John L. Smith comments on his new recruits.
Feb. 7, 2001
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville head football
coach John L. Smith announced this afternoon the following 19 student-athletes
have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their educations and play
football for the Cardinals.
This year's class is made up of 17 true
freshmen-to-be and two junior college additions. This signing class joins three
mid-year JC transfers and one mid-year freshman addition -- Wilbur Benson of San
Francisco City College, Brook Emelio (Fr.) of Los Angeles Valley College,
Keeshan Lowe of Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Junior College and Chris Thigpen of
Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) JC -- already enrolled at U of L as newcomers to the
"This recruiting class allowed us to
shore up the depth at some positions while also addressing some immediate
needs," said Smith. "The staff and our players did a tremendous job of
selling our program to these young men. They should be commended for all of
their hard work."
The Cardinals are coming off a 2000
campaign that saw them post a 9-3 overall record, capture their first Conference
USA title and advance to a third consecutive post-season bowl appearance in as
many years under the tutelege of Smith and his staff.
||San Francisco C.C.
||Russell Springs, Ky.
||Russell County H.S.
||Van Nuys, Calif.
||Los Angeles Valley J.C.
||St. Ignatius H.S.
||St. Paul's H.S.
||The Bolles School
||Boyle County H.S.
||Harrison County H.S.
||Ormond Beach, Fla.
||The Bolles School
||The Bolles School
||El Camino J.C.
denotes mid-year addition. Student-athlete is enrolled at U of L and
eligible to participate in spring practice
DB · 5-8 · 170
Hopkinsville, Ky. (San Francisco C.C.)
A first-team California JC All-American
following the 2000 season as selected by the California Community College
Football Coaches Association ... first-team All-America selection by JC Gridwire
... four interceptions including one return for TD for SFCC in 2000 ... SFCC
finished the '99 and '00 seasons with a combined 24-0 mark with Benson in the
secondary ... allowed just 29 receptions in his two seasons of JC ball ...
honorable mention All-America in '99 intercepting a pair of passes ...
three-year letterman at Hopkinsville High School ... two-year starter who helped
Hopkinsville to a pair of state final appearances ... first-team all-state
choice by Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader following his
senior season ... selected the Cardinals over San Diego State, Oregon and
WR · 6-0 · 175
Birmingham, Ala. (Parker H.S.)
Three-year varsity letterwinner at Parker
High School ... versatile performer as a prep player, seeing action at
quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back and as a kick/punt returner ...
combined for 11 touchdowns as a senior ... intercepted five passes in his final
prep season ... two-time all-state choice ... letterwinner in track and
basketball as well ... member of 6A state champion 4X400 relay team in '99-00
... finished second at 6A state finals in the 4X800 relay ... currently
averaging 10 points a game on the hardwood ... selected U of L over North
Carolina State, Southern Miss and Alabama.
QB · 6-1 · 205
Russell Springs, Ky. (Russell County H.S.)
Passed for more than 1,600 yards as a
senior with a school record 17 touchdowns ... rushed for another 772 yards with
11 scores ... guided Russell County to its first-ever state playoff victory ...
honorable mention all-state choice by Louisville Courier Journal ... two-time
all-district selection ... a three-year starter who passed for nearly 5,000
yards in his career ... owner of 43 prep TD passes ... will finish his fourth
varsity season on the hardwood ... currently averaging 18 points a game ... an
honor roll student ... two-year letterman in track, running the 200, 400 and 800
meters ... advanced to the regional level in the 800M as a sophomore ... father
played wide receiver at Georgetown College ... chose the Cardinals over Purdue
and Eastern Kentucky.
DL · 6-2 ·
Van Nuys, Calif. (LA Valley College)
Mid-year freshman import who did not play
football in 2000 ... four-year varsity competitor on the gridiron during his
prep days ... played three seasons at Montclair Prep before transferring to
Bishop Alemany ... three-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines ...
recorded 60 tackles to go with seven sacks as a senior guiding Bishop Alemany to
an 8-2 record ... helped Bishop Alemany to the state quarterfinals in Division I
in his final prep campaign ... also saw time as a goalkeeper on the soccer team
... selected U of L over San Diego State.
DB · 5-11 ·
Cleveland, Ohio (St. Ignatius H.S.)
Selected all-Ohio first-team by
Ohiopreps.com ... first-team all-Cleveland Plain Dealer ... two-year starter at
cornerback and wide receiver ... picked off seven passes as a senior ... broke
14 passes in 2000 ... 30 total tackles as a senior for the Wildcats ... caught
47 passes for 887 yards and a school record 13 touchdowns ... second-team
all-state choice in 2000 at DB by Associated Press ... named one of the top
seniors in the state of Ohio by FoxSports.com ... helped St. Ignatius to Ohio
big school state title in '99 ... five interceptions and 38 tackles as a DB to
go with 11 receptions as a WR as a junior ... honorable mention all-Plain Dealer
choice following his junior campaign ... three-year letterman in basketball and
will earn his fourth letter this spring in track ... reached the regional finals
in '00 in the 110-meter high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles ... currently
averaging 12 points a game on the hardwood ... selected U of L over Colorado
State, Northwestern, Kent State and Ohio University.
