The Louisville Football staff added two more players to their top-25 recruiting class over the last 24 hours. Marvin Dallas and Braden Smith decided to join the class and give all 10 assistant coaches on the staff at least one commitment in this class. Dallas will play the “Card” position at Louisville. That spot is a hybrid outside linebacker/nickel back position. Smith becomes the second wide receiver in the class.
Dallas has been a very intriguing recruit, in my opinion. He wasn’t recruited out of high school and decided to head to Georgia Military College to raise his profile. He received an offer from Louisville last month and committed while on campus this weekend. Dallas is a relative unknown as a recruit. He didn’t put up impressive numbers in his first year at GMC and his only other offer is from Central Michigan. But, as of now, Dallas is the top rated player in the class and 247’s composite rankings has him as the 10th best JUCO prospect in the country.
The staff has been in on Dallas for a while, so even though there is not much to know about him, it’s not like they’re scrambling the week before signing day. He played football, basketball, and ran in multiple track disciplines in high school so it’s probably fair to assume that he has some athleticism. He is moving into a nickel back role for his JUCO this fall so we will all get to see how he fits in the Card role.
Braden Smith was a target of Gunter Brewer’s for a while now and took a visit to campus a month ago. As far as I know, he didn’t leave campus with an offer that day but he made a surprise commitment today. Smith hasn’t been rated by the recruiting services and only has a few other offers but the staff felt comfortable taking his commitment.
Smith started his career as a walk-on at Mississippi State before transferring to Northwest Mississippi Community College. He went on to lead the team in catches (45), yards (537), and touchdowns (8). I was pretty impressed with what I saw in his tape. He shows craftiness as a route-runner and tracks the ball very well in the air. He’s not a blazing fast guy but definitely shows enough speed to separate from coverage. You can definitely see what the staff sees from a potential standpoint.
I am surprised that the staff is taking a second slot receiver in this class. They will likely take three or four receivers in the class but the only slot receiver they will be losing is Thomas Jackson who is a grad transfer this year. On the other hand, they will be losing Seth Dawkins, DeVante Peete, and possibly Dez Fitzpatrick if he has a breakout year. They are targeting some very good outside receivers but it seems like they’ll be pretty heavy in the slot next year.
I would be an unbelievable homer if I didn’t point out that both of these guys come off as a reach for the staff. Neither are on the radar for any other power five school and neither left high school with any offers that would make you believe that they were legit talents. It’s also way too early to be able to trust the evaluations of this coaching staff. I truly do think it’s important to keep in mind that they’re taking these guys now and not late in the process when they’re panicking. However, it’s a little concerning that they’re taking a guy who has’t seen much of the field in JUCO and another that was originally a walk-on. While I can see the promise with these guys, I don’t know that Louisville is in a position to take JUCO guys that might not pan out.