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National Signing Day 2015: Louisville lands deep, talented class

Louisville signed what is, at least on paper, its second best recruiting class in the history of the school.

Louisville and head coach Bobby Petrino are currently enjoying one of the best National Signing Days in school history. With needs at a number of positions and a ton of scholarships to offer, Louisville entered the day with just a few prospects up in the air. Amazingly, they held on to all but one (Sheldrick Redwine) and when the dust settles, Louisville will have likely signed the second best recruiting class in school history.

This is all quite a relief to those who feared (myself included) that recruiting would drop off with the change from Charlie Strong to Petrino. Instead, Louisville was able to hold off furious efforts from Florida to flip quarterback Lamar Jackson and Auburn to flip GG Robinson. With those two reaffirming their commitment today, Louisville will sign a class right in the middle of the pack in the ACC. They addressed virtually every position of need with quality and quantity and probably will still be on the lookout for one or two more players.

Strengths of the class so far

QB - Any time you can sign a four-star QB out of Florida with the arm strength and athleticism of Lamar Jackson, it's a big deal. Jackson is a really raw passer, but the tools are there. With coaching, he'll be a factor for the offense right away (especially with quarterback such an unsettled position).

OL - Louisville needed many offensive linemen and they badly needed size. They got both with this group. JUCOs Kiola Mahoni and Khalil Hunter will challenge for playing time right away while Geron Christian (6'6, 320), Kenny Thomas (6'6, 330), and Chandler Jones (6'4, 300) will probably not have the luxury of redshirting.

WR - Louisville is losing virtually everyone from last year's receiving corps. To get Traveon Samuel and Paul Harris in for spring ball to go alongside James Quick and JaQuay Williams will cushion the blow considerably. Jaylen Smith, Trey Smith, Emonee Spence, and Devante Peete all bring great size at the position and will surely all have a chance to play early. "Front Seven" - I'm calling it this because we don't know exactly where some guys will line up, but Jonathan Greenard, Tim Bonner, Devonte Fields, Amonte Caban, GG Robinson, and Drew Bailey all have the size and athleticism to play in Grantham's 3-4 defense and ensure that the current team strength will remain one going forward.

The only known commitment Louisville is currently waiting for a signed letter of intent from is Devonte Fields, who will sign shortly.


CB - Louisville really needed an additional bona fide cornerback (and may yet find one), so to lose out on Kareem Orr and Sheldrick Redwine stings a bit.

RB - To take the publicity hit of cutting Matthew Colburn loose so close to signing day and then not land a big running back target out of all of the guys that visited late in the process really puts the pressure on James Allen to make sure whatever qualifying issues he's feared to have are settled. He can't not make it this fall. Still, Allen and Jeremy Smith are a nice combination to go alongside LJ Scott and Brandon Radcliff. Bottom Line: Louisville's first full class under Petrino had to be a tremendous encouragement to anyone worried about how recruiting would go under Petrino. Louisville's class currently sits at #31 in 247 Sports' team rankings. That ranking is better than any of the Charlie Strong Louisville classes except the 2011 class (and it isn't far off of that class either. That class finished #29). For additional perspective, Louisville's class finishes ahead of Baylor and TCU who both just missed the College Football Playoff and are in the middle of talent-rich Texas, and ahead of Arizona who just played in the PAC 12 Championship Game and Fiesta Bowl.

Here's a list of the 2015 signees courtesy of 247 Sports.