Feb. 6, 2008
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2008 UofL Football Signing Day Release in PDF Format
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville football team has signed 22 student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2008 season, head coach Steve Kragthorpe announced Wednesday, the first day of the national signing period.
The class is highlighted by seven junior-college players who enrolled in January and 13 high school student athletes. Offensive lineman Mario Benavides also enrolled in January and has been working out with the team.
Linebacker Chris Campa, wide receiver Maurice Clark, defensive tackle Tyler Jessen, safety Justin Mathews, offensive linemen Charles Millenbaugh, Byron Stingily and safety Josh Wiley are all enrolled at Louisville. Tight end Rock Keys is not enrolled yet in classes, but should be by the summer.
"We're very excited about this class," Kragthorpe said. "There is a lot of talent at a number of different positions and we've also filled a number of needs."
As has been typical over the last few recruiting classes, the Cardinals landed one of the best players in the city of Louisville in linebacker Dexter Heyman from Male High School. Heyman, the lone signee from the state of Kentucky, is rated as one of the top recruits in the state and a top 40 defensive end nationally.
The Cardinals also landed a big haul from the nation's top-ranked high school team in Cincinnati St. Xavier. Running back Darius Ashley, tight end Stephon Ball
and defensive end Greg Scruggs
all signed with Louisville. Ashley is one of top running backs in the state of Ohio after running for over 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns. Ball is a big target who will play tight end for the Cardinals, while Scruggs, who has only played one year of scholastic football, has unlimited potential and could be the sleeper of the class. He recorded nine sacks and 51 quarterback pressures during his senior campaign.
Louisville landed its fourth signee from the Buckeye State with the signing of quarterback Zack Stoudt. The son of former NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt, Zack threw for 3,547 yards, while completing 65.5 percent of his passes.
For the first time in recent years, the Cardinals landed a pair of standouts from the state of Texas in offensive lineman Mario Benavides and wide receiver Jacques Caldwell. Benavides, who is already enrolled at U of L, is a top 35 offensive lineman and an All-State selection. Caldwell is one of the fastest players in the state being clocked at 4.27 in the 40-yd dash. He battled injuries last season, but totaled over 1,100 yards as a junior. He has been clocked at 21.08 in the 200-meter run.
Tight end Nathan Nord, who is the nephew of current Cardinals' tight end coach Greg Nord, was one of the top Florida signees and fills a big need for the Cardinals, as both tight ends graduated.
The Cardinals signed two student-athletes from the state of Georgia in kicker Chris Philpott and defensive tackle Randy Salmon. Philpott converted 12-of-15 field goals last season and booted 53 of 57 kickoffs into the end zone. Salmon recorded 47 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a senior.
Louisville filled a huge void at linebacker by signing a pair of solid athletes in Jon Dempsey from the College of Sequoias and Keith Baker from Scotch-Plains-Fanwood High School in New Jersey. Dempsey was a two-year starter at linebacker and recorded over 100 tackles in each season. Baker is an athletic backer who recorded 118 tackles and nine sacks.
Ryan Barnes is an offensive lineman from Carmel, Ind., and helps the Cardinals build depth along the offensive line. Barnes can play both tackle positions and is extremely athletic.
Damion Dixon hails from Louisiana and is a big and speedy receiver. He missed a lot of his senior season with an injury, but still caught 18 passes for 300 yards. He did catch 38 passes for 901 yards as a junior.
The signees hail from 12 states, including Ohio (4), California (3), Mississippi (3), Texas (2), Florida (2), Georgia (2), New Jersey (1), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Kansas (1), Louisiana (1) and Indiana (1).
