Quarterbacks

Reggie Bonnafon

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky (Trinity High School)

Height/Weight: 6-2, 180 pounds

Analysis: The first commitment of the 2014 Class held his commitment through two coaches. For that, we should applaud Bonnafon. High character players are always a welcomed commodity. Bonnafon, however is much more that. Labeled as a ‘dual-threat’ QB, Bonnafon had an offer from Louisville before he took his first snap at QB for Trinity High School. It’s because of that, he has been doubted by some. It’s because of that, he constantly plays with a chip on his shoulder.

He is a Top 5 prospect in the state of Kentucky. You always want to keep talent in state. He has the most room for growth with his arm strength, but his elusiveness and speed make his playmaking ability skyrocket. Bonnafon will be a guy who will constantly work in the playbook and on the field to improve every day – you can never be mad at that. There will be room for Bonnafon to grow, but he should be able to compete with Will Gardner rather quickly. – Chris Hatfield

Tyler Ferguson (Penn State Transfer)

Star Rating: 4

Hometown: Bakersfield, CA

Height/Weight: 6-3, 213 pounds

Analysis: A bit of a journeyman Ferguson has had ups and downs as he was a very successful quarterback at the College of Sequoias, but struggled a bit in his brief time at Penn State. One thing Ferguson definitely has is the size and arm to compete for the position after he spends this season redshirting. He will then be in the mix as Petrino and the new staff like what they have seen from him. Fans don’t know a whole lot about Ferguson as he was on the west coast and then only briefly at Penn State, but he can definitely play and has the tools to be a successful QB at this level.

Petrino loves tall QB’s with big arms and Ferguson can defiantly sling the pigskin. When he becomes eligible to play after this season, he will be in the mix for what could be a fierce competition for lead signal caller. –Matt Vories

Running Back

LJ Scott III (Enrolled)

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Marion, OH (Marion Harding High School)

Height/Weight: 6-1, 215 pounds

Analysis: Scott’s claim to fame is his ESPN Top 10 play last fall when he hurdled a defender.  LJ is one of  three early enrollees, is the lone running back in the 2014 class and possesses all of the skills to be a talented back at the division one level.

Scott has the size to shed tackles and power through the defender like a power back, but he also embodies all of the attributes of a shifty speed back. He jukes defenders left and right, and has an eye for finding the hole. Any movement he makes is not a wasted one, and once he gets past the first level of defenders he has the breakaway speed to finish long runs, and rip off long TDs. These skills and his ability to enroll early will help L.J. see the field, even though Louisville will mostly be in one-back sets this season. – Matt Vories

Wide Receivers

Cameron Polk (Enrolled)

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Fishers, Indiana (Hamilton Southeastern High School)

Height/Weight: 6-1, 185 pounds

Analysis: Cameron Polk is an interesting prospect. He’s one of those players that does nothing spectacular on film but does everything well. He makes his hay off route running and being a possession type of WR. Louisville has lots of depth at the WR. That’s a good thing for Polk. He will need to time to grasp the Louisville system. To be exact, he’ll need to improve his ability to catch the ball in space and compete with the physical defensive backs that he’ll see in the ACC.

Polk reminds me a lot of Damian Copeland coming into Louisville. Given time, he could prove to be as valuable of a weapon as Copeland was in the Louisville offense, most likely in a slot-type position. -Chris Hatfield

Corneilus Strughill

Star Rating: 3
Hometown: Memphis, TN (Melrose)
Height/Weight 5-11 180 pounds
Analysis: Sturghill is listed by many recruiting sites as an Athlete, as he played both receiver and defensive back in high school. While many schools wanted him on the defensive end of the ball, Petrino saw potential in Sturghill as a slot wide receiver, and for a good reason as he caught 16  TD passes as a senior this past season. Sturghill was a great prospect, and the staff did a great job at convincing him to flip his commitment for Wisconsin at the last second. I have a feeling he won’t regret it, once he’s catching everything in Bobby Petrino’s high octane offense.

