I finally got the official visitor list this week, so I wanted to provide a short update.
Jahlil McClain was not initially confirmed, but he was spotted in some of the other recruits’ social media videos. I also understand that Jamari Johnson will visit at some point this weekend. His official visit is/was planned to Oregon. Jeff Brohm and Ryan Wallace are crucial to finding a way to spend some time with him. He is a key player in the class. Cardinal Authority also reports that Texas A&M transfer cornerback Marquise Groves-Kilebrew is visiting. He’s a former four-star who calls Louisville his “hometown.”
Below is an updated list of transfers and high school recruits.
Dillon Johnson – Running back
The Mississippi State running back had a solid career in the air offense for the Bulldogs. He finished the year averaging 70 total yards per game while splitting time. Johnson has shown great ability to catch the ball and runs very hard.
Jadon Thompson – wide receiver
Thompson moves from Cincinnati, where he finished the 2022 season as their third-leading receiver. Thompson is 6-2/190 and showed good speed this year in a 100-yard kickoff return. UofL needs talent and depth at wide receiver, so Thompson would add a nice piece as an outside receiver if he joins the team.
Myles Slusher – Defensive Back
I still feel for Ron English’s defense, but they seem to be looking for versatile guys who can play safety and nickel. Slusher fits that mold very well. He can play deep safety or line up in the slot, and he also has 9 tackles for loss in his career, some of which come as an outside rusher. Slusher is one of my favorite guys to bring this weekend.
Hurricane Duck – Corner
Budd led UNC with three interceptions and also broke up nine passes on the season. He’s been a playmaker for their defense since returning for a touchdown as a true freshman, but he’s battled injuries during his time with the team. I really liked him as a recruit and was hoping he would land in Louisville because his cousin was a star for Brian Brown as a cornerback at App State. Duck would be a really nice veteran addition for UofL.
Jimmy Calloway – wide receiver
I certainly don’t know much about Calloway because he didn’t have many catches in Tennessee. He has good size and had a 4.42 forty time as a rookie. As I mentioned, UofL needs depth at receiver, and using Portal for that isn’t a bad idea.
Tausili Akana – Edge
Akana wasn’t on the radar until the middle of yesterday’s pitch. He’s a 6-4/225 4-star from Utah who decided to give UofL his final official visit before leaving for Colorado. After a little digging, it appears he has some ties to some of the Polynesian players at St. John Bosco, and he will also be playing in the Addidas All-American game with a few current commitments. I’m not sure if that’s why he visited, but he didn’t have an offer from UofL or Purdue, so that’s all I could think of.
However, could Jeff Brohm hire a linebackers coach who recruited him elsewhere? That’s an obvious possibility. Regardless of how the contact was made, it would be huge for UofL to add another top-100 quarterback.
George Burhan – Tight end
Burhan is a current Purdue commit who was a Mr. Football finalist at Indiana. He has good size at 6-5/225 and is a pretty good athlete judging by his highlights. I think Burhen has other options to choose from, but UofL needs tight ends and they could take another high school player as opposed to using Portal.
Jeff Brohm is hosting his first big visitors weekend as Louisville Football coach, and he’s starting with a strong group of prospects. Brohm will have a mix of current commitments and uncommitted high school recruits and transfers in town for the weekend.
I’ve compiled the prospect list using tweets and collecting website reports, but I’ll update the list if I get more information on the final list of players expected.
I think the Cards could come away with some new members of the 2023 class after this weekend.
Stephen Herron – Edge
Herron finished his senior year at Stanford with a strong performance as a pass rusher. He had 5.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and PFF credited him with 40 quarterback pressures. The former Trinity standout took a while to make a big impact for the Cardinal, but he racked up nearly 1,200 snaps at Stanford and will bring plenty of experience to any defense.
It’s hard to know where UofL stands here simply because Herron has options, but he hasn’t been public about those options. His first visit to UofL is a big sign and my feeling is that he will announce his commitment soon.