2008 Louisville Football Recruiting Class
|Player||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (Previous School)|
|Darius Ashley||RB||5-9||182||Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)|
|Keith Baker||LB||6-3||230||Scotch Plains, N.J. (Scotch Plains-Fanwood)|
|Stephon Ball||TE||6-4||215||Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)|
|Ryan Barnes||OL||6-6||300||Carmel, Ind. (Carmel)|
|Mario Benavides||OL||6-4||285||Los Fresnos, Texas (Los Fresnos)|
|Jacques Caldwell||ATH||5-9||175||Garland, Texas (Garland)|
|Jon Dempsey||LB||6-0||233||Visalia, Calif. (College of the Sequoias)|
|Damion Dixon||WR||6-3||180||Port Allen, La. (Port Allen)|
|Dexter Heyman||LB||6-3||225||Louisville, Ky. (Male)|
|Nate Nord||TE||6-5||230||Boca Raton, Fla. (West Boca Raton)|
|Chris Philpott||K||6-0||180||Atlanta, Ga. (St. Pius X)|
|Randy Salmon||DT||6-3||290||Stockbridge, Ga. (Stockbridge)|
|Greg Scruggs||DE||6-5||235||Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)|
|Zack Stoudt||QB||6-4||210||Columbus, Ohio (Dublin-Coffman)|
Early Junior College Signees (8)
* as of 2 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 6
2008 Signing Day Profiles
Darius Ashley * RB
5-9 * 182
Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
Played for Steve Specht at St. Xavier High School... one of the best running backs in the state of Ohio... rated the 62nd best running back by Scout.com... rated a three-star prospect by Scout... also a three-star prospect by Rivals.com... ranked as the No. 20 player in the state of Ohio by Rivals... timed at 4.4 in the 40-yd dash... rated as the No. 17 overall all-purpose back in the nation... rushed 249 times for 1,583 yards and 17 touchdowns... missed time with an ankle injury... ran for over 1,000 yards in each of his final three seasons... rushed for 89 yards in a win over Elder... led St. Xavier to a perfect 15-0 record and a state championship win over Mentor, 27-0... rushed for a state-title record 272 yards on 36 carries... scored on a 27-yard run and had a 40-yarder... named the team's Best Offensive Back in 2007... selected first team All-GCL... ran 23 times for 205 yards in a win over Cincinnati Moeller -- his best statistical line during the regular season... chose Louisville over Northwestern, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Boston College and Indiana.
Keith Baker * LB
6-3 * 230
Scotch Plains, N.J. (Scotch Plains-Fanwood)
Played for Steve Ciccotelli at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.... speedy linebacker who boats 4.55 speed in the 40-yd dash... recorded 118 tackles as a senior, including nine sacks and two interceptions... named the Conference Player of the Year... selected All-Area and All-State at linebacker... selected to play in the Governor's Bowl that pits the top players from New Jersey and New York... registered 108 tackles and six sacks during his junior campaign... selected second team All-State as a junior... named the Union County Player of the Year... rising star at tight end where he earned All-County recognition... caught 21 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns... performed well at the Rutgers and Penn State combines... rated the 82nd best weakside linebacker by Scout.com... played defensive end as a sophomore... standout on the wrestling team... placed second in the district and third in the county as a junior... appeared in six matches as a freshman... chose Louisville over Temple, Connecticut, Michigan State, Iowa, Boston College and Maryland.
Stephon Ball * TE
6-4 * 215
Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
Played for Steve Specht at St. Xavier High School... played for the nation's top-ranked team... led St. Xavier to a perfect 15-0 record and a state championship win over Mentor, 27-0... two-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com... caught 21 passes for 359 yards and one touchdown... owns a 31-inch vertical jump and a 4.58 40-yd dash... ranked as the 187th-best prospect by Scout.com...son of former NFL running back Eric Ball... chose Louisville over West Virginia, Akron, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Western Michigan, Ohio and Miami (Ohio).
Ryan Barnes * OL
6-6 * 300
Carmel, Ind. (Carmel)
Played for Mo Morierity at Carmel High School.. big and athletic offensive tackle... can play both right and left spots... earned All-Conference accolades after guiding Carmel High School to a 13-2 record and a state title... started all 15 games at offensive tackle... didn't give up a sack his entire high school career... selected first team All-Conference... two-star prospect... rated the 129th-best offensive tackle prospect by Scout.com... named All-Hamilton County... voted Herald Times All-State... missed his junior season with a broken wrist... chose Louisville overCincinnati, Purdue and Indiana.
Mario Benavides * OL
6-4 * 285
Los Fresnos, Texas (Los Fresnos)
Played for Scott Ford at Los Fresnos High School... enrolled at UofL in January and will participate in spring practice... rated the No. 33 offensive tackle and a three-star prospect by Scout.com... voted All-Metro co-Most Valuable Player as a senior... selected first team All-State, All-District and All-Metro as a junior... rated the No. 2 prospect in South Texas by Scout.com... three-time 32-5A All-District performer, received All-Valley twice, Associated Press All-State in 2006... was a big reason why Los Fresnos won back-to-back 32-5A District championships in 2006-07 and pancaked an astounding 200 defenders (45 in '05, 74 in '06, 81 in '07) in his three seasons for the Falcons... rated the No. 40 offensive guard prospect by Rivals.com... chose Louisville over Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Arizona, Baylor, UTEP, Houston and Iowa State.
