LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Bobby Petrino believes he made the most of his small recruiting window since taking over as Louisville’s coach last month.
The Cardinals announced a 21-player class including former Penn State quarterback Tyler Ferguson, who’s transferring after one season with the Nittany Lions. He’ll redshirt this fall but will have two years of eligibility remaining with a Cardinals program that joins the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.
Ferguson is one of two quarterbacks among 12 offensive players signed by Petrino, who likes the spread formation. The Cardinals also landed dual threat Reggie Bonnafon from Louisville’s Trinity High School.
”We had a short period of time, and we were able to go out and make some good relationships,” Petrino said Wednesday. ”We had some tough decisions to make, and then we were able to find some new players to recruit, which because real critical at the end of the recruiting phase. …
”I’m very excited about what we were able to put together.”
Louisville tapped into south Florida’s deep talent pool again with five recruits including Sharieff Rhaheed-Muhammad, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker from Fort Pierce Central High. Scout.com rates him as a three-star prospect.
National rankings (Rivals 46; Scout 45).
Best in class: Reggie Bonnafon, QB, Louisville. Rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com, the 6-3, 205-pounder was Louisville’s first 2014 signee by the staff of former Cardinals coach Charlie Strong, now at Texas. Bonnafon threw for 2,606 yards and 16 touchdowns against just eight interceptions last season. He also rushed for 895 yards and 18 TDs.
Best of the rest: RB L.J. Scott, OL Lukayus McNeil, OL Danny Burns, DE Terry Ramsey, TE Charles Standberry.
Late additions: Sharieff Rhaheed-Muhammad, LB, Fort Pierce, Fla; Cornelius Sturghill, WR, Memphis; Jimmie Terry, OL, Madison, Miss. All three committed to the Cardinals on Wednesday.
One that got away: Devin Pike, TE, Cincinnati. He had committed last July to Louisville but switched to Wake Forest last week after making his official visit.
NOTE: Petrino loves offense and lavishly praised Bonnafon, who fits his philosophy: ”I’m really excited about Reggie Bonnafon and being able to have him come in, a guy we feel is very, very talented throwing the ball,” he said. ”He can make all the different throws, is accurate and has a strong arm. He also has the ability to run the ball.”