Strong lands four-star commitment

It didn't take Louisville coach Charlie Strong long to get the ball rolling on the recruiting front. Just 24 hours after becoming the Cardinals new coach Strong has landed his first commitment from four-star 2011 quarterback DaMarcus Smith. has the scoop.

Charlie Strong was announced as Louisville's coach yesterday. Less than 24 hours later, Strong landed his first commitment as the Cards coach from one of the state's top prospects – 2011 Seneca four-star quarterback DaMarcus Smith.

"This (Louisville) is where I want to be and it's a real dream come true for me," Smith said. "I want to be a part of the change that's about to happen here."

Smith spoke with Strong on Wednesday, then met with UofL's new coach Thursday - Strong's first official day on the job as Louisville's football coach.

"It was great," Smith said. "We got to talk for a long time just me and him and got a start on getting to know each other. We just both confirmed with each other that we're really going to take the time to know each other. We really clicked."

Smith said he was 'star-stuck' in his first meeting with Louisville's new coach.

"It took me a while to warm up to him. I was so star-struck because he's gotten so much publicity recently," Smith said. "Just him coming to me and talking to me was shocking."

Smtih was offered a scholarship this fall by Steve Kragthorpe. His big question for Strong was if the offer still stood.

"He let me know that I was the first person he heard about as soon as he came to Louisville," Smith said. "He let me know he wanted me to be his guy and he wants me to be the quarterback that helps turn the program around. He told me I still had the scholarship and that made me feel good because that did cross my mind when Kragthorpe got [fired]."

Smith came away very impressed after his meeting with Strong.

"I liked the way he presents himself, like his confidence. He's not an arrogant person but he's confident he's going to make a [positive] change at Louisville," Smith said. "He's as good as advertised. In two days of talking to him I can tell he really cares about people. I've talked to a lot of recruiters and you can tell the real ones from the fake ones. He really seems like a guy who really cares about you and is not just trying to get you to come to his school."

A big-time passer, Smith likes to throw the ball around the field. Strong told Smith he's planning to run a spread offense at UofL.

"He let me know that we're going to spread the ball around a lot when I get there, but he also stressed that he wanted to have a good running game," Smith said. "He already has some good recruits at running back and he wants to be able to run the ball. But the majority of the time he wants to be a spread team and spread the ball out."

Strong didn't tell Smith who his new offensive coordinator would be but assured the junior quarterback he'd assemble an excellent staff.

"He told me he's got some good guys in mind and he's going to have a good coaching staff," said Smith. "He stressed that every coach is going to genuinely care about kids. He's going to make sure all the recruits are going to have a good coaching staff to play for."

Smith said he plans to graduate from Seneca next December and enroll at UofL in January 2011. Strong told Smith he could compete for playing time as a freshman.

Smith passed for more than 3,200 yards and 32 touchdowns last season at Seneca. He missed his junior season with a knee injury, but said Thursday night he's ahead of schedule in his rehab process.

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