Louisville football is pulling out all the stops for Senior Day. They have a ticket special where you can purchase $7 dollar tickets for the flight deck or a package of four tickets and a parking pass for $50. They’re also utilizing social media to push fans to support the seniors. They’re also piggybacking that push to help recruiting by bringing in an absurdly large list of prospects. The staff expects over 100 players to be on hand for the game with five players making an official visit.
Thirteen players who are already committed to Louisville will be on hand. Marvin Dallas and Trevor Reid will be joined by their Georgia Military College teammate, Yaya Diaby for an official visit. The top ranked JUCO athlete, Marueese Wren will also be in town for an official visit. UofL is recruiting him as a defensive end. They will join Josh Griffis on campus as the three main defensive end targets for the staff. Griffis took an official after the Miami game where he got to go to a UofL basketball game on the Sunday when the team got back in town.
The fifth official visitor is the big fish of the group. Jo’Quavious Marks will be the second top 25 ranked running back that the staff will have in town in their first year on the job. Marks is 15th ranked back in the composite and he is a perfect fit for the offense. He also happens to attend the same high school that produced the Pass brothers. Marks is committed to Mississippi State but he is taking his visits. He has been to Wisconsin and Florida is on his list. It looks like he will end his trips with MSU in December. The staff making a strong impression could go a long way as well as Javian Hawkins having a chance to break the freshman rushing record while he’s in attendance.
Let’s get to some highlights and analysis of some of the guys that will be on campus.
YAYA DIABY - DEFENSIVE END
Louisville has 3-5 spots left in this class depending on how many guys they decide to take at the end of the day. One or two of those spots will go to a defensive linemen and I think Diaby is a likely candidate to get a spot. Diaby is a JUCO guy who has shown progression during his time at GMC. The staff has a history with the school as they recruited and signed a handful of guys while they were at App State. Some of those guys turned out to be very productive so you know they trust the staff down there to steer them towards guys that they can use.
Diaby has great size at 6-4/260 and he plays with great burst and speed. To me, he is a little more polished than I expected which should bode well for him getting on the field early and producing if he ends up with the Cards. Diaby is a former tight end/wide receiver/running back/defensive end at the high school level who very clearly didn’t have the body to stick out as a power five football player. He’s used his time at GMC to fill out while sustaining the athleticism that allowed him to play all of those positions. His recruitment has blown up a bit since UofL got involved back in the summer and they will have to hold off Tennessee, Arizona, Utah, and West Virginia to get him.
The difference from high school to now is pretty unbelievable to see on film.
MARQUEESE WREN - DEFENSIVE END
Wren has one of the more interesting recruiting stories. He was a high three star wide receiver coming out of high school with a bunch of power five offers. He was originally headed to Arkansas but he decommited and ended up at Louisiana Tech where he only lasted a summer. He ended up in Tyler, Texas as a JUCO player and now he’s an edge defender there. He has the frame to bulk up to the size they want at defensive end so I don’t doubt that he could play here if he ends up pulling the trigger.
I do wonder if they want to take a chance on a guy that hasn’t played as an interior linemen before, though. But you can see the theme as they’re looking for athletic guys at these defensive end spots. To me, he seems like a better fit for the “Dog” spot to replace Boosie Whitlow. Wren was a Missouri commit at one point but it looks like SMU is his other top option right now.
JOSH GRIFFIS - DEFENSIVE END
My personal choice for the guy I’d like to see this staff add is Griffis. He’s a high school kid with a really nice frame and a great motor. He plays the game in the way that they need their ends to play. He has plenty of length and shouldn’t have any issue getting to that 260 pound range. He plays as an edge guy in high school but when he does put his hand on the ground it’s obvious that he knows how to get off the ball quickly as well as find gaps to get through.
Griffis has a final three of Louisiville, Nebraska, and FSU where he has been committed since the spring. He scheduled an official to UofL very quickly after Willie Taggart was fired and he’s taking his second visit this month. While I think that Nebraska has a chance, this decision will likely come down to what FSU decides to do with Odell Haggans. He’s the defesnive line coach at FSU who interviewed for the head job but he might not be retained if he doesn’t get the head job.
JO’QUAVIOUS MARKS - RUNNING BACK
I talk a lot about “fit” when it comes to recruiting but it’s good that we’re seeing a good amount of highly rated and highly sought after recruits that also fit the system. Marks shows the long speed and burst that we’ve seen from Hassan Hall with the quickness and patience that have helped Javian Hawkins reach 1,000 yards this year.
Marks has been committed to MSU for months and I don’t think that UofL has any sort of inside track or anything but it’s important to get players like this on campus. Jamious Griffin took an official in January and flat out said that he had a tough decision even though he was all but signed to play with his brother at Georgia Tech. These recruits camp together and they all communicate. A good visit is good even if they don’t land these guys. Eventually it pays off if this staff stays in place.
THOMAS SHRADER - OFFENSIVE TACKLE
As far as I can tell, Shrader has taken visits to a total of two schools in the last half year. One was an official visit to UofL in the spring and the other has been a handful of visits to FSU after he committed this summer. He’ll be back on campus to Louisville which is a good sign seeing as he hasn’t said or done much of anything since Taggart was fired. Louisville continued to recruit Shrader after his commitment and it looks like that might pay off. He was a part of the huge May recruiting weekend that landed most of this class so it also helps that he will see some familiar faces with some of those guys coming back this weekend.
You can see from the first play on Shrader’s highlights that he is exactly what Dwayne Ledford wants in an offensive linemen. He can shoot out of his stance quickly and he knows how to engage blocks off the line. He plays with that toughness Ledford talks about all the time and he finishes his blocks. I also like him because he has the size and bulk that could get him on the field early. That’s the whole resume and it’s all over his film.
JOSHUA PIERRE-LOUIS - CORNERBACK
Louisville is still searching for another cornerback in this class and they offered Pierre-Louis exactly a month ago. He’s expected to be in for an unofficial visit and might be a guy that waits until the second signing period to pick a school. Pierre-Louis hails from the same high school as Jordan Travis which shows that Jordan Travis went to, which stood out to me as Travis left on bad terms. I like the way this kid plays and he has a nice blend of pure speed as well as quickness. he’s on the slight size at 5-9/165 but Bryan Brown did very well with smaller/quicker guys at App State so his size doesn’t worry me all too much. Auburn and NC State appear to be the top schools to compete against.
Here are another handful of guys that are expected in for unofficial visits that stood out to me. Recruiting profile and Hudl linked.
TOMMY ROONEY - TIGHT END
Rooney is a guy they’ve been recruiting for a long while now but it appears they want to bring him in as a walk on who could grow into a tight end.
SELAH BROWN - DEFENSIVE LINE (2022)
Brown is a young guy who is starring at Male High School. He already has four power five offers and should see more from outside the region soon.
TANK SUGICK - DEFENSIVE TACKLE (2021)
Sugick is a kid out of Maryland that is being recruited by ShaDon Brown. He’s a good fit for the inside tackle spot in the defense as long as he can keep his weight down.
WILLIAM WHITLOW JR. - DEFENSIVE END (2021)
UofL got in on Whitlow a handful of months ago and he just recently was rated as a three star prospect by Rivals. I believe this is his second visit to campus this season.