With National Signing Day over, the University of Louisville signed the 32nd ranked class in the nation, according to 247 Sports Composite Rankings. The class is ranked sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference, behind Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina. It’s obvious that Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino was tired of seeing his Heisman winning quarterback take far too many sacks, as Louisville inked five offensive linemen. Also, the efforts to mine the state of Georgia for talent continues, as six signees on the offensive side of the ball come from the talent-rich state. Today, we’ll take a look at the players who are expected to play on the offensive side of the ball who have sent in their Letter of Intent.
Louisville added its quarterback for 2017 when Cunningham committed to the Cardinals back in April while taking an unofficial visit to campus. He held some notable offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, and LSU, while there were some concerns that Oregon would be making a strong push to try and convince Malik to flip his commitment. Despite all of this, L.D. Scott was able to keep Cunningham in the fold. Hard to imagine that Cunningham does not redshirt his freshman season.
One of the highest rated recruits of the class, Louisville was able to fend off quite a number of powerhouse programs to secure the pledge of this highly talented running back from Florida. Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma are just a few of the other schools the Cardinals had to fight off to land Wilson. Wilson is joining a position group that saw the departure of Brandon Radcliff and L.J. Scott.
Head coach Bobby Petrino had this to say about Wilson:
"We've been recruiting him a long time," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said. "He grew up right down the street from where I used to live when I was in Jacksonville (coaching with the Jaguars). ... Earlier in the year, you could see he was getting better. He's explosive. He's powerful. He can catch the ball with his hands away from his body. Everything that we ask our running backs to do he can do. I think he has a chance to really help us."
Louisville continues its trend of recruiting big receivers with Justin Marshall. Marshall is another recruit from the state of Georgia, an area of the recruiting landscape that the coaching staff has focused much of their efforts. He committed to the Cardinals at the end of August, a month after naming Louisville his leader.
Reed is the biggest wide receiver in this year’s class, standing at 6’3” and 200 lbs. Reed committed a week before fellow wide receiver classmate Justin Marshall, but did take an official visit to Ole Miss the weekend following his official visit to Louisville in late January. He attended a Louisville camp in July and promptly listed the Cardinals as his leader.
Johnson kicked off Louisville’s wide receiver class by committing to the Cardinals program before his fellow receiver commits. He isn’t a big, imposing, receiver like the other two commits, standing at just 5’11”. He had 20 offers, but the list of other programs that offered him isn’t quite as impressive as Reed’s or Marshall’s.
Averett is the lone tight end commit in the 2017 class. Auburn was making a push to land the tight end prospect from Atlanta, Georgia. Kemari is a big player, standing at 6’7” and was recruited by wide receiver coach/co-offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway.
For the offensive line, I’m just going to lump all of these guys together because I’d end up just saying the same thing over and over again for each prospect/the current state of the position group as a whole. It was evident, to even the most casual of football fans, that this group last year was bad. Thankfully, this didn’t go unnoticed to Petrino, as the Cardinals recruiting effort for new talent was a priority. Petrino even went so far as to hire Mike Summers as his O-line coach, and move Chris Klenakis to coaching the tight ends. Throughout spring practice and fall camp, Petrino will routinely say how every position is up for grabs, but this is going to be even more true for the offensive line. Mike Summers will have no shortage of talent to work with and mold, as every one of these guys is listed as a 4-star by at least one recruiting service.