Louisville football: Is there reason to believe the 2020 recruiting class is over hyped?

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 15: Running back Dae Williams #25 of the Louisville Cardinals runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Cardinal Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 15: Running back Dae Williams #25 of the Louisville Cardinals runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Cardinal Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

The month of June has been unprecedented for Louisville football on the recruiting trail, but does the hype match the reality of this class thus far?

Never in the history of Louisville football has a recruiting class come together so quickly and so seamlessly.

As recently as late May, Cards fans were getting restless due to the lack of commitments in the 2020 class. However, first-year head coach Scott Satterfield and his staff were diligently going about their business behind the scenes, and over the last two weeks have received verbal commitments from almost one recruit per day.

As it stands now, the Cards have 18 commits in the 2020 class with quite a few more to come.

As quickly as the hype started though, worry and frustration began to circulate over the sheer amount of players that the coaching staff was taking. Last week, two, and sometimes three, players were committing a day only two weeks removed from going over a month without a commitment. So what gives? Was the Louisville coaching staff growing impatient, and now has decided to offer some lower graded players? Perhaps this is the best that they think it’s going to get?

The Cards vaulted from 72nd in the 247Sports recruiting rankings to 19th in a matter of a few days, sending shockwaves through the recruiting world. However, recruiting rankings can often be misleading due to the sheer volume of commitments. Consider that Louisville’s 21st-ranked 2020 class currently has a lower average rating (84.79) than the 70th-ranked 2019 class (84.96).

So, the question remains then: Is Louisville’s 2020 class ranking and ensuing hype the result of a perfect storm of timing and lack of commits at other schools, or are the Cards’s incoming players next season the real deal, thus warranting the excitement around the fanbase?

The reality is that it’s probably somewhere in between. Though it’s true that Louisville has a lower average rating for next season than the incoming class, that is likely to change sooner rather than later.

We’ve already seen players like Braden Smith, Brock Travelstead, and JUCO recruit Marvin Dallas bumped from “unranked” status to 3-stars immediately following their pledges to the Cards. This indicates that Louisville’s staff is in on some guys that are late bloomers, but is also a perfect example of how recruiting metrics can be misleading as a whole. The more offers guys get, the more the opinions of recruiting experts are easily swayed.

Also, consider that it’s nearly impossible to actually watch tens of thousands of high school players Hudl accounts and then accurately assess them. Is the No. 204 inside linebacker really that much worse that ILB 152? High school football is an ever-changing landscape full of pubescent athletes prone to 6″ growth spurts over a summer and multi-sport athletes that don’t take their college recruitment seriously until their later years.

More from Louisville Cardinals News

Recruiting is fluid, and so are the schools and coaches that recruit the players. Thusly, so are the opinions of the numbered scouts and experts that serve as a gauge for the public’s opinions of one high school player versus another.

Satterfield and company say that they are simply evaluating talent and fit for their squad. It’s not about the stars, the ratings, the exposure, or who else has offered. If a player has a skill set that they are looking for and has the chance to contribute positively to the team, Louisville doesn’t care who you are or where you come from.

“I think coming from the head coach you have to be in contact with these kids to say we want you,” Satterfield explained to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports. “As a head coach we want you to be part of our team, you fit exactly what we want. Your temperament, your character, the way you play, you’re what we want. I think that has to come from the head coach. The head coach has to be the one that truly says we want you to be part of our football team.”

Louisville football’s recruiting class is probably not finished climbing in the rankings. The Cards have yet to land a handful of commitments from recruits that the BRL team believes will be their highest-rated yet. Commitments from players like Izayah Cummings, Chubba Purdy, and Marcus Dumervil would all take Louisville’s average rating from 84.79 to well over 85. The 84.0-86.0 range is right where every Louisville recruiting class has averaged over the last decade.

The Cards will almost assuredly slip in the rankings once big-name teams begin to secure more commitments. Still, the coaching staff is on track to land a top 30 or top 40 class- much higher than anyone could have anticipated just weeks ago.

Lastly, I implore Cardinal fans to consider one more thing. Many of the best players in Louisville football history were severely overlooked and underrated. Teddy Bridgewater, Calvin Pryor, Eric Wood, Harry Douglass, DeVante Parker, Elvis Dumervil, Bilal Powell, William Gay, Kerry Rhodes, and even Lamar Jackson were rated as three-star players and below.

Meanwhile, schools like Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee continue to land top 15 classes year after year, yet often times struggle to beat the Louisville’s of the world. As a Cards supporter, you have to be okay with knowing your identity and realizing that often times newer brands don’t resonate on the recruiting trail like the traditional “big boys.”

Next. Five offensive players with something to prove in 2019. dark

What matters most about the 2020 recruiting class is the results on the field in 2020 and beyond. With this class that’s on board right now, Louisville football is on track to be right in the thick of things for years to come.