Cards add five junior-college student-athletes
Contact: Rocco Gasparro (email@example.com)
Dec. 17, 2014
The University of Louisville football team signed six players during the mid-year signing period on Wednesday, head coach Bobby Petrino announced.
The Cardinals signed incoming freshman Jaire Alexander, and also inked freshman Traveon Samuel in November, who will both enroll at Louisville in January.
Petrino also signed five junior-college players in defensive end Drew Bailey, running back Jeremy Smith, wide receiver Paul Harris, offensive lineman Khalil Hunter and fullback Tim Cook. Smith and Harris have three years of eligibility remaining.
"I'm excited about the additions to our football team today," Petrino said. "We filled a number of needs with good football players, who will help our team next season. We are looking forward to them enrolling in January, and getting an opportunity to work in the weight room with our staff and be here for spring football."
Alexander, who attended Rocky River High School in Charlotte, N.C., is rated the No. 67 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com and the No. 24 player overall in his state. Alexander had 30 tackles, four interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 12 games this season, while also playing wide receiver caught 68 passes for 1,123 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Samuel appeared in 10 games this season during his senior season, accounting for 1,764 all-purpose yards. He rushed 111 times for 861 yards and 11 scores, while catching 39 passes for 553 yards and three touchdowns.
During his junior season in 2013, Samuel racked up 781 rushing yards, 452 receiving yards and 24 total touchdowns.
As a sophomore, Samuel totaled 823 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns, while catching 43 passes for 734 yards and five touchdowns.
Named the top running back at the MVP Camp in Valdosta, Ga., Samuel totaled 2,050 all-purpose yards, including 484 in the return game as a sophomore.
Bailey, a 6-2, 285-pound defensive end from Pearl River Community College, finished the year with 22 tackles. He was top among Mississippi defensive linemen with 10 sacks. He totaled a career-high 2.0 sacks against Jones Community College and Southwest Mississippi Community College.
A big, bruising back, Smith signed with the Cardinals after one season at Fresno City Community College. This past year, Smith ran for 1,735 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 157.7 yards per game. Smith attended Hammond (La.) Magnet School before heading to Fresno City for one season. As a junior, Smith had one of the best games of the season nationally with 31 carries for 447 yards and seven touchdowns against Pearl River High.
As a senior, Smith was named a first-team all-district defensive end, linebacker, running back and kick returner. He carried 59 times for 418 yards and six touchdowns last season on offense.
An exciting wide receiver, Harris attended Iowa Western Community College after playing one season at Tennessee, where he appeared in five games. A 4-star prospect by Rivals.com and the No. 39 overall wide receiver, Harris was a consensus Maryland All-State selection in 2012 after totaling 32 receptions for 732 yards and 11 touchdowns to help lead Frederick Douglass to a second-consecutive Class 2A state runner-up finish as a senior. As a junior, Harris totaled 39 receptions for 735 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Cook, who will join the Cardinals as a fullback, enters UofL after playing at Eastern Arizona Community College. Cook, who was ranked the No. 8 JUCO running back, rushed 43 times for 223 yards and three scores last season.
Hunter, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman, fills a huge need for the Cardinals upfront, who will graduate three starters on the offensive line this season. An athletic, big body, Hunter was named a second team junior-college All-American after playing at Eastern Arizona Junior College this season.