With his speed and versatility, Sturghill could be a player who could see the field early at Louisville, but with five of the Cardinal’s top six receivers being seniors, Sturghill will likely have to wait his turn to see considerable time in the slot. When that happens though, I look forward to him stepping right in and filling Eli Roger’s shoes, although they are big ones. –Matt Vories 

Javonte Bagley

Star Rating: 2

Hometown: Vero Beach, FL

Height/Weight: 6-3, 180 pounds

Analysis: Bagley probably won’t crack the field early but his size is something that makes him a valuable asset. He will have to improve his ball skills to be used how Louisville wants him to be. Bagley’s strong suit in the Louisville offense will be best served as ‘home run’ type Wide Receiver similar to Devante Parker. If Bagley can improve his route running and ball skills, he’ll have success at Louisville. He’s already got the two intangibles you look for in a Wide Receiver: Size and Speed. -Chris Hatfield

Tight Ends

Micky Crum

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Columbus, OH (Hamilton Township)

Height/Weight: 6-4, 246 pounds

Analysis: Listed as an Athlete, Micky Crum comes to Louisville as a pretty versatile player. He’s played WR, TE, RB, DE and even lined up at QB in wildcat formations in High School. He was used as one of the primary focuses of his High School offense. It’s going to be fun watching Crum’s development at Louisville. While I expect him to play TE, he’s fast enough to be moved around the Louisville Offense.

His biggest asset is his hands. Crum catches anything that comes at him. Bobby Petrino loves to use his TEs in the his offense and certainly will love having Crum here. I’m not sure if it will be Charles Standberry or Micky Crum, but I expect one to get some play in 2014. Give Crum an edge due to his versatility. However, both compliment each other and I believe both are worthy.  -Chris Hatfield

Charles Standberry

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Montgomery, AL (Carver High School)

Height/Weight: 6-3, 200 pounds

Analysis: There are many things to like about Stanberry. Auburn had heavy interest in him and he flipped from Ole Miss before committing to Louisville. I think the thing that stands out the most about Standberry is his separation ability. He was quick enough to constantly play WR in High School, where he got 52 receptions for 477 yards. That means that he has the potential to be a match-up problem for line backers that try to cover him. Knowing how much Petrino likes to use Tight Ends in his system, I could see him causing havoc in as quickly as two years.

The problem with Standberry will arise when it comes to blocking. Standberry will need to put on some weight if he wants to stay at Tight End at Louisville. If he doesn’t he’ll simply get overpowered by stronger and more physical Defensive Ends. If Standberry puts the work in, he has real potential to be a dynamic offensive weapon. Whether that’s at Tight End or Wide Receiver remains to be seen. -Chris Hatfield

Offensive Linemen

Lukayus McNeil

Star Rating: 3
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN (Decatur Central)
Height/Weight: 6-7 272 pounds
Analysis: McNeal is another player that the  new staff had to convince to stick with Louisville through the coaching change and their persistence paid off. McNeil even remarked  that he liked the new coach more than the last. Petrino like all coaches knows that getting the trenches taken care of first is an integral part of any successful team. McNeil has the size to break into the rotation early on the offensive line, and is the least likely to redshirt of the freshman offensive linemen. Louisville returns three starters from last year’s offensive line but struggled mightily at the positions of right guard and right tackle. The staff tried several combinations but nothing really stuck. McNeil definitely has the chance to challenge the returnees and fellow 2014 OT signee Kelby Johnson for a spot on the exterior offensive line. With seasoning and some added strength McNeil will definitely be a mainstay in the trenches. –Matt Vories 

Danny Burns

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Fairfield, OH (Fairfield)

Height/Weight: 6-8, 340 pounds

Analysis: This is clearly a guy Louisville wanted. After Charlie Strong left, Burns had serious concerns about the future of the Louisville Coaching Staff. Once Louisville hired Offensive Line Coach Chris Klenakis, they worked fiercely to make sure Burns remained committed to Louisville. He did and alas, the rest is history. The one common thread among the offensive line is athleticism, Burns is no exception. After watching his film, I was actually shocked with how quickly he was able to get out of the three-technique and into blocking position. Rated among the Top 100 OTs in America, Burns provides depth to a spot where Louisville needs it sorely. Like McNeal, I believe Burns has a fair shot at working his way into the two-deep and seeing some early playing time. With that being said, you can almost bank on one of these four getting a Redshirt. Burns will have to prove his work on the field.-Chris Hatfield

JUCO Kelby Johnson

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Hyattsville, MD (DeMartha Catholic)

Height/Weight: 6-8, 315 pounds

Analysis: Johnson’s experience at the JUCO level may give him the leg up on the other three offensive linemen signees. It’s sometimes hard to predict how quickly offensive linemen will adjust to the College level, simply because you don’t know how they’ll react to the new level of physicality. With Johnson, that becomes less of a problem because he has proven to be pretty solid in his one season at ASA Community College. I don’t think it’s any secret that Kelby Johnson, like McNeal, are the two linemen that have the best chance of coming in and contributing right away.  Johnson was a standout at the Junior College ranks, known as a top five offensive guard of the bunch. He is a fierce run blocker and has the pedigree to immediately come in and be in the mix for playing time. -Chris Hatfield

