LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville coach Charlie Strong put special emphasis on bolstering his defense, trying to build on the Cardinals' successful run to a Sugar Bowl championship.

Ten of the 17 players Strong signed Wednesday play on the defensive side of the ball, including five in the secondary. Eight of the 17 signees are from Florida, as Strong continued to have a strong presence in that state.

But the biggest name was on offense, and from the Cardinals' backyard: Wide receiver James Quick is believed to be Louisville's highest-rated recruit ever.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound speedster finished his Trinity High School career as the state's all-time leader in receptions, leading the Shamrocks to three championships. Quick was selected as Kentucky's Mr. Football and MVP of the U.S. Army All-American game, and ranked by Scout.com as the country's 21st-best player.

The Cardinals stunned Florida 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl to cap an 11-2 season. The Big East champions enter what is expected to be the school's final season in the conference before moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.

"You wanted a big name and to get a big name like Quick was something special," Strong said of Quick's Jan. 5 verbal commitment during the All-American game. Quick chose Louisville over Ohio State and coach Urban Meyer, Strong's former boss at Florida.

Louisville's large core of returning players forced Strong to be selective in offering limited scholarships.

"Even though this class is small in number, these players will make a great contribution to this program in the near future," he said.

The Cardinals also stayed in-state for Lexington Catholic's Kyle Bolin. The 6-3, 185-pound quarterback injured his knee midway through his senior year but is expected to compete, along with fellow signee Brett Nelson, for the backup spot to junior star Teddy Bridgewater.

"We always want to control this city before we go anywhere else - actually, this state," Strong said. "Then we have to go off and recruit other places just because of the limited number of players within the state."

All eight of Louisville's signees from Florida are slotted for defense. Richard Benjamin of Tampa and Chucky Williams from Hialeah played both ways in high school but are listed as cornerbacks. They join University of Florida transfer Willie Bailey as the Cardinals look to replace graduating All-Big East corner Adrian Bushell, another Gators transfer.

Bailey will sit out the 2013 season per NCAA transfer rules. He, Middleton, Nelson enrolled last month and will be able to practice this spring.

Defensive end De'Asian Richardson from Jacksonville was one of Louisville's first commitments following the Sugar Bowl win and is one of three defensive linemen in the class.

"We had notoriety but then that game just really put us out there," Strong said of the win over then-No. 4 Florida. "We just didn't go out there and mess around. We beat that team and I think that gained more respect than anything."

Strong added that signing an eight-year, $29.6 million contract extension last month and Louisville's move to the ACC provided the stability needed to ink a strong recruiting class and "lets them know that I'm making a commitment to this program and I'm going to be here for the long haul."

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Antonio Allen, db, 5-10, 205, Ben Davis HS, Indianapolis

Daryl Chestnut, rb, 5-10, 190, Christopher Columbus HS, Miami

Christopher Cormier, dl, 6-2, 315, Arizona Western CC, New Iberia, La.

Patrick Dougherty, dl, 6-5, 260, Aurora (Ohio) HS

Chase Dutra, ath, 6-1, 205, Brownsburg (Ind.) HS

Rashard Fant, db, 5-10, 165, Our Lady of Mercy HS, Atlanta

Danny Friend, te, 6-5, 240, Morris (Ill.) HS

Steven Funderburk, lb, 6-3, 231, Iowa Western CC, Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Myles Graham, rb, 6-2, 215, Chaminade Madonna College Prep HS, Miami

Isaac Griffith, wr, 6-0, 180, Homestead HS, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jordan Heiderman, dl, 6-3, 280, Iowa Western CC, Norfolk, Neb.

Evan Jansen, te, 6-4, 245, Moeller HS, Mason, Ohio

David Kenney, dl, 6-2, 250, Pike HS, Indianapolis

Darius Latham, dl, 6-5, 291, North Central HS, Indianapolis

Clyde Newton, ath, 6-1, 215, Charlotte HS, Punta Gorda, Fla.

Marcus Oliver, lb, 6-1, 220, Hamilton (Ohio) HS

Noel Padmore, db, 5-11, 175, Flowery Branch (Ga.) HS

T.J. Simmons, lb, 6-0, 230, Lakeland (Fla.) HS

Kris Smith, lb, 6-2, 215, Flowery Branch (Ga.) HS

Laray Smith, ath, 6-0, 185, Xaverian HS, Staten Island, N.Y.

