Louisville will bring back just as many starters in 2013 as any other team in the Big East. Charile Strong will welcome in his 2013 recruiting class and a handful of transfers will be eligible for the first time. With just a couple more scholarships available, Louisville’s 2013 recruiting class looks to be complete on the offensive side. Here is an early look at Shawn Watson’s weapons for next season.
Quarterback – The Quarterback position returns one of the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy in Teddy Bridgewater. With 2012 commit 3-Star Will Gardner (Pro-Style QB) who chose Louisville over Alabama and Mississippi State as well as 2013 commit 3-Star Kyle Bolin (Pro-Style QB) who chose the Cards over Cincinnati and Illinois recovering from major injuries, the Cards extended an offer and picked up a commitment from 3-Star JuCo Brett Nelson. Expect no more action from this position between now and NSD.
Offensive Line – This is a very interesting position to look at. Louisville returns starters in Jake Smith, Jamon Brown and John Miller and a handful of youth from the 2012 class in Sid Anvoots, Nacho Garcia, Joe Manley and TC Klusman. You also must mix in guys like Ryan Mack, Chris Acosta, Mike Romano and Aaron Epps that could all see action and this area gets a little deep. The offensive line position is an area that you never back off of. Proof to that are a few 2013 commitments for the Cards in 3-Star Cameron Frazier, 3-Star Skylar Lacy and 3-Star Chandler Bridges. Keep in mind that likely one of these guys is going to have to take over an extremely important and often underrated position of Center. At one point throughout the 2012 season Mike Romano was being groomed for this position, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see one ofLouisville’s returning starters move over to the position. The Offensive Line may be complete, but I don’t think Charlie Strong and Company ever backs off recruiting this area.
Running Back – This unit is absolutely stacked. So much that would-be senior Jeremy Wright has left the team for what is an unknown reason, but could be attributed to having to split carries. If Senorise Perry and Dominique Brown can return to form from their injuries, they will surely carry the load for the Cards. Never to be counted out is speedster Corvin Lamb and 2012 commitment Brandon Radcliff. With talent like this in the backfield, the Cards have not received a commitment to the position and I’m not sure they will. Don’t be surprised to see someone (none of the above) groomed for the fullback position. For the first time since Strong has been at Louisville the position was used with some regularity throughout 2012 with senior Nick Heuser. Could be a guy like Jarel McGriff-Culver although he was used at the Tight End position late in 2012.
Wide Receiver – This group of guys could be the nation’s top wide receiving corp for the 2013 season. They would at the absolute least put up a good argument. Returning DeVante Parker, Damian Copeland, Eli Rogers, Charles Gaines and couple them with transfers Matt Milton (Tennessee) and Robert Clark (Florida), this unit is just deep and rich with talent. Now, throw in 2013 commitments from 4-Star local talent James Quick as well as 3-Star stud Richard Benjamin and you have just an insane wealth of high caliber guys. I’m sure the staff is still keeping tabs with a couple of guys, but there is not a lot of room left for wide receivers in the 2013 class. Don’t be surprised to see this position complete.
Tight End – This could be the position for 2013 that I am looking the most forward to. Louisville struggled at times throughout 2012 with the tight end position and I suspect that may not be the case in 2013. Florida transfer Gerald Christian was one of the most impressive guys I saw in camp last year and he may be primed for the starting spot. Battling Christian will be Juco transfer and 2012 back-up Ryan Hubbel as well as 2012’s Hunter Bowles (could be switched to another position prior to 2013). The lone tight end commitment for the 2013 class comes from 3-Star 6’-5” 245lb Keith Towbridge. At his point it may be too early to determine what will be done with BJ Butler who was converted to the position and made a great impact in the Cards win at the All-State Sugar Bowl against the Florida Gators.