Louisville football landed their 23rd player to the 2020 class on Tuesday, flipping three-star cornerback Lovie Jenkins from Tennessee.
Through the first two weeks of the 2019 season, Louisville football’s progress from a year ago has been a pleasant surprise.
While we knew all offseason that the new “culture” built around being a family and playing hard for one another was going to make major differences on the overall impact of the players.
I’m not sure anyone thought that we’d see a team this improved, this quick.
After putting up an impressive fight against no. 9 Notre Dame on Labor Day in Primetime on ESPN, one that caught the eye of a few big names across college football, the Cards returned back to action just five days later shutting out Eastern Kentucky in an impressive fashion.
The new energy around the program has not only impacted the players but has made it’s way to the fanbase in a major way.
Against both Notre Dame and Eastern Kentucky, we saw huge attendance spikes (from last season with the new expansion) and an energized fan base whose love and passion for the football program is at an all-time high.
The performance on the field, the overall atmosphere of the game, the enhancements to pre-game festivities, and the hope for the future has made things feel whole again.
Fans, players and coaches aren’t the only ones seeing it. The recruits who Louisville football’s staff are trying to persuade into becoming Cardinals, are seeing and loving it too.
Tee Webb, who committed to the Cards earlier this summer, said of his official visit this past weekend:
"“It was my first game in the stadium and I really loved it. You could tell all the fans are into the game the whole game. It was exciting to see the guys come out and all the coaches in the game situation. It was all really cool to be able to see.”"
"“The visit was amazing. I felt the atmosphere was comforting. It didn’t feel like I was out of place. Even though I’m in Louisville, some of the Florida players such as Chandler Jones helped me feel like I’m at home.”"
When talking to the media last week ahead of the matchup with EKU, Satterfield talked about the impact the Notre Dame game had on recruiting and the response from players. He said:
"“The response from recruits is outstanding. We’ve got guys who are committed to other schools getting back in to touch with us now, saying we love the way you guys play.”"
One guy who apparently liked what we saw on the field, enough to flip his commitment from Tennessee to Louisville, was Lovie Jenkins. Things with the three-star cornerback out of Ocee, Florida are interesting.
Jenkins was a target of the Cards for months after arriving to Louisville, but ultimately he ended up deciding to commit to Tennessee over the likes of Notre Dame, Miami, Purdue, North Carolina State, Kentucky, West Virginia amongst others.
The commitment to Tennesse lasted just 91 days. Talking with Jody Demling, Jenkins said of his decision:
“I was originally going to commit to Louisville.”
Jenkins took an official visit to meet Scott Satterfield and company back in May before taking an unofficial visit to Tennesse the next day, where he ultimately committed.
Jenkins went on to say to Demling, “As time went by, I felt like it wasn’t the right fit for me.”
After the first loss of the season and Louisville’s impressive performance against Notre Dame, it started to look like Jenkins was leaning towards a commitment to Louisville, at least via social media.
Jenkins began retweeting old pictures of his visit at Louisville, and liking tweets of Cardinal fans, while simultaneously scrubbing his social media of anything Tennesse aside from the pinned tweet that announced his commitment.
Then came the official announcement last night, as the crystal ball began showing Jenkins was likely going to be a Cardinal.
It’s possible that last night, Louisville picked up their biggest recruit of the 2020 cycle – doing so after just TWO games.
It was clear that when the commitments started to roll in this summer for Scott Satterfield and the Lousiville football staff, that the recruiting worries many fans had after the hire could be laid to rest.
Heading into the season, the Cards held commitments from 20 players and at one point this summer had a top 25 recruiting class – something no one thought could be possible this fast. The staff did all of that without ever stepping foot onto a field with a win on the line.
After Saturday’s win against Eastern Kentucky, Louisville flipped another recruit, this time in Toledo commitment Nick Malito, an absolute burner of a wide receiver. While his offer sheet isn’t as long and impressive as Jenkins, Malito is a vastly underrated prospect who will bring playmaking and home run hitting speed to the table right away.
Two games. Two flips.
The culture change has been very evident, very fast, and it is clearly paying off in the recruiting for the class of 2020.
As of now with Jenkins in the fold, Louisville holds 23 total commitments and currently has the 32nd best recruiting class in the country.
The good feelings aren’t done yet either. There are more wins to be had, and more spots to be filled before signing day in December, meaning that the better Louisville performs this season and the more the fanbase gets back into football – the easier it will be for the new staff to land elite recruits and get a promising program back on track.