Stop me if you’ve heard this before but Louisville football is set to host a massive recruiting weekend for the 2023 class. Back in the fall, the staff brought in guys like Pierce Clarkson and Luke Burgess for the Clemson game which jump-started the class. In January, Clarkson started off a big weekend with his commitment while players like DeAndre Moore, Jahlil McClain, and Jayden Davis were on campus. Then the staff put together another big weekend of visitors with Aaron Williams, Jeremiah Telander, Raymond Pulido, and others. The staff has made it a point to turn these weekends into big shows and as of now, they have a recruiting class that’s ranked 11th in the nation.
Scott Satterfield has noted that Covid and the restrictions that came with it made it harder for the staff to recruit. It’s debatable if that is the case, but the fact that 15 of the 18 recruits that will be on campus this weekend are making a return trip gives some credence to the argument. The staff preaches building relationships and getting players on campus so that they can experience the culture and atmosphere and they just weren’t able to do that for an extended time. Ten of the players coming in for their official visit this weekend will be making at least their third trip to Louisville and that answers the question of “what has changed” in my opinion.
We can talk about NIL helping UofL but every school can utilize NIL and nearly every school does. Having a guy like Pierce Clarkson to sell the program can’t be ignored and it is significant. But even he has stressed that he has just been pushing recruits to take a visit. The staff has been able to get these kids to come back just like they did after Clarkson took a visit last June. A year later and they’re hosting a monumental official visit weekend with some of the best players in the country.
Offers (Finalist and/or official visits in bold) - FSU, UNC, Cincy, UK, Miami, Tennessee, Oregon
I stressed the importance of the staff getting guys to take multiple visits to campus and no one embodies that more than Burgess. The 6-8/295 offensive tackle has made at least ten trips to campus and this will be his third time on campus this year. After his official visit to FSU last weekend, he said that relationships will be the biggest factor in his recruiting. UofL will obviously have an advantage there.
Burgess is a long and lean tackle prospect who has put on a lot of weight over the last few months. He shows a great ability to use his length in pass sets and he is athletic enough to get out and block in space. His added bulk and strength should go a long way in helping him become a strong run blocker at the next level.
Burgess has predictions to pick Louisville on Rivals and 247. Look for a commitment in the very near future.
Offers - Alabama, UCLA, Ole Miss, Oregon, Arizona, Tennessee, Michigan
Pulido landed on UofL’s radar when he transferred to St. John Bosco where Pierce Clarkson plays. Pulido is a massive human who has worked to drop a lot of weight and schools have taken notice. This will be Pulido’s second trip to Louisville after visiting for spring practice in March.
It’s hard to get a feel for where UofL stands with Pulido as his recruitment has taken off over the last couple of months. He has said that he wants to take visits to Ole Miss and Alabama at some point but he hasn’t said when. The connection to Clarkson helps, but that relationship is fairly new.
Offers - Alabama, Boston College, Nebraska, South Carolina, FSU, Oregon, UK, Tennessee, Penn State, Pitt
Louisville has been adding speed on the offensive side of the ball over the last few classes but Braswell may be the fastest running back they’ve recruited. Braswell is the 100 and 200-meter state champion in Georgia and his speed jumps out in his highlights. He hit’s creases in the defense and runs away from everyone with ease.
Braswell was offered this spring around the time that Alabama and a few others jumped on board. Nebraska is the team to beat as they got in on him early and they got him on campus before his recruitment blew up. The 4-star back is announcing his decision on July 2nd. UofL has to gain some real ground this weekend to add him to the class.
Braswell has no predictions.
Offers - Clemson, Miami, Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Ole Miss, Penn State, Texas, Tennessee
Let it be known that if Louisville lands Joseph at any point during this recruiting cycle, I will claim that he flipped from Clemson. I don’t care that he decommitted this week, he is counting as a flip because this is a blog it’s not a newspaper. UofL has been working on Joseph for a while now and his decision to open up his recruitment is a great sign for the staff. Getting him on campus for the first time with all of the top targets in the class will only help.
Joseph is absolutely electric on the field. He has absurd quickness and he has the speed to run away from defensive backs once he gets into the open field. He is ranked as the 105th best player in the country and it shows every time he touches the ball. UofL will undoubtedly hammer home the comparisons to Tutu Atwell and I don’t think they could overdo it. A Miami kid that is about the same size and will be used the same way. It’s an easy sell.
Dave Lackford from Cardinal Authority has predicted Joseph to Louisville. 247 and On3 have writers predicting Joseph to Miami where he will visit next weekend.
Offers - UNC, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Florida, UK, Washington, Penn State
Harvey is another return visitor for Louisville this weekend. The long and athletic outside linebacker prospect is the highest-rated defensive target on the visitor list. He is coming off of recent visits to Oklahoma and UNC which feel like the biggest competition as of now. Steve Wiltfong of 247 sports seems to think UofL is in good shape due to its engineering program.
