Scott Satterfield and his staff put together one of the biggest recruiting weekends in recent memory for Louisville football this weekend. He will host players from all over the eastern half of the country with thirteen players that would all fill a need for the team. Louisville is in good shape to fill the eight remaining open scholarships with this group but they also have a sizable group coming to campus next week. I put together some capsules for each player visiting this week. As always, I utilize 247 sports for recruiting profiles and info.
Dwayne Ledford has made Jackson Gregory a priority over the last week even though Gregory doesn’t hold a FBS offer as of now. Ledford made a trip up to Ohio to visit Gregory this week after he scheduled an official visit. I’ve said before that I don’t know how to evaluate offensive linemen well so I won’t start now. However, I will say that nothing in Gregory’s highlights look like a FCS player. He moves extremely well and he pancakes opposing defensive linemen regularly. His ability to engage defensive players and stick to his blocks is also notable.
While he doesn’t have an offer right now, I think that UofL will at least give him an offer to be a preferred walk on. Ohio State gave him the same offer, but Louisville has an immediate need for depth. Louisville could also offer him an opportunity to take a late scholarship if they find themselves with extra spots after signing day.
Louisville hasn’t looked at too many JUCO players outside of tight ends so far, but Monty Montgomery looks to be an option to add depth at the linebacker position. Montgomery is a bit undersized at 5-11 but he was the conference defensive player of the year and had an extremely productive season. He fits the mold of a speed guy that plays in space well and has coverage skills. I would like to see a little more from him in coverage but it’s not like he’s lost out there. You can see in his highlights that he does well in zone coverage.
Personally, I think that Montgomery will be one of the guys that UofL takes only if they miss out on a different guy. Scott Satterfield has made it known that he prefers to bring in guys from high school so that he gets more time to develop them. UofL has a few other linebackers that they are trying to land and they are all high school kids. If they take Montgomery, that might signal that they don’t feel that they’re going to land the other guys.
Bryan Brown made a visit to Orlando to see Marvae Myers-Glover last week and set up an official visit. I’m going to call him MMG from here on out because I can. MMG is another guy that fits well. He’s a safety that returns kicks and punts but he also shows a good ability to come up the field and make strong tackles on runners. Another thing that he has in common with the other safety targets is that he also played cornerback in high school. He has really good ball skills and has a frame that should develop well in college.
MMG doesn’t have any other power five offers and has only visited Liberty outside of his visit this weekend. It stands out to me that he didn’t have an offer from App State, so Bryan Brown seems to have taken notice of him after coming on at UofL and reached out with an offer pretty early after coaches got on the road. I’m not sure if he is in the same boat as the others that will have to wait to see if Louisville has room, but I do think they’re in good shape to land him.
Bryan Brown said in an interview a few weeks ago that Louisville won’t look to recruit big 300 pound defensive linemen and would instead look for smaller guys that can move well. Terray Jones fits that criteria well at 6-1/280. He is an absolute force in the middle of the defense with the way he gets off the ball and explodes into gaps. Louisville has bodies on the defensive line right now but none of them showed much of an ability to do what was needed to stop the run last year. Jones can do those things that they couldn’t and I think that’s why he’s the lone defensive tackle UofL is targeting. My one big concern is that he seems to have a body that could blow up on him at the next level. That could slow him down a bit if he ends up pushing 290+.
Jones doesn’t have any other official visits set up right now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he commits to UofL after his visit on Sunday.
Keeyon Stewart is originally from Madisonville, KY so he’s making a trip back close to home this weekend. Bryan Brown and ShaDon Brown set their eyes on Stewart early on and got him to set up an official this weekend. Stewart is a cornerback who can also play safety. He’s long and lean like some of the other corner targets and I really like how he plays the run. App State’s defensive backs were really good at cutting guys down by their legs in the open field and Stewart does that very well. He can also lay a good hit on a runner and wrap up in tight spaces. I liked what I saw in coverage but there wasn’t as much as I would have liked to watch to get a better feel for how good he is there.
Stewart has ties here in Kentucky but as of now it looks like TCU is the team to beat for him. He took a visit there last week and came away impressed. The staff has been selling early playing time, but TCU has been pushing much harder to land Stewart and that will be hard to overcome. Gary Patterson showed up for a visit the other day with two other staffers.
Scott Satterfield and Dwayne Ledford have been seemingly working in tandem to recruit a couple more offensive linemen for this class and they both zeroed in on Josh Black last week. Black is about the size of most of the linemen App State had on the roster at 6-4/270 but Ledford had some pretty big guys at NC State, so it’s hard to know if they prefer a specific size of player on the offensive line. Black moves extremely well for a big guy which is needed int he zone scheme. There’s a specific play in his highlights that sticks out where he runs about 25 yards to get a block on a guy chasing his quarterback to the sideline. It’s a good display of the type of athlete he is.
Black was a Western Kentucky commit at one point before flipping to Georgia Tech. After their coaching change, he got a lot of attention from Louisville. With no other official visits scheduled, he’s another guy that I think Louisville is in good shape with.
