Steve Kragthorpe landed his first commitment in the class of 2008 when Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh) quarterback Tino Sunseri verballed to Louisville on Friday.
Sunseri's father Sal, a former Pitt All-American linebacker who's now a Carolina Panthers defensive line coach, was on Louisville's staff when Tino was in grade school. Recruiting coordinator Greg Nord, who was the point man in recruiting Sunseri, is a holdover from those days.
"It was a nice backup to know I have been there," he said. "I know what the people are like, and I know some of the coaches."
Sunseri led Central Catholic (which utlizes a predominantly run-first offense) to Pennsylvania's Quad South championship last season, completing 86-of-151 passes for 1,408 yards and 14 touchdowns.
A starter since his freshman season at Weddington High in North Carolina, Sunseri chose Louisville over Florida State, Colorado, Purdue, Southern Mississippi and South Florida, among others.
Sunseri, who was voted top quarterback at the Georgia Tech "Elite 11" QB camp, reminds me a bit of former Cardinal QB Stefan LeFors (sans the left-handedness) with his dual run/pass capabilites (peep video). Like LeFors, he possesses great touch and accuracy both in the pocket and on the move.
Obviously Sunseri is taking a relatively large chance by committing to a program that appears to have a set starter in place for his first season (Hunter Cantwell), as well as a big name recruit waiting in the wings (Matt Simms). It will be interesting to see if he can come in and compete for the starting job in his sophomore campaign, or if Koach will choose to redshirt him and set him up to be the guy in his junior and senior seasons.
Either way, congrats to Koach Krag on his first '08 verbal, and welcome Tino to the Cardinal family.