This is one of my favorite players out of all of the visitors. He is exactly the type of second-level defender I think UofL has needed and he is also a coveted prospect. Louisville needs length on the edges and versatility from a pass-rushing standpoint and I think Harvey would bring that. There are no predictions from recruiting writers on who he will pick but I would expect him to make a decision soon.
Offers - Tennessee, FSU, Missouri, Pitt, Ole Miss
Church is making his third visit to campus this weekend after visiting in the fall and spring. He has great size at 6-4/345 but he is very long and carries the weight well. I’m intrigued by him as he will be transferring to IMG Academy this year which is one of the most talented programs in the country. It could help him from a development standpoint as well as help him with his body.
Why am I worried about an uncommitted recruit’s development? UofL has at least one silent commit in the class and I’m fairly certain it’s Church. I would expect his announcement on Sunday.
Offers - Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, just about everyone else
Back in the spring, former recruiting coordinator, Eron Hodges, tweeted out a gif of a black unicorn. That led to rumors that Owens would be making a visit to campus as “Black Unicorn” is his nickname. That visit didn’t materialize, though it was planned and the dream of UofL getting the top ranked running back in the country to take a visit fell by the wayside.
Fast-forward to May and the visit ended up getting scheduled only now it was an official visit with most of the current class as well as other top targets. Pierce Clarkson deserves some real credit here as he has developed a relationship with Owens and had him as a part of his 7-on-7 team last weekend for the Overtime OT7 event in Vegas.
This kid’s highlights tell the full story. He has outstanding speed and quickness. He can run with power or make people miss. He also plays the game with real toughness.
Rivals has UofL trending to land Owens. On3 national writers have been adamant that UofL is not a contender and Owens will stay in Texas. Steve Wiltfong of 247 thinks he will pick Texas A&M but has said that he thinks UofL has a chance. We’ll see who is right at some point.
Offers - UNC, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Nebraska, Purdue, Mississippi State, Missouri
Owens and Joseph are obviously exciting players that will be visiting this weekend but Telander is probably my favorite prospect. This kid is a textbook downhill linebacker who plays with really good technique on top of being very athletic. He can get after the quarterback, shoot gaps in run defense, and he shows a solid ability to defend passing windows in the short zone.
Louisville is in good shape here as Telander has honed in on the programs that have been recruiting him the longest. UofL offered back in the summer of last year and he has made it to campus twice already. Tennessee seems to be the biggest competition but I think a big weekend like this one as well as some likely focus as the only inside linebacker in town, could help the staff.
Lackford has predicted Telander to Louisville while 247’s Tennessee site has a prediction there.
Offers - Arkansas, Michigan State, Miami, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pitt
Sanker is making his second visit this year after being offered by Louisville last summer. Pierce Clarkson has notably been working hard on social media to get Sanker to join the class and as of now, it looks like UofL is in good shape. Steve Wiltfong stated in his weekend visit primer that Sanker’s closest relationship from a coaching standpoint is with Nic Cardwell.
UofL has playing time to sell offensive line recruits because they will be losing at least three of their top linemen. That should help them with Sanker as he has the ability and size to see the field early and UofL has had no problem putting freshmen on the field.
There are no predictions for Sanker but Georgia doesn’t seem to be much of a factor which bodes well for the Cards.
Offers - LSU, Texas, Penn State, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Pitt, Utah
Parker was one of the players that Clarkson brought along when he committed in January. The slot receiver out of Texas took part in the group photos in the snow that ended up being shared all over social media. Parker has great speed and burst in the slot and I think his footwork when it comes to route running and making people miss in the open field is very good.
LSU offered Parker two weeks ago and he took an official visit this past weekend. He is an LSU legacy so it’s no surprise that the buzz coming out of his visit is that the Tigers could land his commitment. We’ll have to wait and see but his relationship with Clarkson could be a positive for the Cards.
Lackford has a prediction in for Louisville while the national writers at On3 have long believed that he will land at UT. The wide receiver coach for the Longhorns offered him when he was at Pitt last year.
Offers - Penn State, UK, Wisconsin, UNC, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Cincy, Michigan, FSU, LSU, Stanford, Miami, Notre Dame
Last but not least on the list of targets visiting this week is Keenum who Rivals ranks as the third-best center in the country. This will be his third visit to campus and out of all of the prospects, he seems to be the one that has gained interest due to the run that UofL is on.
UofL is working to land its best offensive line class ever and adding the 6-4/292 interior lineman would go a long way to getting there. Keenum is very quick off the ball and does a good job blocking in space. Those two things are really important in this offense.
There are no predictions for Keenum but I personally feel very good about UofL’s chances with him being back on campus with a handful of other linemen.
Louisville will also be hosting seven of their committed prospects. That list is below with links to their commitment story.