Jacksonville, Fla. (Parker H.S.)
Rushed for better than 1,700 yards as a
senior with 17 touchdowns ... helped Parker to an appearance in the Florida
state playoffs as a senior ... named to the Florida Times-Union Super 24 ...
third-team all-First Coast honoree by FTU ... 2000 Jacksonville Quarterback Club
Player of the Year ... rushed for 1,350 yards with 14 touchdowns as a junior ...
back-to-back all Northeast Florida second team honoree as a sophomore and junior
... rushed for more than 1,200 yards as a sophomore ... member of the athletic
director's honor roll ... named one of the top seniors in the state of Florida
by FoxSports.com... four-year letterman and three-year starter on the gridiron
... cousin of former Clemson linebacker and current Cleveland Brown Rahim
Abdullah ... will earn his fourth letter in track this spring ... member of a
regional champion 4X100 relay team in 2000 ... also runs the 100 meters ...
selected U of L over Florida, Miami, Alabama and Syracuse.
DE · 6-5 ·
Birmingham, Ala. (Minor H.S.)
Three-year varsity performer for Minor
High on both sides of the football ... helped Minor to an 11-1 mark and into the
second round of the Alabama state playoffs ... first-team all-metro choice by
the Birmingham News ... honorable mention all-state at the 6A level by
Birmingham News ... 80 tackles including 14 for loss as a senior ... added six
pass breakups and four blocked kicks in his final prep campaign ... honorable
mention all-metro choice as a junior ... guided Minor to a 6-4 mark in his
junior season ... an honor roll student ... three-year member of the varsity
basketball team ... currently averaging 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked
shots per game ... selected U of L over UAB, Southern Miss and Tennessee State.
Mobile, Ala. (St. Paul's H.S.)
Four-year letterwinner on the gridiron
... opened career playing wide receiver and safety as a freshman and sophomore
... spent final two seasons at quarterback ... high school teammate of current
Cardinal wideout Tiger Jones ... passed for more than 900 yards and 10
touchdowns as a senior ... ran for four more scores to go with 600 rushing yards
... honorable mention all-area choice by the Mobile Register in 2000 ... helped
St. Paul's to the state quarterfinals as a junior ... passed for more than 1,300
yards and 18 scores as a junior ... totaled eight rushing TDs in 1999 ...
first-team all-region choice as a junior ... caught 27 passes for 730 yards and
11 touchdowns as a sophomore ... earned two letters as a point guard in
basketball averaging 11 assists per game as a junior ... led St. Paul's to the
regional finals on the hardwood in '99-00 with a 26-5 mark ... honor roll
student ... chose the Cardinals over UAB.
DB · 6-0 ·
Longview, Texas (Blinn J.C.)
Honorable mention junior college
All-America choice following his sophomore season at Blinn JC ... seven
interceptions and a pair of blocked field goals in 2000 ... helped Blinn to a
5-4 record as a sophomore ... three-year starter in the secondary at Longview's
Pinetree High School ... two-time all-district selection ... picked off 12
passes as a senior helping Pinetree to a 7-3 overall mark ... regional
competitor in the 200, 4X100, long jump and triple jump during his prep days ...
earned three letters in track and field ... selected the Cardinals over Houston,
Arizona and Kansas.
P/PK · 6-3 ·
Jacksonville, Fla. (The Bolles School)
Second-team all-First Coast honoree by
the Florida Times-Union ... rated the 18th-best kicker in the nation by
Rivals.com ... brother Gabe plays at Central Florida ... father Allan was an
all-Southeastern Conference kicker at the University of Georgia and played
briefly with the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ... helped Bolles to
an 11-1 record and into the second round of the 2000 Florida playoffs ... named
the state's top punter by Florida Prep Football ... third-team all-Florida 5A
choice by the Florida Sports Writers Association ... scored 65 points converting
56 of 58 PAT and three of five field goals ... nailed a long field goal of 45
yards in 2000 ... averaged 39.4 yards per punt as a senior ... kicked for
Mandarin High School as a junior making five of six field goals in 1999 ...
member of the athletic director's honor roll ... named one of the top seniors in
the state of Florida by FoxSports.com... chose the Cardinals over Wisconsin,
Georgia and Virginia Tech.
