2008 Recruiting Preview

With the recruiting class of 2007 now in the books, InsideTheVille.com provides a look towards 2008 and some of the names that you can expect to become familiar with...

With the recruiting class of 2007 now in the books, the University of Louisville coaching staff now has their focus squarely on the current high school juniors and if the recent trend continues, the class of ‘08 should be the best class - by prospect rating - in school history.

Since the prospect rating of the recruiting class of 2003, which included the likes of Michael Bush, Harry Douglas, William Gay, Malik Jackson, Amobi Okoye and Kolby Smith, reached an average rating of 2.23 per signee, U of L has continually made rapid improvement on the recruiting trails.

Prior to the 2007's average prospect rating of 3.13, which according to Scout.com ranks among the top 30 in the nation, last year's group, led by Peanut Whitehead, Latarrius Thomas, L.T. Walker and Aundre Henderson, held the previous high class rating with an average of 2.79.

For the positive trend to continue, the Cardinals will need to continue to perform just as hard on the recruiting trails as they do on the football field and the coaching staff appears to be off to a great start.

A number of the top junior prospects in the country already hold scholarship offers from the University of Louisville and just as has been the case in recent years, hometown prospects remain a top priority.

"We're going to recruit right here in the city of Louisville first, and then branch out into the state of Kentucky and then obviously other points where we have ties," U of L head coach Steve Kragthorpe said last week.

This week we will be providing a look ahead to some of the prospects that you can expect to become familiar with during the course of the next 12 months.

Top 100 junior
Dexter Heyman
Dexter Heyman, 6'4, 220, of Louisville Male, a Scout.com National Top 100 prospect, projects as either a defensive lineman or outside linebacker on the college level. Heyman currently holds a scholarship offer from Louisville and is drawing heavy interest from Clemson, Kentucky, Michigan, Notre Dame and a host of others. Heyman, the younger brother of U of L defensive lineman Earl Heyman, attended the U.S. Army All-American combine in January where out of over 500 athletes, he earned 2nd Team honors. He's currently the only prospect in the Bluegrass State rated among the nation's top 100 by Scout.com.

Additional in-city prospects include Tyheem Lawton, Sam Robey and Brandon Young.

Lawton excels at both wide receiver and defensive back and could play either on the college level. The Fern Creek prospect finished among the top 20 receivers in the state this fall with 535 yards on 24 catches.

Robey, a 6'5, 230-pound lineman, was an All-State selection as both a sophomore and junior. The son of former Kentucky basketball All-American Rick Robey, the Trinity prospect is drawing interest from Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State and others.

Young of DuPont Manual is a 6'2, 250-pound defensive lineman. In addition to Louisville, Young has drawn early interest from Boston College, Ohio State, Wake Forest and others.

The recent recruiting haul saw the Cardinal program continue to reach to the fertile high school football state of Florida, as well as the west coast, midwest and northeast.

Following their success in signing two New Jersey products in '07, U of L has continued to search for the top prospects in that region, including a handful of Scout.com Top 100 juniors in A.J. Alexander, Averin Collier, Marcus Sales and Brandon Smith.

Top 100 junior
Averin Collier
Averin Collier, 5'11, 195, isn't sure what position he'll play on the college level. The Churchill, New York prospect, who holds early offers from Connecticut, Louisville, Syracuse, Virginia and others, is being recruited as a wide receiver, running back, defensive back and even linebacker. The younger brother of Pittsburgh's Kevin Collier, Averin totaled over 2,200 all-purpose yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior.

Brandon Smith of New Brunswick (NJ) High School has collected early offers from Colorado, Rutgers and Syracuse, while others such as Louisville, Maryland and Wisconsin are expressing heavy interest. Smith, a 6'2, 200-pound athlete, played quarterback and defensive back as a junior, throwing for over 1,000 yards and notching 9 interceptions.

Marcus Sales of Syracuse, New York is a 6'2, 185-pound receiver that holds offers from Louisville, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and a number of others. As a junior he collected 33 receptions for 600 yards.

One of the quickest athletes in '08 is Altoona (Penn.) High School's A.J. Alexander. The 5'10, 190-pound athlete has been clocked with a 4.3 40-yard time, which has attracted scholarship offers from Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Temple.

Stay logged on to InsideTheVille.com throughout this week as we continue to introduce a number of Louisville's top 2008 recruiting targets.

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