Petrino pleased with Cards recruiting efforts

With eight verbal commitments in hand and a huge recruiting weekend on tap, University of Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said Thursday that he's pleased with how his programs recruiting efforts are taking shape.

With eight verbal commitments in hand, Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said Thursday that he's pleased with how his programs recruiting efforts are taking shape.

Of the Cardinals eight commits, one prospect, Cincinnati tight end Zach Meagher, is rated 4-stars by Five others are rated 3-stars, while safety Orlando Misaalefua and end Rodney Gnat are both rated 2-star prospect.

"Recruiting has been going well," Petrino said. "We're battling. We tried to put ourselves into a different pool of players (this year). We've got a good group coming on campus this weekend, so we'll see how it goes."

While Petrino's team will be busy preparing for the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl this weekend, the Cardinals will be hosting an impressive group of prospects making official visits. It's certainly shaping up to be a major recruiting weekend, with possibly 10-12 prospect on campus, headlined by a trio of talented prospects - tackle L.T. Walker (Arkansas), safety Brandon Heath (Florida), and receiver Johnny Patrick (Florida) - from the south.

Trasfers like Chris Vaughn have
limited Louisville's available
scholarships for the 2006
recruiting class.
Petrino and his staff seem to be more selective during the recruiting process this year as opposed to years past. One reason is that the Cardinals have fewer scholarships to give this time around. With only 15 graduating players from this years team, combined with transfers Chris Vaughn, Corey Thompson, Pat Carter and Brock Bolen, scholarships are at a premium for Petrino.

"We don't have as many scholarships as you'd like to have because we did take some transfers, which I like," explained Petrino. "I think those guy are going to be real good players for us."

Petrino explained a rather simple recruiting philosophy. Try to keep the best players from Kentucky home, then head south where football is serious business to round out the recruiting class.

"Our main areas are the state of Kentucky, which we've been fortunate to keep some of the best players in the state here in the last three years," Petrino said. "Then we like to go south to Florida, Georgia, and Alabama simply because the emphasis in football down there is unbelievable."

For years, the Cardinals and Petrino have made a living finding and developing underrated prospects from the south.

"We've been very fortunate," said Petrino. "Those kids have come up here and been very successful. Not only in playing football, but in graduating. A lot of them like the environment here and even stay here when they're done playing."

Even though the Cardinals are rapidly building a strong national reputation, Petrino realizes that his program still faces an up hill battle to beat out SEC programs for the regions top prospects.

"We've certainly lost our share of recruits to the SEC, even though we feel we may be better than some of those teams," Petrino said. "We just have to keep battling, and do a great job of evaluating and developing the young men when they get here."

"We're certainly not to the point where we're going to get all four and five-star star athletes all the time," Petrino added. "That's why we've got to do a good job of evaluating and developing young men when they're here."

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