Jimmy Terry

Star Rating: 2

Hometown: Madison, Massachusetts (Madison Central)

Height/Weight: 6-4, 350 pounds

Analysis: I love Jimmy Terry’s potential. Bobby Petrino does too. In his Wednesday Press Conference, Petrino stated that after watching Terry’s film the staff was ‘unanimous’ on there decision to take him. Who wouldn’t want such a big body to fill up space on the offensive line? This is a spot where Louisville needs depth in a large way, hence why they took four in this class. Jimmy Terry can provide that. His surprising athleticism coupled with his 350 pound frame mean that he could be fitted into multiple spots. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibilities that Terry could convert to the defensive side of the ball, possibly being a NT or DT in Grantham’s 4-3 defense. Either way, I’m betting that Terry has success at Louisville. Petrino spoke today about Terry having a ‘mean streak’ about him, I like that in any lineman. One of the two guys that I would label as a ‘sleeper’ in this class. -Chris Hatfield

Cornerbacks

De’Eric Culver

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Tallahassee, FL (Godby)

Height/Weight: 6-0 180 pounds

Analysis: While Louisville returns both starting cornerbacks from last year’s squad, including two year starter Terell Floyd, there is always room for more defensive backs, whether that is in nickel, or dime packages, or just to spell the starters. Listed just at six feet tall, he looks stout as a defender but possesses good speed and ball skills. He will have to cut his teeth on special teams early but he possesses the size and skill to be a solid corner for Louisville for years to come. One thing he has going for him though is he does not shy away from being physical with wide receivers. He jams them at the line and roughs them up early without drawing any interference calls. One thing that will keep corners off the field early is their inability to tackle and their lack of coverage skills, these will not be things that hold Culver back, he finds the ball well after it’s in the air and he is a hard tackler with good technique which is rare for a guy his size. –Matt Vories

Trumaine Washington

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Miami, FL (Killian High School)

Height/Weight: 5-11, 170 pounds

Analysis: I like Trumaine Washington a lot. He was brought in by Bobby Petrino and company when he developed a strong relationship with Louisville DB Coach Terrell Buckley. What Washington doesn’t have in size, he makes up with speed. Washington is quite the athlete and reminds me a lot of current Louisville standout Charles Gaines, though I’m not sure he can trash-talk like him. Washington held offers from two other ACC schools before committing to Louisville.

He will constantly bump Wide Receiver’s out of their breaks and has served pretty much as a ‘island’ CB, though he can play nickel too. In the new scheme implemented by the Louisville Coaching Staff, corners will find themselves in 1-on-1 matchups a lot of times, Washington will be capable of handling that. It’s hard to predict how quickly Washington will adjust to the College game but when he does, I believe, he’ll be a good one. For what it’s worth, Ermon Lane, the number 1 WR in the 2014 class called Washington ‘one of the best’ he’s faced. -Chris Hatfield

Zykiesis Cannon

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Greenville, SC (Cannon High School)

Height/Weight: 5-11, 181 pounds

Analysis: Like Washington, Cannon is a speedster. His primary value comes in that it’s possible that he could play several positions at Louisville such as WR, S, or CB. This would explain his ‘Athlete’ listing by recruiting services. In High School he has a had multiple seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards and 100+ tackles. How can you not like a guy like that? Cannon will have to improve his tackling ability at the next level, as he often struggles wrapping up more physical Wide Receivers.

I’m not sure what position Cannon will end up playing at Louisville, but I do know his great speed will be a valued asset. Don’t be surprised if Cannon breaks into a starting role on the Special Teams unit by the seasons end. -Chris Hatfield

Safety

Michael Johnson

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Miami, FL (Champagnat Catholic)

Height/Weight: 6-3, 200 pounds

Analysis: Louisville’s previous and current staff recruited Johnson to Louisville for the safety position. He already looks the part of a college athlete, and will have no problem competing physically at the next level. While he shows the ability to read and react to coverage quickly, the one glaring attribute that his highlights show is his ability as a hard hitter, often disengaging the offensive player from the ball. Louisville has to replace two starting safeties from last year’s team, and while many believe that returnees Gerod Holliman and Jermaine Reve have the upper hand, Johnson’s physical prowess and natural talent will put him in a prime position to crack the rotation early on. Who knows, we might even see a combination of Johnson and former Champagnat Cath. teammate Chucky Williams in the defensive backfield next season. -Matt Vories

Linebackers

Sharieff Rhaheed

Star Rating: 4

Hometown: Fort Peirce, FL (Fort Peirce Central)

Height/Weight: 6-2, 202 pounds

Analysis: This might be the gem of the class. Rhaheed listed offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Michigan State among others.  It was a massive boost to the class for Bobby Petrino and company to land this prospect late. His biggest room for improvement? Something that can easy be fixed- lateral footwork.