DL · 6-4 ·
Danville, Ky. (Boyle County H.S.)
Guided Boyle County to its third
consecutive state title ... will join older brother Bobby on the Cardinal roster
... collected 101 tackles as a senior including an impressive 21 for loss ...
excelled on both sides of the line ... named to the Louisville Courier-Journal's
all-state first team each of the past two seasons ... first-team all-Kentucky
choice on both sides of the football as selected by the Associated Press ...
chosen for the all-Southern Team by Orlando Sentinel ... picked by the Lexington
Herald Leader as one of Kentucky's top 22 senior gridiron players ... eight
tackles, four for loss in his final prep game, a state championship victory ...
two-time USA Today honorable mention All-America ... named one of the top
seniors in the state of Kentucky by FoxSports.com ... selected U of L over
DL · 6-2 ·
Hazelhurst, Miss. (Copiah-Lincoln JC)
Standout defender for Copiah-Lincoln JC
... totaled 47 tackles and seven sacks in 2000 ... participated in the
Mississippi JC all-star game ... an all-state JC honoree on the defensive line
... four-year varsity starter at Hazelhurst High School on the offensive and
defensive line ... participated in the Mississippi North /South Game following
his senior season ... recorded 11 sacks among his 66 tackles as a senior ...
added an interception in his final prep campaign ... all-district choice as a
senior ... helped Hazelhurst to its first state playoff appearance in more than
20 years ... selected U of L over Mississippi State.
Cynthiana, Ky. (Harrison County H.S.)
Honorable mention all-state performer as
selected by the Louisville Courier Journal ... named among Kentucky's top 22
high school seniors by the Lexington Herald Leader ... a three-year starter and
four-year letterman ... Harrison County reached Kentucky state playoffs in each
of his four varsity seasons ... all-district selection as a junior and senior
... recorded 55 tackles and six sacks as a senior ... added five pass breakups
and three fumble recoveries in 2000 ... allowed just one sack as a senior from
his offensive tackle position ... earned one letter in wrestling ... missed
advancing to state finals in shot put by two inches as a junior ... registered
50 tackles as a junior ... helped Harrison County to a 12-1 record and a berth
in the regional finals as a senior ... chose the Cardinals over Marshall.
Ormond Beach, Fla. (Seabreeze H.S.)
An all-Volusia County choice by the
Orlando Sentinel ... also earned all-state 3A designation ... opened holes for
1,500-yard rusher during the 2000 campaign ... joins former Seabreeze teammate
Victor Glenn on the Cardinal roster ... three-year varsity starter ... played
both ways as a senior ... helped Seabreeze to three playoff appearances in his
three varsity seasons ... honorable mention all-county and all-Five Star
Conference choice as a junior ... honor roll student ... selected the Cardinals
over UAB, South Florida and Bowling Green.
LB · 6-3 ·
Oxford, Ala. (Oxford H.S.)
Three-year letterman and two-year starter
for Oxford High School ... nominated to play in the 2001 Alabama / Mississippi
all-star game ... honorable mention all-county selection as a senior ... helped
Oxford to a 7-4 record and the second round of the Alabama state playoffs ...
finished senior season with 110 tackles and three forced fumbles ... returned
one fumble for a score in 2000 ... blocked one punt in 2000 ... member of the
track team as a sophomore running the 400 meters and 4X400 ... led Oxford to a
6-4 mark in '99 including a trip to the Alabama state playoffs ... registered
130 tackles and an interception as a junior ... honor roll student ... selected
U of L over UAB, Tennessee Tech, Troy State and Middle Tennessee State.
DL/LB · 6-3 ·
Jacksonville, Fla. (The Bolles School)
Second-team all-First Coast honoree by
the Florida Times-Union ... recorded 43 solo tackles in his final prep campaign
... five sacks among his 83 total stops as a senior ... helped Bolles to an 11-1
mark and an appearance in the state high school playoffs ... moved to the
Jacksonville area with his family from the Pittsburgh area prior to '00 school
year ... as a junior collected 54 tackles and six sacks for Seneca Valley High
School as a defensive tackle ... named to the all-AAAA North Region second team
... helped Seneca Valley to a state playoff appearance in '99 ... honorable
mention all-region choice as a junior ... totaled three varsity letters on the
gridiron as a prep player ... selected U of L over Indiana, Missouri, Georgia
Tech and Pittsburgh.
Jacksonville, Fla. (The Bolles School)
A first-team all-First Coast selection by
the Florida Times-Union ... finished 2000 season with 10 sacks ... totaled 56
tackles as a senior ... second-team all-state by the Florida Times-Union in 2000
... opened prep career at Wilson High School ... recorded 50 tackles and a pair
of sacks as a junior ... member of the Bolles' weightlifting squad with a 425
bench press and 650 squat ... advanced to the regional level as a junior in the
shot put and discus ... father played football at Yale ... picked the Cardinals
over South Carolina, Kansas State, Connecticut and Auburn.
