With 22 commitments already, Louisville's class of 2017 is already almost complete. With the last few open scholarships, the Louisville staff has been focused on addressing the offensive and defensive lines. Tuesday morning, Louisville received it had long been seeking when Hillsboro, TN defensive tackle Ben Hutch (6'3, 315) committed to the Cardinals. He is the 23rd commitment for Louisville for the 2017 class. He is the second commitment for Louisville from Tennessee, joining safety prospect Rodney Owens.
Hutch is rated a composite three-star defensive lineman by 247Sports rating system. According to his profile, he lists offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Nebraska and a host of other major programs across the south and east. Louisville's primary competition for Hutch, however, came from Texas A&M and Penn State. Hutch even took an official visit to Penn State on October 7th. Rivals lists Hutch as a three-star prospect with a 5.7 rating which is the highest player rating they give without listing someone as a four-star prospect.They rank him the #32 defensive tackle prospect in the country.
Hutch is one of the prospects Louisville has been after the longest. He took an unofficial visit all the way back in May. The staff identified him as the nose tackle they wanted as early as last spring. To be able to hold off Penn State given the season it is having, and Texas A&M despite its move to the SEC and recent success as well, bodes well for the future of the Louisville program on the recruiting trail.
Despite recent comments from his high school coach hinting that his future could be along the offensive line, Louisville intends to play Hutch at nose tackle. The good news for him is he won't be pressed into service too early. He'll most likely be able to redshirt, get stronger, and begin pushing for playing time in 2018.
Louisville's recruiting class was on the cusp of moving into the Top 25 according to 247Sports composite rating without Hutch. It is already there on Rivals and Scout. With a few more spots open and several highly rated options on the offensive line, at safety, and at running back, Louisville could be in position to sign its highest rated class in school history come February.