Andy Lyons

National Signing Day 2014: Louisville Football Looks To Gain Momentum Heading Into ACC

Stay tuned all day for the latest updates on Bobby Petrino's Cardinal football class of 2014.

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21 Total Updates since February 5, 2014
  • Updates 8
  • Articles 13
  • All Updates 21

Defensive lineman to sign with Louisville tomorrow

Defensive lineman Tae Thibodeaux will sign with Louisville tomorrow and picks the Cardinals over an offer from Arkansas.

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McNeil signs with Louisville

Louisville now has a signed letter of intent from what will probably be the last prospect they sign today. But it's a big one. Four-star offensive tackle Lukayus McNeil (6'7, 272) out of Indianapolis signed this afternoon and likely brings Louisville's class to a close. Here's a photo of him signing that McNeil tweeted earlier.

McNeil completes a four-man offensive line class that should help Louisville meet its needs in both the short and long term. Junior college tackle Kelby Johnson should compete for playing time right away while three enormous freshmen (McNeil, Danny Burns, and Jimmie Terry) should all have the luxury of redshirting and getting into college football shape for the future (because Louisville will lose the entire left side of its offensive line after the 2014 season). For whatever the shortcomings of the 2014 class are, it did help the offensive in a significant way.

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Sturghill flips from Wisconsin to Louisville

Louisville lost long-time commitment George Rushing to Wisconsin just two days before national signing day. They repaid Wisconsin by getting Memphis wide receiver and defensive back Cornelius Sturghill to change his commitment from Wisconsin on signing day and sign with the Cardinals. Sturghill is a extremely fast and while he'll surely need to put on weight once he gets to college (5'10, 170), he has all the speed a receiver needs to be effective in the slot in Bobby Petrino's offense. He could just as easily be a defensive back and help out immediately there, as well.

Sturghill committed to Wisconsin on January 24th while on an official visit, but the Louisville coaches were able to convince him to come on an official visit the following week and persuaded him to change his mind on signing day. Sturghill joins the already enrolled Cameron Polk and Javonte Bagley as receiver commitments for the class of 2014.

Here's video of Sturghill in action at both positions.

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Year Of The Bowtie For U of L Signees

First it was Sharieff Rhaheed:

And now De'Eric Culve is getting in on the fun:

I've been telling people for years that suspenders/bow tie/hat is the ideal wedding outfit combination. It also works for National Signing Day.

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LB Isaac Stewart Signs With Louisville

Three-star linebacker Isaac Stewart out of Charlotte is officially a Louisville Cardinal.

The 6'2, 240-pound Butler High standout was rated as the No. 26 prospect in the state of North Carolina by 247Sports.com. He picked Louisville over Mississippi State, North Carolina, NC State and Kansas State, among others.

Here's what GoCardsGuy had to say about Stewars after looking at him on film back in September:

This is going to sound weird but I labeled Stewart as a "tackler" when I first saw his video. Some guys are just naturally gifted at tackling and don't really excell at other aspects of playing linebacker. This kids just does a great job in between the tackles and he knows how to bring down running backs. He can run well and doesn't struggle getting from sideline to sideline, but he is really good sifting through the line and making plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. Louisville's system works well for larger middle linebackers because it allows them to play downhill. Stewart should already has good size and I really think he can come in and compete for the backup middle linebacker spot next year.

Cardinal Comparison: Lamar Myles

I would not mind another Lamar Myles.

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Henry Famurewa has signed with Louisville

Georgia linebacker Henry Famurewa has officially signed with the Louisville Cardinals. Famurewa committed to the previous coaching staff last summer and never hinted at shifting from that commitment despite the coaching change in December. Famurewa and Sharieff Rhaheed are the only current linebackers that have signed letters of intent today (so far).

Famurewa (6'2, 231) is a consensus three-star recruit according to the major recruiting services. He played defensive end in high school but likely will play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense that allows for larger outside linebackers that can also often rush the passer. Famurewa also had offers from a number of teams including Georgia Tech, NC State, Iowa, Illinois, and Boston College. He officially visited on January 31st and was often active on social media, trying to recruit others kids to Louisville.

Here's video of Famurewa in action courtesy of ESPN. You can see Famurewa is quick for a player his size and gives tremendous effort on every play.

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De'Eric Culver signs with Louisville

De'Eric Culver was one of the first players to commit to Louisville for the class of 2014 and unlike a number of them, stuck with Louisville and signed this morning. Recruiting decommitments due to coaching changes are to be expected and Louisville certainly had its share. For that reason, holding on to Culver and getting his signed letter of intent this morning was a major victory.

Culver is a talented corner that will probably see the field pretty early since Andrew Johnson and Terell Floyd are both seniors this year. Additionally, more teams on Louisville's new ACC schedule run spread offenses than they typically saw in the Big East/AAC. So, the need for an increasing number of defensive backs makes Culver that much more valuable.

Culver joins Zack Cannon, Trumaine Washington, and Michael Johnson as defensive back signees for the 2014 class so far. Cannon and Johnson are likely safeties while Culver and Washington can probably play either corner position as need and opponent determine. Culver picked Louisville over late interest from both Cal and Nebraska.

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Blair signs with Missouri.

DeSean Blair was one of the first prospects to commit to Louisville for the class of 2014. The Jacksonville, FL receiver was recruited by former receivers coach Ron Dugans and stuck with his commitment for almost a full year. This morning, he signed his letter of intent with Missouri. Blair is yet another loss for the Cardinals due almost entirely to the coaching change.

A tall, sure-handed receiver, it was easy to envision Blair being an effective weapon in Bobby Petrino's offense. Louisville was thought to have a good chance to hold on to his commitment when he made an official visit on January 24th with a number of other commitments. However, Blair and fellow former commit George Rushing both opted to head elsewhere as signing day approached.

Blair is a tough loss because wide receiver, while not lacking any depth for the 2014 season, is a big position of need and that need hasn't been met up to this point. Louisville still hopes to flip Wisconsin commit Cornelius Sturghill to make up for losing Blair and Rushing.

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Trumaine Washington Inks With Louisville

The Miami pipeline is alive and well.

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Sharieff Rhaheed signs with Louisville

Louisville's 2014 signing class received perhaps its biggest piece of good news when Fort Pierce, FL linebacker/defensive end Sharieff Rhaheed (6'2, 210) signed his letter of intent to play for Bobby Petrino. Rhaheed was considered a Louisville lead for much of the recruiting process until Charlie Strong opted to leave for the Texas job. When that occurred, his teammate and fellow former Louisville commit Rashawn Shaw changed his commitment to Wake Forest.

At that point it was assumed Rhaheed would sign with one of Arkansas, Michigan State, or Missouri. Louisville was able to make an impression on Rhaheed when he made an official visit just before signing day and his signed with the Cardinals this morning.

Rhaheed is a very good athlete with the frame to put weight on without losing much speed. In Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense, Rhaheed probably won't be big enough to play defensive end like he did in high school, but should be able to bulk up to play either linebacker position.

Here's Rhaheed at his signing ceremony this morning.

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