Rivals 250 safety Jaquelle Green wasn't the only commitment Louisville secured last night. As first reported by Jody Demling of Cardinal Authority, Marietta, GA offensive lineman James Dematto also committed to the Cardinals. Dematto (6'4, 280) is Louisville's third offensive line commitment for the class of 2016, joining Robbie Bell and enormous junior college guard Dwayne Wallace. You can view a highlight video of Dematto from his junior season below.
Dematto is a composite three-star commitment that up to this points has been lightly recruited by major programs. Aside from a set of offers from lower-level FBS teams like Appalachian State, Georgia State and others, Dematto also lists offers from East Carolina and Syracuse. He is Louisville's 21st commitment for the class of 2016.
Naturally, some are going to turn their noses at a commitment from a kid rated two-stars on Rivals. But before anyone loses too much sleep, bear a few things in mind. It cannot be denied that Petrino has had more than his fair share of success with developing rather unheralded offensive line prospects (the two always mentioned are Eric Wood who was a two-star recruit and Breno Giacomini who was listed as a two-star defensive end, played a year of tight end and then ultimately became an NFL starting tackle).
Not only is Petrino making these assessments, but so is Dave Boller, who spends virtually all of his time evaluating film on potential recruits. For those who don't know, Boller is a career NFL scout that joined the Louisville support staff almost entirely to be a talent evaluator. So it means something that they're on board with the kid.
No offensive lineman from the class of (except maybe the junior college kid Wallace) is going to be pressed into immediate playing time anyway. Louisville stands to lose only Epps and Kelby Johnson from this year's roster, which will still leave all of Geron Christian, Skyler Lacy, Kenny Thomas, Lukayus McNeil, Khalil Hunter, Kiola Mahoni, Toriano Roundtree, Danny Burns, Chandler Jones, Pedro Sibiea, and Tobijah Hughley. If the staff wants to take a flyer on an offensive lineman they feel they can develop down the road with no pressure to push him into the lineup, it's safe.
So welcome aboard, Mr. Dematto.