Jacques Caldwell * ATH
5-9 * 175
Garland, Texas (Garland)
Played for Jeff Jordan at Garland High School... two-year starter at running back, quarterback and safety... played both wide receiver and cornerback at Garland High School... battled an injury that caused him to miss six games... averaged 10.0 yards a reception... also was one of the top return specialists, averaging over 12.0 yards a punt return and over 25.0 kick return... totaled more than 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns combined as a junior... rushed for 734 yards and 10 scores, while recording more than 400 yards receiving and five scores... recorded 36 tackles, two interceptions and 20 pass break-ups... rushed 18 times for 90 yards as a sophomore before breaking a bone in his foot... listed on the 2007 SuperList as one of the top players in the state of Texas... one of the fastest players in the state of Texas... named the Dallas/Fort Worth Athlete of the Year in track and field as a junior... runs a 10.55 in the 100-meter run and 21.08 in the 200... finished second in 200-meter run at the District 10 5A championship... finished seventh in the state and was on one of the top three relay teams... won the 200-meter run at the Junior Olympics in Baltimore... was timed at 4.27 in the 40-yd dash before suffering knee injury... chose Louisville over Texas A&M, Kansas State and TCU.
Jon Dempsey * LB
6-0 * 233
Visalia, Calif. (College of the Sequoias)
Played for Curtis Allen at the College of Sequoias... rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com... led the team in tackles as a sophomore... two-year starter at linebacker... recorded 109 tackles, including 80 solo stops as a sophomore... also had four sacks and an interception... earned All-Conference accolades... selected as a JUCO All-American... voted as the team's Most Valuable Player... attended Collingswood High School where he was a four-year starter... four-time All-Conference performer and two-time All-State honoree... selected All-South Jersey... played running back and linebacker... recorded 90 tackles... rushed for 1,100 yards and 22 touchdowns... chose Louisville over Michigan State, UAB, Memphis and Arkansas.
Damion Dixon * WR
6-3 * 180
Port Allen, La. (Port Allen)
Played for Guy Blanchard at Port Allen High School... missed most of his senior season with a knee injury... scored a touchdown in every game he appeared in... recorded 18 receptions for 300 yards and four touchdowns as a senior... averaged 17.6 yards a reception... caught 38 passes for 901 yards and seven touchdowns at Port Allen High School as a junior... recorded four interceptions as a defensive back...rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com... named an All-District performer in 2006... rated the No. 20 prospect in the state of Louisiana by Scout and the No. 38 by Rivals... ranked the No. 130 wide receiver nationally and a three-star prospect by Scout.com... ended his career with 86 receptions for 1,986 yards... played on the basketball team, averaged 10 to 12 points per game... team ranked second in the state... team owns a 30-3 record... chose Louisville over Michigan, Nebraska, Southern Mississippi, Auburn and LSU.
Dexter Heyman * LB
6-3 * 225
Louisville, Ky. (Male)
Played for Bob Redman at Male High School... rated the No. 36 defensive end and a three-star prospect by Scout.com... played defensive end, linebacker, wide receiver and running back... timed at 4.5 in the 40-yd dash... ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the state of the Kentucky and the 64th-best outside linebacker by Rivals... Rated the No. 42 prospect on Scout.com's Midwest Top 100 list... selected first-team Courier-Journal All-State... voted first team All-Metro and All-County... earned All-Area honors... forced six fumbles and recovered three... also notched a safety... selected to the All-Southern Football Team... named first team All-State... rated as one of the top Fab 50 defensive ends... selected first team Associated Press All-State... member of Kentucky's preseason Tremendous 26... an outstanding basketball player... McDonald's All-American candidate in the state of Kentucky... led his team to a championship at the King of the Bluegrass... chose Louisville over Kentucky, Indiana, Cincinnati, Michigan State and Northwestern... brother of former Ballard and current University of Louisville standout defensive lineman Earl Heyman.
Nate Nord * TE
6-5 * 230
Boca Raton, Fla. (West Boca Raton)
Played for Willie Dodaro at West Boca Raton High School... ranked as the 19th-best tight end in the nation by Scout.com... three-star All-American prospect by Scout... runs a 4.69 40-yd dash... caught 20 passes for over 350 yards and three touchdowns... son of Florida Atlantic coach Gary Nord and nephew of current Louisville assistant coach Greg Nord... voted All-County on defense by the Sun-Sentinel... selected to play in the Outback All-Star Senior Game... missed most of his junior year with an injury... started at tight end as a sophomore and part of his junior campaign... played basketball as a junior... played defensive end as a junior... chose Louisville over Air Force, Florida, Miami and South Florida.
