LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- The news for the University of Louisville football program during the current recruiting cycle just keeps getting. With kickoff to the 2020 season still in a holding pattern due to Covid-19, at least Cardinal fans can look ahead to a promising future based on prospects head coach Scott Satterfield and his staff have landed in the 2021 class.
After filling many of their defensive needs in the early going, the coaches have recently turned to offense. Last week, UofL got a commitment from four-star running back Treveon Cooley, and now the Cards have added a three-star playmaking wide receiver in Ahmari Huggins-Bruce, who tweeted His commitment Thursday afternoon.
Huggins-Bruce (6-1, 170), from Dillon, South Carolina, was heavily recruited and chose UofL over his other finalist, Virginia Tech, to become the Cards' 19th pledge for the 2021 class. There is only one other receiver in the class at this point -- 6-3 Demetrius Cannon from St. Louis.
Rated as the No. 2 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com and No. 5 by 247Sports, Huggins-Bruce racked up over 1,900 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns the last two years at Dillon High School. Recruiting services tout his breakaway speed, footwork, route-running skills and ability to finish through contact.
CARDS TO ADD 20 WALK-ONS
Louisville is expected to add at least 21 players as walk-ons in the next month or so, according to Jody Demling of Cardinal Authority/247Sports, including junior college All-American punter Ryan Harwell. Other potential walks ons are St. Xavier linebacker Hale Bohler, Butler athlete Darius Jones, Eastern defensive lineman Ryker Matthews, Mayfield wide receiver Kade Neely, Eminence standout Dakadrien Saunders and Lawrence, Mass., wide receiver Gregory DeRosiers.
Satterfield has emphasized that he likes to have a strong walk-on program, and indeed several made solid contributions to last year's team that compiled an 8-5 record and won the Music City Bowl.
Tyler Haycraft, a former St. X standout, started every game at offensive tackle; Marshon Ford from Ballard High had 20 receptions for 292 yards and seven touchdowns as a tight end/H-back; and safety Jack Fagot from Lexington Catholic, played in every game, finishing with 25 tackles.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re scholarship or walk on in this program, you are going to have an opportunity to play," Satterfield said on signing day last December. "We are going to get some more guys that are going to be in the mix from local high schools. I think our walk-on program is going to be what’s really exciting with all of the local talents we have here.
“A lot of these guys are coming, they’re coming to play for us. A lot of these guys had offers, they had scholarship offers from DII or Group of 5 and they’re choosing to come to play for us because they know they are going to have an opportunity. We want this program to be a place where maybe you didn’t get recruited at the level you wanted to get recruited at, you have an opportunity to come in and play."
UOFL TO PLAY IN EMPIRE CLASSIC
Louisville's men's basketball team will play in the 2021 Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden, along with Gonzaga, Providence and Oklahoma State. It will be the Cards' first appearance in the event.
UofL is a combined 15-8 against the field, holding a 12-6 record against Providence and 3-1 against Oklahoma State. The Cards' only game against Gonzaga was a 77-66 loss in the opening round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
The Cowboys had originally been scheduled to play UofL in the 2020 Armed Forces Classic, but the event was cancelled due to the virus pandemic. That opening has been filled with a game against Cincinnati.
This upcoming season, the Cards will join Arkansas, Colorado State and San Francisco at the MGM Main Event in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend.
CARDS AN EARLY CWS PICK
UofL's baseball team, which was considered one of the favorites to advance to the College World Series this year before the season was cancelled, is already being billed as a leading contender for the CWS next season.
In its 2021 edition of "Crystal Ballin': Eight for Omaha," D1Baseball was included in two of the three projected CWS fields. Other strong contenders mentioned from the ACC are Virginia and Wake Forest. Among the handful of other teams mentioned are Florida, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas Tech, UCLA, East Carolina, Arkansas, Texas and Arizona.
The Cards were 13-4 and ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation when the season was cancelled. They were the preseason No. 1 were also voted by league coaches as the favorite to win the ACC.