Zavion Thomas – wide receiver
The former Louisville commit is looking for a new home after a stellar season as a Mississippi State prospect. Thomas has top speed and has shown this year that he can run through contact. He currently ranks fifth in the nation in batting average. I would imagine he is looking for a new home since he couldn’t get many snaps from the MSU wide receiver.
I was very high on Thomas as a rookie and basically lost my mind live on Mike’s show when he decommitted. While he hasn’t been impactful as a receiver, his skills as a returner give a good idea of what he can do when it comes to making big plays.
Everyone needs speedy receivers, so I don’t know that UofL will get a commitment this weekend, but they should feel good when they visit the portal just a few days later. Familiarity won’t hurt either. With the Cards in dire need of help at receiver, Thomas could be traded for immediate playing time.
Devin Neal – Defensive back
UofL needs another veteran defensive back to help replace Tre Clark and Kendrick Duncan from a secondary that has a solid gap between their veterans and young players. The loss of Rance Conner leaves a nickel spot open at tackle, and the safety group has only sophomore players behind the starters. Neal would bring a veteran addition as well as a player who can play safety as well as nickel.
Neal is from Lexington but wasn’t heavily recruited because he locked in with Baylor pretty quickly and stayed with them even through their coaching change. He would bring great versatility to the UofL defense and he had a strong season this year. Neal finished the year with 41 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 tackles for loss, one sack and a forced fumble. He did a little bit of everything for the Bears.
Neal has only announced an offer from Louisville, but likely has other options. However, a return to his home state leading to good playing time should help the Cards. I wouldn’t be surprised if he calls this weekend.
McGraw would potentially be a depth addition to Portal, which I personally was hoping to see. UofL and other teams around the country will have some numbers issues with players leaving, and it pays for them to consider adding transfers who may just need a fresh start. McGraw only had 12 snaps at Penn State, but he’s 6-5/270, and I’ll take that over a player from a high school program.
Purdue and UofL both offered McGraw in high school, and he visited Louisville as a recruit. Familiarity won’t hurt as he is familiar with the new staff and school. Lance Taylor has extended an offer from Western Michigan, but McGraw has not announced any other offers.
Daylen Austin – Corner
The current LSU commit has been teased as a potential recruit by Aaron Williams and Pierce Clarkson since the summer, but didn’t seem to be on the radar until this week. Austin is one of the best corners in the country, and his size and speed will be a big boost to the secondary.
Austin won’t sign until late in the offseason, so UofL will have time to develop a relationship with him. He will also play in the Under Armor All-American game next month with Madden Sanker and William Fowles.
Edwin Joseph – athlete
Joseph is making his second visit to the campus after reportedly ranting about his visit in November. Louisville appears to be recruiting Joseph as a defensive back, but he can play on both sides of the ball. The new staff can see him as a true athlete that they can figure out when he hits the practice field. Florida State looks like the team to beat here with Miami as a possible option for him as well. Auburn also brought him in for a visit the other day.
Keyjuan Brown – Running back
Brown is a former Purdue commit who left the class after Jeff Brohm took the UofL job. He didn’t take any other visits as a recruit, so I think there’s a good chance he joins Louisville’s class after his visit. Brown is a solidly built back with good speed and quickness. He ran for 7,476 yards, 84 touchdowns and averaged 9.3 yards per carry as a three-year starter playing 6-AA football at Georgia. His numbers and highlights definitely make you feel good about him as a guy who could add to the running back room if he committed and signed.
Pierce Clarkson – Quarter
Stanquan Clark – Linebacker
Madden Sanker – Offensive lineman
Luke Burgess – Offensive lineman
Cataurus Hicks – wide receiver
William Fowles – wide receiver
Adonijah Green – Edge
Aaron Williams – Cornerback
Rayquan Adkins – Corner
Micah Carter – Defensive end