Chris Philpott * K
6-0 * 180
Atlanta, Ga. (St. Pius X)
Played for Paul Standard at St. Pius X Catholic High School... broke all the school records for kicking... connected on 12-of-15 field goals with longs of 49, 50 and 51... was 30-for-30 on PATs... averaged 41.0 yards per punt... named by Rivals.com as the second-most accurate kicker... rated as the 10th-best kicker by Rivals...strong leg kicker who can perform all three phases of the kicking game... has hit from a career-long 51 yards and averaged 41 yards per punt... placed 16 punts inside the 20-yard line... kicked 53 of 57 kickoffs out of the endzone... registered 37 tackles and eight pass break-ups as a defensive back... recorded two interceptions, including one for a touchdown... selected first team All-State and All-Conference... voted first team All-DeKalb County and All-Southeast... played three seasons on the soccer team... chose Louisville over Air Force, Navy, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Army.
Randy Salmon * DT
6-3 * 290
Stockbridge, Ga. (Stockbridge)
Played for Steven Collins at Stockbridge High School... four-year starter at defensive end and defensive tackle... clocked at 4.95 in the 40-yd dash... was a preseason All-State selection and was voted first team All-South Metro (Atlanta) as a senior... team's third-leading tackler, recording 47 tackles, 8 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks as a senior...made 80 tackles, 7 sacks and three forced fumbles as a junior... selected second team All-Conference as a junior... broke all the school's weightlifting records... three-year letterwinner in wrestling... state wrestling champion in 2006-07... holds the school record in the shot put... chose Louisville over South Carolina, North Carolina State, Troy, Michigan State, Southern Miss, UAB and Louisiana Tech.
Greg Scruggs * DE
6-5 * 235
Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
Played for Steve Specht at St. Xavier High School... played for the nation's top-ranked team... led St. Xavier to a perfect 15-0 record and a state championship win over Mentor, 27-0... started all 15 games at defensive end... played just one season of football for St. Xavier, recording 57 tackles, nine sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries... registered 51 quarterback pressures... earned second team All-GCL honors... selected Honorable Mention All-Cincinnati... selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game... three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com... ranked as the 56th-best defensive end by Scout.com... played three seasons in the marching band... played on the basketball team for all four years... averaged 7.0 points and 3.0 rebounds on the hardwood... chose Louisville over Michigan, Michigan St., NC State, UConn, Cincinnati, Boston College, Kentucky, Tennessee, Miami (Oh), and Wake Forest.
Zack Stoudt * QB
6-4 * 210
Columbus, Ohio (Dublin-Coffman)
One of the top quarterbacks in the state of Ohio...played for perennial power Dublin Coffman... threw for 3,547 yards while completing 65.5% of his passes (237 completions on 362 attempts)...threw 34 touchdowns against just 14 interceptions... named first team All-Ohio Division I (largest classification)... Central District Offensive Player of the Year... first team All-Metro by The Columbus Dispatch... first team All-Ohio Capital Conference..."Super 25"...led Dublin Coffman to a 13-1 mark and the Capital Conference and Region 3 championships... team advanced to the semifinals of the Ohio Division I playoffs...rated the nation's No. 19 pro-style quarterback by Rivals...rated Ohio's No. 18 overall prospect by Rivals...PrepStar All-Midwest Region...SuperPrep All-Midwest Team...rated No. 80 on Scout's Midwest Top 100 list...played under Coach Mark Crabtree...son of former pro quarterback Cliff Stoudt, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1977-83 and earned a pair of Super Bowl rings (1978 and 1979 seasons)...Cliff was a fifth-round draft choice of the Steelers after a record-setting career at Youngstown State...he later played for the USFL's Birmingham Stallions (1984-85) before concluding his pro career in the NFL with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1986-88), Miami Dolphins (1989) and Dallas Cowboys (1991).
2008 Signing Day Profiles - Early Junior College
Chris Campa * LB
6-2 * 220
Orlando, Fla. (Butler CC)
Played for Troy Morrell at Butler County Community College... led BCCC to a National Championship... team finished 12-0... led the team in tackles with 104, including a team-best 68 solo stops... also recorded 11.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks... recovered two fumbles... guided team to an 11-1 record in 2006 and a Region VI Championship... finished ranked third in the final poll.. also won the KJCCC Championship... attended Friendship High School... chose Louisville over Memphis, Syracuse, Middle Tennessee and UAB.
