Louisville looks to the JUCO ranks

It seems apparent that Louisville intends to bring in at least one junior college tight end in this year's recruiting class to replace Gary Barnidge and Scott Kuhn. Even with two highly-regarded HS TE prospects in hand, Steve Kragthorpe appears to be in hot pursuit to find an experienced tight end from the JUCO ranks that can step in and make an immediate impact next season.

It seems apparent that Louisville intends to bring in at least one junior college tight end in this year's recruiting class to replace Gary Barnidge and Scott Kuhn.

The Cardinals currently have two commitments from high school tight ends – Four-star Ames, IA standout Ben Cotton and 6'6 Nathan Nord from Boca Raton, Florida. Even with those commitments in hand, Steve Kragthorpe appears to be in hot pursuit to find an experienced tight end from the JUCO ranks that can step in and make an immediate impact next season.

Luke Brocka, a 6'5, 235-pound tight end from Ellsworth C.C., is scheduled to make an official visit to Louisville Nov. 29 for the Cardinals season finale against Rutgers.

But Brocka isn't the only junior college prospect the Cardinals are showing interest. Louisville recently expressed interest in Maurice Graham from the College of the Sequoias – the same school that produced Woodny Turenne, and Patrick Wilson from Georgia Military College.

Two other prospects, Gerald Harris from Navarro (TX) C.C., and Donnie Crosby from Arizona Western C.C., are also hearing from Louisville.


Louisville is looking to the junior college
ranks to replace tight ends Gary Barnidge
and Scott Kuhn next year.
"I'm waiting on them to call me this week," said the 6'5, 245-pound Harris. "They called me last week and they said right now they are currently looking over some film on me and they were going to get back to me and let me know what they thought. They said they were going to watch film with their whole coaching staff and let me know what they thought of me."

Harris appears to be a physical tight end that excels in the run game.

"I'm mostly used for blocking but I think I have the ability to be a great receiving tight end, too," Harris said. "I can catch but I've been mostly used for blocking. I'm a pretty physical tight end and I like to block. I played defensive end last year so that gives me that physical aspect of the game. I probably don't have but about five receptions this year. I've only been thrown the ball maybe eight times."

Louisville's recent contact has piqued Harris' interest.

"I've watched them play on TV several times when they've had big games this year," Harris said. "Some of them haven't worked out the way that they wanted them to but I know last year they went to the (BCS). They just contacted me two weeks ago for the first time."

Harris' lone offer currently is from Ole Miss. That has the Rebels in good shape with Harris, though he says he's not in a rush to make a decision. Instead, Harris wants to carefully consider all of his option before making his decision.

"Right now because they are so active in getting me down there(Ole Miss) is my No. 1 pick because they have the first and only offer on the table," Harris said. "They are one of my top choices but I want to shop around before I make my final decision. I'm going to wait until I'm finished with football here at Navarro before I make any decision. I'm not making my decision until after my season is over."

Harris said he's considering five programs right now. "I'm probably going to take a visit to UTEP," Harris said. "Utah is wanting me to come down there for a visit. Tulsa also wants me to take a trip down there to their school. So I guess Utah, UTEP, Tulsa, Louisville and Ole Miss are my schools right now."

Donnie Crosby, a 6'3, 255-pound tight end from Arizona Western C.C. in Yuma, says that his recruitment has "slowed down," recently.

Crosby is hearing from Louisville, Indiana and Ole Miss and has tentative plans to visit Louisville next month. "I'm planning to visit Louisville in December," Crosby said. "I think I'm going to do something with Indiana. And I'm still (hearing) from Ole Miss."

Louisville assistant Greg Nord has been the lead recruiter with Crosby for the Cardinals.

"Me and Coach Nord were talking about it and I think I'll be visiting around the 14th," Crosby said. "It depends on their bowl situation and all that stuff. I talked to coach Nord a lot at the beginning of the season but I haven't talked to him lately. I probably talked to him three or four weeks ago. I have a verbal offer but not a written offer from them."

Crosby said his interest in Louisville is high. "It's a good school that would allow me to show off my talents," he said. "I'm trying to find somewhere that I could get used to my full potential. That's all I'm looking for right now."

Arizona Western has had a rough season, currently sitting at just 2-6. Crosby said he's caught about 12 passes – not what he expected heading into the season.

"If I can get into an offense that throws the ball a lot I'm good because I think I'm pretty good after the catch and I'm pretty good at blocking, too," Crosby said. "I'd say I'm a pretty good all-around."


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