The Wrap Up

This weeks Wrap Up includes additional news on Darrius Mann, as well as a few of his teammates. Also included are opinions from high school coaches on Louisville's recruiting efforts and more.

This past week was a fruitful one for the Cardinal football program as Bobby Petrino and staff notched their first commitment of the 2005 recruiting class. Safety Darius Mann of Don Brosco (NJ) High School, who chose Louisville over offers from Alabama, Connecticut, Iowa, North Carolina, Wisconsin and others, will make his first visit to Louisville in early June.

Don Bosco, which finished the 2003 season as the nations 2nd-ranked team, has possibly up to as many as 6 Division IA prospects. Three of Mann's teammates have also collected scholarship offers from the Cardinals. The other three holding offers from U of L are linemen with impressive size. Brian Roche (6'5, 280), Nathaniel Nurse (6'4, 255) and Corey Wooten (6'7, 240) will all receive heavy interest from programs around the country and have collected a number of offers to date. Roche, who is one of the country's top prospects, has collected over 35 offers. Nurse has offers from Louisville, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Maryland, while Wooten has offers from Louisville, Indiana and Maryland. ITV has learned that Louisville "is very much in the mix" for Nurse and Wooten.

More on Mann…

Don Bosco assistant coach Ty Caldwell had nothing but great things to say about the Cardinals first commit.

"He's an old-style type of player," Caldwell said of Mann. "He's a very tough player, who doesn't complain and will do whatever it takes to win. He is always trying to do everything that he can to make everyone around him even better."

"He played five different positions for us last year," continued Caldwell. "He was the most skilled and most physical player that we had on the team last year."

While the timing of Mann's commitment being made public was slightly surprising, it does reflect a point that we made in the initial ‘Wrap Up' last week. We indicated that the U of L coaching staff had increased its attention to the northeast. We anticipate that athletes from the Big East area to make up a sizeable portion of the upcoming recruiting class.

Louisville's pending move into the Big East Conference and inclusion into the Bowl Championship Series has allowed Petrino and company to shift their recruiting techniques, allowing them to recruit directly against some of the nation's top programs.

"Louisville is recruiting differently now," one high school head coach recently told Inside the Ville. "They are recruiting for the Big East and BCS now and feel strongly that they can get some kids that they couldn't have in the past. This year, they are waiting to offer some kids that they made have already have offered this time last year. They are really doing a good job this year."

Those comments were echoed by another coach earlier this month during a discussion with ITV.

"Louisville does a great job scouting players and are really gearing up for their move to the Big East next year. Petrino is doing a great job up there."

The MSL/ Combine in Cincinnati is rapidly approaching and ITV will be on hand to provide full coverage of the area's largest combine. Nearly every top prospect from Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana will participate in the two day combine on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

The Bluegrass State's Tremendous 26 will be released this weekend. The list, which was voted on the by coaches throughout the state and chosen by High School Sports Publications provides an example of how the talent continues to increase statewide.

Louisville area players that made the list:
Kevin Bramblett (Oldham County)
Steve Garr (Male)
Earl Heyman (Ballard)
Jesse Jones (Doss)
James McKinney (Central)
JuJuan Spillman (PRP)

Be sure to keep an eye on the Hot News for to date news on prospects.

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