Crystal ball picks rolling in for Louisville football on the recruiting trail

Sep 1, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive lineman G.G. Robinson (94) sacks Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 1, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive lineman G.G. Robinson (94) sacks Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Louisville football is on commitment watch.

If you’re a fan of Louisville football wins and recruiting momentum coming from that, than you’re in the right place my friends.

From the time I’m writing this, it’s been exactly 88 days since Scott Satterfield and the Louisville football program picked up their last commitment in the class of 2021. With most of the legwork put in during the spring of 2020, the Cards were able to put together a good sized class well ahead of the December early signing period.

Despite the recent decommitment of highly-touted four-star offensive tackle Zen Michalski, who subsequently pledged to play at Ohio State, the Cards are looking good on the recruiting front in 2021. Currently ranked 33rd nationally, Satterfield and company hold 21 commitments and rank 7th overall in the ACC.

With two spots left to fill and plenty of needs, the Cardinal staff has still been putting in the work with perspective ’21 targets, though not many remain, and that work could soon yield a new verbal commitment.

Louisville football trending towards a commitment?

Following a nearly six month commitment to Herm Edwards and the Arizona State Sun Devils, Caleb Banks announced his intentions to decommit this past week in order to “look at other options.” One of those other options has indeed been Louisville, and apparently after just six days there’s been enough wooing for Banks to believe he’s found his college home.

Louisville has been one of many schools involved with recruiting Banks, both since his decommitment and prior to his pledge to play at Arizona State. Also involved has been power five programs like Kentucky, Michigan State, Tennessee, Colorado, and others.

Nine crystal ball predictions for Banks have been placed in the last few days on 247 Sports, including the likes of recruiting experts, Allen Trieu and Steve Wiltfong, as well as local writers Jody Demling & Michael McCannon. All but pointing to Banks being commitment no. 22 for Louisville. Combine that with an official announcement of a second commitment, set for October 31st (Halloween & the day Louisville faces Virginia Tech), and folks that’s called “commitment watch.”

For many of you Banks is a new name, and a welcomed addition considering all the struggles the Cards have faced in the trenches this season (and the last several). Even with four defensive ends already in the fold for 2021, Louisville football has continued to make the defensive line a priority on the recruiting trail.

Rated as a consensus three-star recruit and 929th best player overall in the class by 247 Sports, Banks checks all the boxes in terms of both measurables, need, and most important fit at Louisville. He also seems to fit with exactly is needed for Bryan Brown’s defense both in the short-term and long-term. National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu broke Banks game down like this:

"“Tall, long, lean frame. Carries his weight well and does not look as heavy as listed on the hoof. Can easily carry more weight. Fluid athlete who can get off the ball and make plays in the backfield. Can bend and turn the corner. Does not project as a weak-side speed rusher, but can be a big, strongside guy who can still get to the quarterback. Raw with his technique. Once his hands and counter moves become more natural, he will be tough to stop. Could also be a high level offensive tackle, but college plan for him is defense. Should be a starter for a high major program. Will need some time, but has too much talent not to project as an impact guy.”"

Banks is an interesting prospect for Louisville for a number of reasons, but none more so than the fact that he plays both sides of the line and has the ability to do so at the next level. At 6’6, 250-pounds Banks likely fits better on the defensive line as an outside rusher an area where he’d bring athleticism and versatility, but the skill level and understanding of playing both positions will be a huge addition to whatever college he chooses.

Size has been a major issue for Defensive Line Coach Mark Ivey early on in his tenure, even with Louisville’s defensive running on the smaller side scheme wise, one that Banks could go a long way in addressing. Already at 255-pounds, Banks moves extremely well for a player of his size and as mentioned still has plenty of room to add more weight without sacrificing athleticism and speed.

Louisville’s also faced challenges with creating a consistent push in their rush as well as a consistent ability to properly fill gaps, especially during this season, and Banks is a player who could be a major help in shoring that up.

When you watch the highlights it’s not hard to see how he’s capable of playing both sides of the line. His speed and physicality both immediately pop whether playing offense or defense, as does his ability to break through blocks and blow up opposing plays.

The defensive film is obviously what I paid most attention to and what I see is someone who can  wait for it, “wreak havoc,” in Brown’s system. Time and time again Banks can be seen blowing through offensive lines like an old-school Saloon doors, getting to the quarterback or ball carrier in a matter of seconds. At this stage in his development technique doesn’t appear to be a strength, as more of his big plays are from straight bull-rush opportunities, however it’s evident that he has more enough natural athleticism, strength, and power to be successful.

Should Banks decide that Louisville is where he plans to see spend his future, the defense will be getting another versatile, physical, and athletic player who will be capable of truly executing the needs of Brown’s 3-4 scheme.

Next. Why the FSU game was different for Louisville football. dark

Halloween night was already set to be a big one for the Cards, but things just got a little spicier.