RB/LB · 6-0 ·
Birmingham, Ala. (Wenonah H.S.)
Honorable mention all-6A choice at
defensive back by the Birmingham News following his senior season ... four-year
varsity starter at Wenonah High ... rushed for better than 1,200 yards with 15
touchdowns as a senior ... added 89 tackles and five sacks on the defensive side
of the football in 2000 ... all-metro selection by Birmingham News ... earned
the Birmingham Quarterback Club Team Leader award ... all-metro choice as a
junior ... rushed for more than 1,000 yards in '99 with 11 touchdowns ...
three-year starter in basketball ... currently averaging 18 points and five
rebounds ... member of the athletic director's honor roll ... chose U of L over
Southern Miss and Mississippi State.
DE · 6-3 ·
Albany, Ga. (Dougherty H.S.)
Rated No. 33 defensive tackle in the
nation by Rivals.com ... four-year starter at Dougherty High School along the
defensive line ... nominated to play in the annual Florida / Georgia and Georgia
North / South game ... recorded 112 tackles as a senior despite missing three
games with a rib injury ... added 11 sacks in 2000 ... a two-time all Southwest
Georgia selection ... registered 15 sacks as a junior on his way to all-region,
all-metro and all-Southwest Georgia honors ... earned his first of three
all-metro and all-region honors as a sophomore ... helped Dougherty to a 3A
state title in 1998 with a 13-2 mark ... four-year member of the varsity
basketball team ... averages 10 points and 12 rebounds a contest ... member of
back-to-back Georgia basketball final four squads in '99 and '00 ... chose U of
L over Tennessee and Georgia.
Winnsboro, S.C. (Copiah-Lincoln JC)
Originally signed with South Carolina out
of high school ... an all-state JC choice in 2000 for Copiah-Lincoln...
four-year starter at tight end at Fairfield Central (S.C.) High School ... prep
team posted a 30-0 record with a pair of 3A state titles in his junior and
senior seasons ... consensus all-state choice at tight end following his senior
season ... No. 2 rated player in the state of South Carolina as a senior ...
played in the annual North Carolina / South Carolina Shrine All-Star Game ...
Fairfield Central made four final four state appearances in his four varsity
seasons ... selected U of L over Mississippi State, LSU and Auburn.
WR · 6-3 ·
Albany, Ga, (Westover School)
Highly-rated recruit who will compete on
both the gridiron and hardwood for the Cardinals ... did not compete on the
gridiron as a senior ... played both ways as a junior ... turned in 48 tackles
with five interceptions in 1999 to go along with four sacks and a pair of fumble
recoveries ... as a wideout, caught 50 passes for 1,112 yards and 10 touchdowns
... rated among the top 100 basketball recruits in the nation ... rated as the
nation's #13 small forward by recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons ... averaging
nearly 20 points and 13 rebounds a game for Westover along with three blocked
shot per contest ... has led Westover to a No. 2 state ranking among AAA schools
on the hardwood ... selected U of L over Seton Hall, Colorado, Alabama and
Athens, Ala. (Athens H.S.)
Cousin of current Cardinal speedster Zek
Parker ... hailed from the same high school as Parker and graduating senior
captain Rashad Harris ... first-team all-Alabama choice at 5A level by the
Alabama Sportswriters Association in '99 and '00 as an ATH ... played running
back, defensive back, quarterback and kick return specialist as a prep player
... two-time all-region and all-district choice ... helped Athens to three
consecutive state playoff appearances ... rushed for more than 1,300 yards and
23 touchdowns as a senior ... added 960 yards through the air with nine TDs ...
two interceptions and 50 tackles in limited duty on the defensive side of the
ball in 2000 ... ran for 20 TDs as a junior to go with eight interceptions ...
Athens H.S. posted a 21-5 mark over his final two seasons ... four-year
letterman in hoops ... helped Athens to a final 16 appearance as a junior on the
hardwood ... selected U of L over North Alabama, Alabama A&M and Tennessee
DB · 5-11 ·
Torrance, Calif. (El Camino J.C.)
Two-year starter at defensive back for El
Camino JC ... first-team all-California selection following the 2000 season ...
helped El Camino to a 17-5 mark over his two seasons ... totaled 91 tackles to
go with three interceptions as a sophomore ... earned El Camino's Coaches' Award
on defense for the 2000 season ... blocked six field goals in his junior college
career including three in 2000 ... 40 tackles and two interceptions as a
freshman ... did not compete in football while a student at Torrance's Central
High School ... selected U of L over Arkansas and Texas Tech.