The best player that Louisville has on campus this weekend is Ja’Darien Boykin, in my opinion. Boykin is a four star talent who has offers from a handful of ACC schools. Personally, I think that Boykin is the perfect example of what UofL recruiting could look like with the new staff. He’s a highly ranked player at his position that also fits perfectly with the new scheme. He plays with extreme energy and really does a great job pursuing the football. The way he fires off at the snap is exactly what Mark Ivey wants out of his defensive front. UofL will look for guys like him who are talented players who also play the way that this staff expects on every snap.
Boykin is trending to Louisville in 247’s Crystal Ball feature. Steve Wiltfong was the first to make that prediction and he runs 247’s director of football recruiting. So, he might know some things. Miami got an official visit last weekend but I think UofL is in good shape to get a commitment this weekend from Boykin.
Dwayne Ledford seems to have a type ad that type is smaller linemen with athletic traits. Trotter’s highlights are full of plays where he is getting down the field to get to his blocks. He does a good job of putting a target on guys in space and hitting his target. That won’t be as easy at the next level, but the fact that he understands how to do it is a good sign.
Trotter took an official visit to Clemson last week and apparently left with a greyshirt offer. That’s probably a good sign for the evaluation that Leford made, but it also puts UofL in a good spot to land Trotter. Louisville wants two more linemen in this class and Trotter and Black could be those two guys.
Jamel Starks is another safety that will be visiting this weekend that returns kicks and punts. He also can play corner and plays running back on offense. Sensing a theme yet? Starks is listed as an “athlete” and it’s fitting for him. He can really do it all. I love the way he finishes through tackles for a small guy. I do wonder if he can put on the weight needed to play safety and if he has the cover skills that you want to see. But, he’s definitely a talented player that has value as an athlete.
Bryan Brown was the lead recruiter for Starks when App State was recruiting him and he was among the first few guys to get a visit from Brown when the staff got on the road. I think that Louisville has the inside track on Starks because he hasn’t scheduled another visit after the early signing period. He took trips to WVU, Nebraska, and NC State before the first signing day but didn’t sign with anyone and now he only used one of his two remaining visits and it was to visit Bryan Brown who gave him his second ever offer.
We’ve arrived at “Keith’s favorite player” in Tyler Devera. I don’t have a clue why this kid is so lowly rated but his recruitment is picking up a little bit as of late. Devera is a really good blocker who shows great effort even when the ball isn’t coming to his side of the field. He drives guys backwards and even has a few pancakes in his highlights. That’s the main reason why I really like him but he also runs really crisp routes and has good speed. I think that Devera could come in and be a key contributor at tight end and not just play because of necessity.
Rutgers lost Devera as a commit when they dismissed his older brother from the team this fall and he took a visit to Colorado last weekend and enjoyed it. Those two teams are the main competition for Louisville but the immediate playing time should probably help the staff get him here. Colorado has a very good sophomore tight end coming back which could help UofL, also.
Zach Edwards is a run stopper style linebacker that runs like an outside linebacker. Louisville hadn’t targeted a guy that really fit what I’ve seen from the App State inside linebackers up until now. Edwards fits that role pretty well, in my opinion. He likes to play between the tackles and make plays behind the line. He had over 60 tackles for loss over the last two years along with a bunch of sacks. But, he can run things down outside the numbers, too. Closing speed is what I tend to look for when I watch linebackers and Edwards excels there. I think he could be a guy that would see the field early if he committed.
Edwards was committed to LSU until July but his recruitment has been very queiet since then. He is scheduled for a visit with Ole miss next weekend. He is from Starksville but hasn’t been recruited by the staff there since Joe Moorhead took over. I tend to lean towards thinking that he’ll stay home in Mississippi but Louisville will be playing at least one freshman at linebacker next year. Edwards might buy into the idea that he can get on the field early.
Another one of my favorite guys that UofL is targeting is Dequan Watts. Watts calls himself a corner but i wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up as a safety or even a receiver at the next level. He has a frame that can add a good amount of weight. But, I think UofL is looking at him as a corner. Bryan Brown is the lead recruiter for Watts, who finished his senior year without giving up a touchdown. He’s great in “off coverage” which is a great sign for him fitting in with the new scheme. But more than anything, he can flat our run. Louisville needs an influx of secondary players who can run and Watts is just that.
Louisville is playing from behind with South Carolina having a big head start as one of his initial final three schools back in the summer. Watts is a high school teammate of Hassan Hall which is obviously good thing. It also seems that this is now a two team race with Watts not taking any other visits after going to South Carolina last weekend. Louisville will have to hope that Hall can help them close the deal here.
Louisville decided this week that they were going to start targeting running backs and they ended up getting the second best available running back on campus in the same week. Jamious Giffin is a four star running back that recently decommited from NC State and immediately became the hottest recruit on the market. He is a power back with a compact frame and he is laughably good at football. He combines great balance and power with good speed and he put up ridiculous numbers against strong competition in high school. Griffin ran for over 5,000 yards and 90 touchdowns in his career. He was also named an all-american by Max preps and USA Today this year after putting up 2,600+ plus yards and 37 touchdowns.
I have no clue who is going to end up landing Griffin but I have no doubt that UofL is in the running. Georgia Tech seems to be the team that most people expect to win out but I think that’s due to the fact that it’s close to home. I’d argue that him being committed to NC State for so long shows that location doesn’t matter that much. FSU gets an official visit next week, so I don’t expect Griffin to make a decision until signing day.