When the University of Louisville football program hit the recruiting trail last year, there was a glaring need for defensive linemen.
Gone were defensive ends James Hearns and Trevon Young and defensive tackles Drew Bailey and De’Asian Richardson. The returning players lacked major playing experience.
Head coach Bobby Petrino instructed his staff to scour the country for defensive line talent, and they responded with the addition of Jared Goldwire, one of the top junior-college defensive tackle prospects in the class of 2018, who has three years of eligibility.
“We were really happy when we signed him,” Petrino said. “We had to work extremely hard to get him. There were some late runs really put in there, and he got here and he had a shoulder injury. His strength started getting better all summer long. He’s got great size and movement. So it’s good to see him out there.”
Goldwire was one of eight early enrollees for the Cardinals this winter, but unfortunately for his development, he wasn’t able to compete because of an injury.
However, through six practices, the Tacoma, Washington, native made up some ground, is healthy, and ready to contribute.
“It’s humbling to come this far,” Goldwire said. “Coach Petrino really knows how to work us, but he’s such a great coach. They were understanding with me when I had to miss the spring, but I’m ready to go now.”
Heading into the second week, Goldwire has worked his way into the rotation on the defensive line and is preparing for that season opener versus Alabama.
The talented sophomore had his pick of schools coming out of Fort Scott Junior College, but chose Louisville because the Cardinals had a need for defensive lineman who could fix the depth issue.
“I wanted to play early,” Goldwire said. “It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Louisville. I want to come in this year and play a lot. I feel like it’s been a great move for me thus far.”
Despite sitting out all spring, Goldwire went through summer workouts and caught coaches’ eyes by what he did while being sidelined.
“He paid attention in the spring,” defensive line coach L.D. Scott said. “He’s learning a lot, and that’s what really surprised us. He wasn’t behind, which is a testament to the type of kid he is.”
At 6-foot-6, 309 pounds, Goldwire is the perfect fit for the Cardinals, who must get bigger and stronger along the defensive front.
Receiving offers from Alabama, Miami, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, among others, the No. 43 overall junior-college prospect according to 247sports.com’s composite rankings was one of the more highly sought-after players on the recruiting trail last December.
Competition is fierce along the defensive front this fall, with a numbers of players vying for the top spot on the depth chart.
“I’m trying to get my name out to the NFL right now,” Goldwire said. “I love competition though. I’m just out their battling with my teammates trying to learn the defense and just continuing to work my technique.