Maurice Clark * WR
6-3 * 200
Lake Elsinore, Calif. (Saddleback)
Played for Mark McElroy at Saddleback Community College... rated a three-star recruit by Scout.com... speedy wide out who can come in and stabilize that position... earned All-Conference honors at wide receiver as a sophomore... caught a team-leading 43 passes for 628 yards and eight touchdowns... owns 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash... recorded 30 receptions for 543 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman... averaged a team-best 18.1 yards a reception... played scholastically at Temescal High School... started as a senior and was named team captain... caught 34 passes for 700 yards and 12 touchdowns... earned All-Conference honors... also selected All-City and All-District... guided Temescal to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the state semifinals... played two seasons on the basketball team... chose Louisville over Purdue, Washington State, Akron, Arizona and Iowa State.
Tyler Jessen * DT
6-2 * 300
Wichita, Kan. (Butler CC)
Played for Troy Morrell at Butler County Community College... rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com... split time at defensive tackle and defensive end... named Honorable Mention All-League... was the third-leading tackler for one of the top JUCO defenses in the nation, recording 88 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and three sacks to help the Butler defense limit opponents to 9.1 points per game... Butler allowed only 204 yards of total offense per game and ranked fifth nationally against the run... recorded 44 tackles as a freshman, including 18 for a loss and three sacks... attended Wichita Northwest High School... named first team All-State at defensive tackle and second team All-State at offensive guard... selected All-City on both offensive and defensive line... voted All-Metro ... chose Louisville over Oklahoma State, Marshall, Troy and Kansas State.
Rock Keys * TE
6-5 * 235
Collins, Miss. (Jones County JC)
Played for Eddie Pierce at Jones County Junior College... was a mainstay on the offensive line, used mainly as a blocker... caught nine passes for 119 yards and one touchdown... started every game at tight end... named a second-team All-American by JC Grid Wire.com... also selected All-State and All-Region 23... named the Most Valuable Lineman by MACJC... guided team to a 9-2 record and a second-place finish in the state... saw action in nine games as a freshman... chose Louisville over Kansas State and South Florida.
Justin Mathews * S
6-2 * 215
Leaksville, Miss. (Jones County JC)
Played for Eddie Pierce at Jones County Community College .... rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com... broke his leg mid-way through his sophomore season... was a pre-season All-American heading into the 2007 season... appeared in six games before getting injured against Pearl River... finished the season with 31 tackles... played in nine games at wide receiver as a freshman... was a key special teams performer... attended Greene County High School... played running back, defensive back and kick returner... was a high school All-American at strong safety... named Most Valuable Defensive Back as a senior in high school... chose Louisville over Kansas.
C.J. Millenbah * OL
6-4 * 295
San Diego, Calif. (Grossmont College)
Played for Mike Jordan at Grossmont College... two-year starter on the offensive line... rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com... earned All-Conference accolades... two-time Offensive Linemen of the Year in the league... named the Most Valuable Offensive Linemen in 2007... attended LaJolla High School... three-year starter... selected All-State as a senior... three-time All-Conference performer and Offensive Linemen of the Year... participated in track and field for two seasons... threw the discus and shot put... set the school record in the discus at 170'0 and in the shot put at 58'0... chose Louisville over Texas A&M, Central Michigan, Arizona State and Kansas.
Byron Stingily * OL
6-6 * 300
Country Club Hills, Ill. (Joliet)
Played forTom Minnick at Joliet Junior College... added about 65 pounds to his body... owns a large frame and is very athletic... started 13 games at offensive tackle... earned first team All-Conference accolades... rated the No. 1 offensive linemen in the conference and the No. 8 player overall... guided Joliet to a 11-2 record... attended Romeoville High School... two-year starter at defensive end... earned All-Conference and All-Area honors... received scholarship offers from Minnesota, Arizona, Northern Illinois, Marshall, Kansas and Kansas State.
Josh Wiley * S
6-1 * 200
Hattiesburg, Miss. (Pearl River CC)
Played for Tim Hatten at Pearl River Community College... rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com... rated the 18th-best junior college prospect in the country and the second-best junior-college defensive back by Rivals.com... two-year starter... named second team All-District... played scholastically at Hattiesburg High School... named All-Area... voted the team's Most Valuable Player... three-year starter... guided team to a state championship in baseball... played catcher and outfield... chose Louisville over Marshall, Alabama, Southern Mississippi, West Virginia and Mississippi.