The first thing you notice about a program is its head coach.
It’s also the first thing that you notice when you’re looking for a recruit to play with you in college.
But that’s exactly what happened with Louisville last year.
That’s when the 2018 class of Cardinals was announced.
And the team was full of new faces from the program’s first four seasons.
The list of recruits for the program included:Ralphie Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound wide receiver who will be the starting receiver in the Cardinals’ offense.
The 6-1 receiver is also one of the most athletic players in the class and he’s expected to play a big role in Louisville’s offense.
Lionel Patterson, a 5-foot, 15-year-old running back who will have to battle for playing time with two other running backs (and possibly a tight end).
He’s also a big part of Louisville’s receiving corps.
Samuel Darnold, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver with a high ceiling.
He will be competing with Darnall Johnson and Zach Strief for playing opportunities, but he’ll have the most opportunity to start in the offense.
Athletic freshman running back Isaiah Ford will be making his first start in a Louisville uniform.
He’ll also have to fight for playing-time as a backup running back.
Freshman wide receiver Josh Sweat, a 4-foot wide receiver from New York, is expected to compete with Strief and Darnald for playing chances.
He’s also an outside receiver who could be the focal point of the Cardinals offense.
Terrance Plummer, a four-star offensive lineman from San Antonio, is one of those two guys.
He can be a big-play threat in the slot, and he’ll get his chance to be a starter at right tackle.
Freshmen defensive end Dontre Wilson and defensive tackle Jacob Bowers are both expected to start.
Wilson, who is a big player at 6-4 and 280 pounds, has the ability to be the big hitter of the defensive line.
He should have a big impact at defensive end and he will be one of four linemen for the team.
Bowers, a big body at 6 and 305 pounds, is a player who is expected not to be playing as often as Wilson.
But he is one who is very good at blocking.
He’s a talented athlete and a great football player.
Darnald, a tight-end who is also a former defensive end, is also expected to have a major impact on Louisville’s offensive line.
He was a five-star recruit who had some issues on the football field and he needs to work on his pass protection.
He had an off season with a torn ACL and will need to work with his quarterback.
Bryce Davis, a six-footer from Florida State, was a defensive lineman who struggled at the line of scrimmage last season.
He has the potential to play in the rotation on the defensive side of the ball and he has the size to play inside in the NFL.
He’ll be battling for playing and will be a major part of the Louisville offense.
In addition to Wilson and Davis, the Cardinals have four other players in their class that will be expected to make an impact on the Louisville offensive line:Isaiah Bostic, a linebacker from South Carolina who was a four of five-stars in the 2017 class; Jacob Kowalski, a defensive end from Georgia who had a tremendous year as a sophomore; and Isaac Brown, a wide receiver out of Virginia.
Isaiah Brown was the second-best athlete at his position at the position and was considered a top-five prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Isaac Brown had an impressive season for the Hokies, starting 10 games and recording 5.5 sacks.
He was a consensus All-American in 2017.
Isaacs Bostic has the length to play at linebacker and the strength to play outside linebacker.
He is a very good athlete and he should be able to play anywhere on the line.
I know the coaches and staff really enjoy coaching me and I know they want me to succeed and I will.”