Rhaheed is great in the backfield but he also has great ball skills for a LB of his size. He has played OLB during his High School but his size and quickness make him a versatile player.  Louisville can use him in coverage or as a pass rusher. Noted as a Top-100 prospect in Florida, Rhaheed’s skills will give him a chance to see the field early at Louisville in 2014. I definitely think this is one player who will make his presence known in 2014. -Chris Hatfield

Issac Stewart

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Matthews, NC (Butler)

Height/Weight: 6-2, 225 pounds

Analysis: Issac Stewart is a prospect that was brought in by Bobby Petrino and recruited by L.D. Scott. Stewart possesses excellent pursuit and run stopping ability. Game film doesn’t lie and that film shows how effective he is at stopping players in the backfield. Stewart makes his hay with his great instinct. Stewart has also shown the ability to play the three technique and make plays, so strength is something that shouldn’t be a concern.

If there is one knock on Stewart, it’s his coverage skills. Sometimes, Tight Ends have been able to slip by essentially  because he’s in the wrong position. It’s not a case of speed or pursuit, just a case of being fundamentally sound. Rest assured, new Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham will be able to improve these flaws. Stewart should make a strong push for 2-deep in the Spring.

Defensive Ends

Henry Famurewa

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Powder Springs, GA (McEachern High School)

Height/Weight: 6-2, 232 pounds

Analysis: This is my second favorite pick up for Louisville. Why? Henry Famurewa possesses non-stop aggression and simply ‘won’t stop’ on plays. His 4.5 speed means that Louisville can be multiple with him in their defensive formations. Departed DE Marcus Smith was often moved around in the Louisville Defense, I could see the same happening with Famurewa. Actually, he’ll probably end up playing more OLB because his skillset fits both that position and the 3-4 defense that Todd Grantham will implement.

Simply put Famurewa makes plays. Where ever he ends up on the field, that won’t change especially with a guy that Todd Grantham leading ht charge. Over 25% of Famurewa’s tackles his Senior season were for a loss including 10 sacks. With his signing, Louisville adds a great pass rusher whom I’d expect to blossom in the 3-4 Defense.

Terry Ramsey

Star Rating: 3
Hometown: Clayton, OH (Northmont)
Height/Weight 6-5 250 pounds
Analysis: Ramsey at first seemed like he would be a hybrid type player for the Cardinals, but with the size that he already has, and his tall frame, he will easily be able to carry more weight and will be a natural defensive end for Louisville. He has a good motor and follows the ball all around the field. He has both speed rush and power moves to get into the backfield. I look for him to get on their field early on in more pass rushing situations and third downs until he gains the strength needed to be an every down type player. The scary thing about Ramsey is that he is already so physically developed with the ability to  add more strength and weight to his frame.  Think Deiontrez Mount but much further along as a freshman physically. He has all the tools of being a great pass rusher, and run stopper, all he needs is the time to develop. –Matt Vories 

JUCO Trevon Young (Enrolled)

Star Rating: 3

Hometown: Des Monies, IA (Iowa Western CC)

Height/Weight: 6-4, 235 pounds

Analysis: Before the new staff came in and installed a new 3-4 defense as opposed to the 4-3 base that was run by the previous staff, Young was recruited as a defensive end, in the fox role that Mauldin and Mount have previously played, but with his size and frame Young is much more of a hybrid than a true defensive end. This bodes well for him as the new staff will have multiple uses and ways to utilize him for what he does best, rush the passer.

Young like Scott and Polk is also an early enrollee. Petrino and staff were lucky to hold onto him as I think that his skill and experience in junior college will allow him to see the field very early. Watching the first twenty second of his highlights I was blown away with the speed rush he displayed and his ability to get to the QB. He has a motor that just doesn’t quit, and I believe he will thrive as an OLB in Grantham’s new scheme. If he earns the playing time, he and Mauldin could combine for more sacks than Maudlin and Smith did last season, I believe he is that talented. – Matt Vories

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Chris Hatfield

Residing in Louisville, KY (via Bardstown, KY). I write things about Louisville Sports. Sometimes you'll like them. Follow me @_ChrisHatfield Email me at chatfield60@gmail.com

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