Louisville has gone on another run on the recruiting trail so it’s about time to update the recap post from May. As of now, it looks like things might slow down a bit for the staff but I would be surprised if this class wasn’t close to full before the planned start of the season. The Cards have six spots left and they look to be in solid shape for two of those spots right now.
JARAYE WILLIAMS - LINEBACKER
OFFERS: Arizona State, Boise State, Nebraska, USC, Washington State
RECRUITER: Cort Dennison
Notes: Jaraye Williams is currently the highest rated player in the 2021 class. He is the son of Terrance Williams and was long expected to pick the Cards. Williams will likely end up playing outside linebacker where he can rush the passer while also being a plus player in coverage.
TREVION COOLEY - RUNNING BACK
OFFERS: Arkansas, Florida, Duke, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, NC State, South Carolina
RECRUITER: Norval McKenzie
Notes: Cooley’s commitment was the worst held secret in this city but it still came out of nowhere. He was long believed to be headed to Duke as they were his first offer and he could stay close to home. Then Florida offered and the recruiting folks figured he would jump at the chance to be the back in their class. But rumors started to spread a few days before he committed that he would be picking Louisville. This feels like one of those times where a recruiter just won a kid over.
KANI WALKER - DEFENSIVE BACK
OFFERS: Boston College, Arkansas, NC State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, Pitt
RECRUITER: Bryan Brown
Notes: Kani Walker is listed as a Cornerback but he has the size to move to either of the Safety spots if he keeps growing. Louisville is recruiting a type of player as opposed to a position when it comes to some of these guys on defense and Walker is a good example of that.
DERRICK EDWARDS - DEFENSIVE BACK
OFFERS: Baylor, Cincy, FSU, UK, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee
RECRUITER: Frank Ponce and Bryan Brown
Notes: Louisville was due to get a commitment from Edwards back in April but for whatever reason he decided to hold off. He may have wanted to take visits before he committed. Either way, he decided to join the class and take what is supposed to be the final Cornerback spot. Edwards is another guy who could end up at Safety down the road. He has great length and strong tackling ability.
TJ QUINN - SAFETY
OFFERS: Virginia Tech, Cincy, Colorado, UK, Wake Forest, NC State
RECRUITER: Derek Nicholson and ShaDon Brown
Notes: Quinn is a legacy recruit from Georgia who actually committed to the staff well before he announced. Derek Nicholson apparently did a great job with his recruitment because he committed shortly after receiving his offer. His dad has said that they didn’t really feel like a priority before he jumped in. I think Quinn could be one of those lower rated guys who end up being very good players.
MICHAEL GONZALEZ - OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
OFFERS: Florida, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, NC State, UNC, Virginia Tech
RECRUITER: Gunter Brewer and Dwayne Ledford
Notes: Dwayne Ledford is still in the process of rebuilding an offensive line that was ignored by the previous staff. He has done a really good job of utilizing grad transfers to plug holes but getting guys like Luke Kandra and Michael Gonzalez is big because they should be able to help inside once Caleb Chandler and Robbie Bell move on.
DEMETRIUS CANNON - WIDE RECEIVER
OFFERS: Penn State, UK, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
RECRUITER: Gunter Brewer and Norval McKenzie
Notes: Gunter Brewer gave out a sizable amount of offers this cycle but he really keyed in on a handful of outside receivers in the spring. Cannon was one of the guys he offered late on in the process and his reputation as a guy who develops players helped him land Cannon. Cannon is a bit raw as a receiver but he has been lauded as a hard worker by his high school coach. He reminds me of Justin Marshall who I’m really interested to see this season as he is also a very raw receiver who has gotten by due to his size and athleticism.
JACKSON HAMILTON - LINEBACKER
OFFERS: Arkansas, FSU, Georgia Tech, Indiana, UK, Vandy, Minnesota, Virginia
RECRUITER: Derek Nicholson and Bryan Brown
Notes: I didn’t expect Louisville to land Hamilton because I was under the impression that he would be an Outside Linebacker and they’re almost full there. However, it looks like he will be slotted to play inside and I think he could be better off there for the defense. Louisville should be in good shape with guys like Ben Perry, Zay Peterson, and Allen Smith all likely being on the depth chart at Card. They will need more help inside with more veteran players there now and not a lot of depth behind them.
AMARI HUGGINS-BRUCE - WIDE RECEIVER
OFFERS: Virginia Tech, Baylor, TCU, USC, Wake Forest, Arkansas
RECRUITER: Gunter Brewer
Notes: It’s pretty doubtful that Louisville can land an offensive player in this class that I will like more than AHB. He has a really impressive blend of speed and quickness and he also has a solid frame to build on. He cited Gunter Brewer’s reputation among the other coaches who are recruiting him as a reason why he picked Louisville. He also said that he will be working on getting Shaduer Sanders to commit.
