year starter at Coffee High School... has tremendous upside... played both defensive tackle and linebacker... recorded 69 tackles, two sacks and five tackles for loss as a senior... earned second team All-Region I 5A honors... missed his junior year after breaking his leg... moved from tackle to linebacker as a junior before missing most of the season with an injury... bench presses 425 pounds and squats more than 520 pounds... recorded more than 85 tackles as a sophomore, guiding his squad to the regional playoffs.
Scott Kuhn * TE
6-5 * 235
Burlington, Ky. (Conner Senior)
Three-year letterwinner in football and basketball at Conner Senior High School... caught 20 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns from the tight end position... earned first team All-Region accolades... selected to the Northern Kentucky Football Coaches Association first team... voted to the Region 3 All-District squad... earned Honorable Mention All-State accolades from the Courier-Journal... selected to the Kentucky Post 3A-4A All-Star team... voted on the CPC Sports Northern Kentucky All-Star squad... also played nose tackle... leading rebounder on the basketball team... earned Most Valuable Player honors at the Hacks Sports Tournament... also recruited by Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.
Maurice Mitchell * LB/DE
6-3 * 220
Glasgow, Ky. (Glasgow)
Two-year starter at Glasgow High School... played fullback, wide receiver and linebacker as a senior... recorded 100 tackles during his senior campaign... caught 15 passes for 400 yards and 13 touchdowns... scored three times in the opening game of the year against Green County and registered two scores against Barren County... team captain... guided team to a 10-3 record and a trip to the state playoffs... two-time All-District performer... plays center on the basketball team... registered 90 tackles and six sacks as a junior... selected second team All-State... chose Louisville over Middle Tennessee State, Kentucky, Morehead State and Tennessee.
Phillip Moody * OL
6-5 * 260
Tallahassee, Fla. (North Florida Christian)
Two-year starter at North Florida Christian High School... played just tight end as a senior after playing defensive end and tight end as a junior... caught 12 passes for 174 yards... named second team All-Big Bend... guided team to the third round of the 1A playoffs before falling to the two-time state champions... caught 18 passes for 375 yards as a junior... averaged 12.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game on the basketball team... received offers from Middle Tennessee State and Tulane.
Lamar Myles * LB
6-0 * 200
Winterhaven, Fla. (Lake Region)
Recorded more than 400 career tackles during a stellar career at Lake Region High School... ranked No. 71 in the state of Florida by theinsiders.com... four-year starter... selected to the Class 4A All-State squad... averaged more than 130 tackles a season... ranked as the No. 58 player in the state of Florida by the Orlando Sentinel... voted the District 12 Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player... averaged 9.0 yards a carry at the fullback position... won the state weightlifting title as a junior by more than 50 pounds... selected team captain and was the squad's Most Valuable Defensive Player... set the school record for tackles... guided the team to the state playoffs as a junior... recorded 125 tackles and a pair of sacks... chose Louisville over Auburn.
Devin Shivers * DT
6-5 * 307
Monroe, Ga (George Walton Academy)
Four-year starter at offensive and defensive tackle... named the team's Most Valuable Offensive and Defensive Lineman for the last three years... named All-State and All-Region as a senior... selected team captain... helped the team set the school record for total offense with 5,200 yards... team averaged 38.0 points per game and scored 68 touchdowns... played in the Georgia-South Carolina All-Star Game... guided team to a 14-0 record and a state title... paved the way for two running backs to average 10.5 yards per carry... defense yielded 7.0 ppg... finished fourth in the state in the shot put... received interest from Clemson, Middle Tennessee State, Central Florida and Auburn.
Drew Steinmetz * FB
6-1 * 232
Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian Academy)
Two-year starter at fullback at Trinity Christian Academy... started 31 straight games to close his career... rushed for 2,272 yards and 26 touchdowns during a stellar three-year career... averaged 6.5 yards a carry... ran for 1,187 yards and 16 scores as a senior, averaging a career-best 7.1 yards a carry... guided team to a 27-1 record and two Class A state titles as a junior and a senior... closed his career by guiding his team to a 26-game winning streak... guided his team to a 14-0 record as a senior... also recruited by Iowa, Florida, Auburn and Florida State.
George Stripling * RB
6-1 * 185
Jacksonville, Fla. (Andrew Jackson)
Started at running back and defensive back at Andrew Jackson High School... rushed 310 times for 2,330 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior... earned second team All-State accolades in Class 3A... named to the Florida Times Union Top 24... registered 40 tackles and two interceptions... voted team captain... averaged 10.2 yards per punt return... selected the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player... finished third in the 3A Player of the Year balloting... nominated for the Red Zone Old Spice High School Player of the Year Award... chose the Cardinals over Georgia Tech, Central Florida, East Carolina and Iowa State.
6-6 * 205
Louisville, Ky. (Fern Creek)
One of the top recruits in the state of Kentucky... caught 65 passes for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior... voted team captain... named the team's Offensive Player of the Year... won the "Our Boy Award" for being the team's top senior... grabbed 63 receptions for 1,054 yards and 11 scores as a junior... two-time All-District performer... Associated Press first team All-State selection... named to the Courier-Journal All-State team... picked as one of the top 22 players in the state by the Lexington-Herald Leader... Honorable Mention Nike All-American... chose Louisville over Nebraska, Kentucky, Indiana and Virginia.
Josh Waller * DT
6-3 * 280
Louisville, Ky. (Southern)
Two-year starter and letterwinner at Southern High School... played both ways during his senior campaign... earned first team All-District honors... voted team captain by his teammates after the season... named Most Valuable Lineman... guided Southern High School to its first winning season in 14 years... given the Varsity Bar Award for the top senior on the team... recorded 34 tackles and three sacks... chose Louisville over Kentucky.
Eric Wood * OT
6-5 * 265
Cincinnati, Ohio (Elder)
Started all 15 games at offensive tackle for Cincinnati Elder High School, guiding the school to its second straight state title with a 31-7 win over St. Edward's ... team went 28-2 over the last two seasons... can play both the tackle and guard positions... earned Honorable Mention All-District honors as a junior... two-year letterwinner on the basketball team... played tight end as a junior... has good speed and excellent feet... earned first team All-League honors... chose the Cardinals over Bowling Green, Ohio, Cincinnati, Indiana and Columbia.