Jacksonville DE planning fall visit to Louisville

Rodney Gnat of Jacksonville Wolfson High School has collected four scholarship offers to date - including Louisville - and the defensive end prospect recently spoke to ITV regarding his interest in the Cardinals program.

'Feed the Studs' is the phrase often used by Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino when he talks about developing quality depth for his program and last year's Conference Coach of the Year has apparently found a prospect that he'd like to add to the talent on his defensive line.

Defensive Rodney Gnat of Jacksonville (FL) Wolfson High School was told of his scholarsip offer from Louisville by the Cardinals head coach.

"Coach Petrino called me personally a few weeks ago to tell me that they were going to offer me," Gnat told InsidetheVille.com. "I'm still a little surprised by that."

Gnat, who also holds offers from Connecticut, East Carolina and Central Florida, says that from that moment he has started looking into with Louisville has to offer, both as a school and as a community.

"I've been looking on the computer about Louisville more and more," he explained. "I love the location, the coaching strategies, the offense and that they just go after it on defense."

Clemson, where he recently camped, along with South Carolina, are also expressing heavy interest in the 6-foot-4, 225-pound prospect.

"UCF said that they'd like to see me at linebacker, but everybody else is saying defensive end," Gnat said. "Louisville said that they just want me to come and rush the quarterback, which is what I like to do most."

As a junior, Gnat totaled 35 tackles and 13 sacks, earning All-Area honors and was recently ranked #38 by Scout.com's Charles Fishbein and Larry Blustein of Florida Kids.

"I'm going to wait and make my visits before I make a decision," he said. "I think even more school's will be interested during my senior year and improve my G.P.A. a little bit."

One school of interest is Florida State, where Gnat has multiple family connections, including his sisters that live in Tallahassee.

"They'd be my favorite if they offered," he added.

Despite a possible offer from the Seminoles or not, Gnat is already considering which school's he will make official visits with later this year.

"I'm definately going to visit Louisville, Clemson and South Carolina," he said. "I've already seen UCF, so I'm not sure if I'd take one there. I'll probably leave those last two spots from whatever others come along."

He's so certain of his future visit to U of L, that he informed Coach Bobby Petrino that he would be making the trip this fall.

"I called Coach Petrino and told him that they were going to get my first visit," Gnat explained. "Then someone told me that the last visit is usually the most important one, so I might go there last."

Gnat is currently conducting his own version of summer workouts, which has helped him improve on his numbers posted during a combine last month.

"My 40 (yard) time is down from 4.7 to 4.65 and my vertical has gone from 27 inches to 29."

With his athletic ability, coupled with his drive to improve, there's no question why Petrino and many others are hoping for his commitment for 2006.

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