The Louisville football staff has been on a tear over the last month. They have landed eight of their ten commitments since the end of April and the run should continue in June. They had a similar run last May and June that was nearly impossible to keep up with so I figured it would be good to do a quick summary of all of the guys in the class as of now.
The recruits are listed in the order that they committed with their 247 profiles linked.
AARON GUNN - OFFENSIVE LINE
OFFERS: UK, Michigan State, West Virginia
RECRUITER: Dwayne Ledford
Notes: Gunn was the first commitment for the 2021 class and he should anchor a very solid offensive line class full of guys that Dwayne Ledford is personally recruiting. Gunn was a very early target and he was able to visit campus multiple times before his commitment. I expect him to end up at Guard or Center when he makes it to campus.
VICTOINE BROWN - DEFENSIVE END
OFFERS: Florida, Miami, USC, UNC, LSU, Notre Dame, and Tennessee
RECRUITER: Norval McKenzie and Mark Ivey
Notes: Louisville landed a big time prospect with their second addition to the class. Brown comes from the same high school as 2019 signee Allen Smith which likely played a role in the overall relationship. Brown has been the biggest recruiter in this class and has made it his mission to make this class as best as it can be. After committing, he said that he would take all of his visits but has since said that he is all in for Louisville. He’s a teenager so that could change again in the next seven months.
BRALYN OLIVER - SAFETY
OFFERS: Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Florida, and FSU
RECRUITER: Gunter Brewer and ShaDon Brown
Notes: One could argue that offers are much more important than rankings this cycle because of the pandemic. If that’s the case, Oliver is probably the top commit in the class. His recruitment exploded in late winter months but Louisville was able to land him over some blue blood schools.
ZEN MICHALSKI - OFFENSIVE TACKLE
OFFERS: BC, Indiana, Cincy, Syracuse, Michigan State, and Ole Miss
RECRUITER: Dwayne Ledford and Stu Holt
Notes: Michalski has said that Louisville was his dream school and he committed not too long after getting his offer. He’s practically a local kid from southern Indiana which obviously helped. It looks like Ledford got a really hard worker based on the tweet below.
Offseason transformation so far!— Zenuae Michalski (@ZenuaeM) May 22, 2020
May 1st 2019 ⏩ May 22nd 2020‼
6' 5.5" 238 ⏩ 6' 6" 281‼
Its been a great process, thank you to @degumble for fueling me with workouts daily! pic.twitter.com/UbN2ygrMma
VICTOR MULLEN - TIGHT END
OFFERS: Iowa State, UCF, Syracuse, and App State
RECRUITER: Stu Holt and Cort Dennison
Notes: Louisville needs two tight ends in this class and it’s really good that they landed a good one early on. Mullen is a bit raw in some areas but they shouldn’t need him to be an impact recruit. Mullen is a fit for the “Y” spot at tight end. The staff wants guys who are interchangeable but they will likely look to find a guy that is more of a fit at H-Back.
BEN PERRY - CARD
OFFERS: Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Purdue, Nebraska, and Iowa State
Recruiter: Cort Dennison
Notes: Perry received a significant ratings bump by 247 recently and that moved him up to a composite four star prospect at the top of the class. He told Dave Lackford of CardinalSports.com that he would still take his visits, so Dennison and the staff will have to continue to stay on top of him until December.
RYHEEM CRAIG - DEFENSIVE END
OFFERS: BC, Illinois, Tennessee, Maryland, and NC State
RECRUITER:Mark Ivey and Gunter Brewer
Notes: Louisville wants long athletes on defense and Craig fits that mold. He’s about 6-3 or 6-4 and he has long limbs. Craig isn’t a guy that projects to play a lot early on but he could be a candidate as a package player as a pass rusher.
ASHTON GILLOTTE - DEFENSIVE END
OFFERS: Duke, Wake Forest, Maryland, Pitt, Syracuse, and Vandy
RECRUITER: Mark Ivey and Cort Dennison
Notes: Louisville has put a premium on players with high football IQs and exceptional academic qualifications. Gillotte is one of many targets that have ivy league offers. Like Craig, he’s long and athletic which should help him see the field as a situational player as he works towards a more prominent role.
RJ SORENSON - DEFENSIVE LINE
OFFERS: Nebraska, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, and Maryland
RECRUITER: Mark Ivey and Frank Ponce
Notes: Sorenson was a Nebraska commit at one point and picked up an offer from Louisville shortly after reopening his recruitment. I personally see him as a potential defensive tackle for UofL but he has versatility which is something the staff wants.
RANCE CONNER - CORNERBACK
OFFERS: LSU, Florida, FSU, South Carolina, and Kentucky
RECRUITER: Frank Ponce and Bryan Brown
Notes: Louisville needs help in the secondary as they are losing players to graduation and they don’t have any young players at the top of the depth chart. Conner is a very good get for their first of three possible Cornerback commits. He is a ball hawk who can play man and zone coverage. He has made it clear that he is shutting down his recruitment.