The Louisville football team will kick off the first major recruiting weekend of January with 12 expected official visitors.
The guest list includes high school prospects committed to the Cardinals, Florida State and SMU, others who were formerly committed to Florida and Missouri, and some key junior-college targets. A University of Kentucky high school commit is also a possible visitor.
The three current U of L commitments expected on campus are Trinity High School receiver/defensive back Rodjay Burns, Manual High defensive lineman Derek Dorsey and Dothan, Ala., defensive end Caleb Tillman.
Dorsey and Tillman are thought to be solidly committed to the Cards as national signing day on Feb. 3 approaches, but it’ll be an important weekend for U of L to try strengthen its position with Burns. The first-team All-State selection is also considering a recent scholarship offer from Ohio State. Burns was visited on Thursday by an Ohio State assistant, then by Louisville offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and new defensive backs coach Keith Heyward, who’d been officially hired earlier in the day.
Burns plans to visit Ohio State next weekend.
Other Louisville visitors this weekend include Miami Central teammates Jamel Cook, a four-star Army All-American who has been committed to Florida State for nearly a year, and Eric Mitchell, a three-star defensive end/outside linebacker who recently withdrew a commitment to Florida.
Cook, a 6-foot-4 safety who is rated the nation’s No. 85 overall prospect by 247Sports.com, also plans to visit Southern California and LSU before signing day. Hometown Miami is also recruiting him.
U of L would figure to be well-positioned with Mitchell (6-1, 220), a pass rusher who is rated the No. 56 defensive end nationally by ESPN.com. He said he’s now considering U of L, Toledo, Central Florida, Colorado, Temple and Bowling Green.
A third highly regarded player from Miami – Senior High wide receiver/athlete Keyshawn Young – is also expected to visit. Young is rated the No. 59 receiver nationally by 247Sports.com, though he can play on both sides of the ball.
Young has already visited Michigan officially and plans to visit USC next week. Miami and Tennessee are among the others interested in him.
U of L wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas has been the Cards’ primary recruiter for Cook, Mitchell and Young.
U of L, which is seen as wanting to add at least one running back to the 2016 class, also is expected to host two-star Oklahoma prospect Dae Williams, a recent scholarship offer recipient who is committed to SMU. A big back at 6-2, 232 pounds, Williams is rated the No. 126 player at his position by 247Sports.
Louisville also will try to fill a need at insider linebacker with three-star visitor Tobias Little of Atlanta Mays High School. Little (6-0, 235), who withdrew a pledge to Missouri two months ago and has offers from well-regarded colleges across the South and Midwest, is rated the No. 29 insider linebacker nationally by Rivals.com.
From the junior-college ranks, U of L is expected to host four-star Long Beach Community College safety London Iakopo, who is committed to Arizona, three-star Lackawanna (Pa.) College outside linebacker Kapri Doucet, who recently withdrew a pledge from Arizona, and three-star San Bernadino (Calif.) Valley offensive tackle Paul Ramirez-Diaz.
Iakopo is rated four stars by Scout.com and the nation’s No. 2 JUCO safety by 247Sports. Doucet rated the No. 5 JUCO player at his position by 247.
Doucet, a Virginia native who had 17.5 tackles for loss, including seven sacks, in 2015, was picked as a first-team junior-college All-American and his conference’s defensive player of the year. U of L recruiting staff member Cort Dennison, who is on the road while the Cards seek to fill their final assistant coach position, visited Doucet on Friday, and Arkansas visited and offered a scholarship later in the day. Oklahoma, West Virginia, Utah and Nebraska are among his other offers.
Ramirez-Diaz (6-6, 300), a first-team California JUCO All-American, also has offers from Indiana, Arkansas, Memphis and several others.
Another possible high school visitor is longtime UK defensive tackle pledge Kordell Looney (6-4, 270) of Springfield, Ohio. He had been expected to visit Louisville this weekend but told InsideTheVille.com earlier this week that UK’s staff had been “harassing” him about visiting the Wildcats’ rival and he was unsure if he still would.
He is rated the No. 46 defensive tackle nationally by Rivals.com.