Controversial OLB Fields heads Louisville's 25-man class
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Bobby Petrino received his final commitment from his most talented recruit, and one with the most troubled past.
Outside linebacker Devonte' Fields, who was named the Big 12 Conference's 2012 Defensive Player of the Year as a TCU freshman, was dismissed before last season after his ex-girlfriend accused him of assaulting her and threatening her with a gun. He was arrested on a misdemeanor assault warrant in July and posted a $3,500 bond.
Fields, rated the nation's No. 2 junior college player by Scout.com after spending last year at Trinity Valley Community College, completed Louisville's 25-man class.
Petrino said he thoroughly reviewed what happened and has a ''really good understanding of what went on'' after talking with Trinity Valley and TCU coaches, Fields' mother and his attorneys.
The coach added, ''we felt comfortable that, No. 1, there was absolutely no gun there, and that it's a misdemeanor charge.''
It wasn't clear Wednesday where the case stood in the legal process.
Petrino was fired by Arkansas in April 2012 following a motorcycle accident involving his mistress. Western Kentucky hired him later that year with a zero tolerance policy, as did Louisville when it re-hired him in January 2014.
The coach said he believes Fields has earned the scholarship.
''I believe in second chances,'' Petrino said. ''And sometimes third chances. Every one of them is (judged) on an individual basis.''
Petrino eventually discussed his latest class and said his ''top two recruits'' were offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. They interviewed for similar positions with Oklahoma and the NFL's Oakland Raiders respectively before deciding to remain at Louisville, decisions that helped keep the class intact.
Louisville signed 17 high school recruits, seven JUCO players and a transfer from UAB's now-defunct program. The Cardinals' class includes 15 offensive players including six wide receivers and four offensive linemen.
Top 25 class: No.
Best in class: Devonte' Fields, OLB, Fort Worth, Texas. 61 tackles, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles last season at Trinity Valley.
Best of the rest: Devante Peete, WR. He could contribute immediately to a receiving corps that must replace star DeVante Parker.
Late addition: G.G. Robinson, DL. Louisville beat out Auburn, where Robinson's father played, to keep one of its most prized recruits.
One that got away: Sheldrick Redwine, CB. Redwine signed with hometown Miami after verbally committing to Louisville.