Florida stars headline Strong's first class

Charlie Strong made a big impact on Louisville's 2010 recruiting class. Though there were a few twists and turns on National Signing Day, the Cardinals finished with the third-ranked class in the Big East, led by four-star Florida standouts B.J. Butler and Michaelee Harris, and Ohio standouts Dominique and Preston Brown.

Charlie Strong 2010 National Signing Day Press Conference:

Louisville came into Wednesday's National Signing Day hoping to move even higher in the national rankings.

Since coming to UofL in December, Charlie Strong had put together a solid recruiting class that ranked No. 41 nationally in the Scout.com rankings entering signing day. The Cardinals were hoping to hold onto their previous commitments and add a few more additions to the class on signing day.

For the most, signing day went according to plan as Strong was able to hold onto most of Louisville's prior commitments. However, the Cardinals were surprised to lose three-star Miami (FL) Northwestern offensive lineman Torrian Wilson to Central Florida. Wilson appeared Louisville-bound but signed with Central Florida after making a visit last weekend. Louisville did, however, sign two of Wilson's teammates – four-star wide receiver Michaelee Harris and two-star running back Corvin Lamb.

Charlie Strong only had 55 days to put together the Big East's third-ranked recruiting class. He signed only seven of Steve Kragthorpe's previous commitments to scholarships.
Louisville also had hoped to land three-star DT Todd Chandler, three-star LB Tim Patterson and three-star LB Preston Brown on signing day. While Brown signed with Louisville, Chandler opted for South Florida and Patterson chose Kentucky in a ceremony locally Wednesday morning.

Overall, with the loss of Wilson, and the misses on Chandler and Patterson, Louisville's recruiting class fell three spots to No. 44. Still, the Cardinals have move up more than 20 spots in the national rankings since Strong took over the program in early December. Louisville's class ranks third in the Big East behind only Pittsburgh and West Virginia, both of whom signed Top 25 rated classes.

Strong took advantage of his strong ties down south, turning Louisville's recruiting class around on the backs of seven players from Florida, including four-star recruits B.J. Butler and Michaelee Harris. Butler, the No. 29 DE nationally, and Harris, the No. 31 wide receiver, could help out at Louisville next season as the Cards needed a talent-influx at both positions.

"We have four coaches that were in the state of Florida - Kenny Carter, Vance Bedford, Ron Dugans and Clint Hurtt that were from Florida, so that's why we were able to recruit in Florida," Strong said.

Louisville convinced two Georgia commitments – Butler and three-star linebacker Deon Rogers – to sign with the Cardinals. Strong also flipped a pair of Cincinnati commits – three-star prospects Preston Brown and Dominique Brown. Dominique Brown, who led his team to the Ohio Division II state championship this season, could compete for the starting quarterback job next season. Preston Brown is a top linebacker prospect.

While Louisville lost out on Patterson, the Cardinals landed a pair of local products. Stephan Robinson, a three-star wide receiver from Central, and Brandon Dunn, a defensive lineman from PRP, both signed with UofL.

The Cardinals also landed a pair of sleeper prospects from the south in Miami, Fla., defensive tackle Jamaine Brooks and Summerville, Ga., safety Senorise Perry. Brooks is considered one of the top linemen coming out of Miami and Perry is one of the fastest players in Georgia, having been timed at sub-4.3 forty speed at Florida's camp last summer.

Kamal Hogan, Kai Dominguez and Jordan Paschal all are rated three-star prospects. Hogan is a big running back from New Jersey, while Dominguez is expected to play wide receiver and Paschal defensive back.

Louisville officially announced the signings of 20 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The Cardinals also had three players who are mid-semester enrollees - quarterback Luke Woodley, junior college transfer defensive tackle Randy Salmon and Iowa transfer defensive end Tyler Harrell.

"It's been a great run the last two weeks," Strong said. "We've been able to get some players we feel will be contributors. We want to get back on top of Big East and I think these players can help us. We have a good class, we fulfilled our needs and got the kids we wanted."

The Cardinals only signed five of Steve Kragthorpe's 17 commitments to scholarships Wednesday - defensive end Lacy Coleman, WR Jarrett Davis, LB Tyon Dixon, WR Stephan Robinson and CB Jordan Paschal of Ohio.

Louisville signed six wide receivers - more than any other position.

"We only have five wide receivers in our program on scholarship so we felt we had a need there at that position," Strong said.

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