Maurice Swain, dl, 6-5, 305, Troup HS, LaGrange, Ga.

Anthony Young, wr, 6-1, 175, St. Edward HS, Lakewood, Ohio


Matt Burke, te, 6-6, 220, Cardinal Newman HS, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Keith Byars III, rb, 5-10, 200, Milford Academy, Boca Raton, Fla.

Leroy Clark, db, 5-10, 175, Archbishop Carroll HS, Miami

Johnny Daniels, dt, 6-5, 255, Foreman HS, Chicago

Dalyn Dawkins, rb, 5-9, 175, Trinity HS, Louisville

Danny Etling, qb, 6-3, 218, Terre Haute (Ind.) South Vigo HS

Danny Ezechukwu, lb, 6-3, 240, Arabia Mountain HS, Lithonia, Ga.

Keyante Green, rb, 5-9, 205, Eagle's Landing Christian, McDonough, Ga.

Ra'Zahn Howard, dt, 6-4, 315, Atlanta Sports Academy, Dawsonville, Ga.

Da'Wan Hunte, cb, 5-10, 180, Miami Central HS, Miami

Tyvel Jemison, cb, 5-11, 175, Bishop Luers HS, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Austin Logan, s, 6-0, 190, Florida HS, Tallahassee, Fla.

Antoine Miles, de, 6-3, 250, McKinley HS, Canton, Ohio

Dan Monteroso, wr, 6-3, 185, Saint Clairsville (Ohio) HS

Myles Norwood, wr, 6-0, 185, Grace Prep, Arlington, Texas

Evan Panfil, de, 6-5, 240, Lincoln Way Central HS, New Lennox, Ill.

Dezwan Polk-Campbell, lb, 6-4, 215, Whetstone HS, Columbus, Ohio

Jake Replogle, de, 6-4, 240, Centerville (Ohio) HS

John Strauser, de, 6-4, 235, High School of Saint Thomas More, Champaign, Ill.

Johnny Thompson, lb, 6-3, 200, Apalachee HS, Winder , Ga.

Jason Tretter, ol, 6-6, 300, Revere HS, Richfield, Ohio

David Yancey, rb, 5-10, 205, Lake Central HS, Saint John, Ind.

Deangelo Yancey, wr, 6-2, 200, Mays HS, Atlanta


Jeff Badet, wr, 6-0, 170, Freedom HS, Orlando, Fla.

Alvonte Bell, de, 6-5, 255, Everglades HS, Miramar, Fla.

Javess Blue, wr, 6-0, 190, Lake Wales/Butler CC, Babson Park, Fla.

Steven Borden, te, 6-3, 250, Waxahachie (Texas) HS/Kilgore College

Justin Day, ot, 6-8, 305, South Aiken (S.C.) HS

Jason Hatcher, de, 6-3, 250, Trinity HS, Louisville, Ky.

Nick Haynes, ol, 6-3, 305, Niceville (Fla.) HS

Jacob Hyde, dl, 6-2, 330, Clay County HS, Manchester, Ky.

Jaleel Hytchye, cb, 5-10, 175, La Salle HS, Cincinnati

Jojo Kemp, rb, 5-10, 190, Deland (Fla.) HS

Austin MacGinnis, k, 5-10, 175, Prattville (Ala.) HS

Blake McClain, db, 5-11, 190, Winter Park (Fla.) HS

Marcus McWilson, s, 6-0, 210, Cardinal Mooney HS, Youngstown, Ohio

Kyle Meadows, 6-5, 270, Lakota West HS, West Chester, Ohio

Regie Meant, dl, 6-4, 275, Baker HS, Cape Coral, Fla.

Ramsey Meyers, ol, 6-4, 290, Ridgeview HS, Orange Park, Fla.

Alex Montgomery, wr, 6-2, 210, Cypress Bay HS, Weston, Fla.

Reese Phillips, qb, 6-2, 225, Signal Mountain (Tenn.) HS

Za'Darius Smith, de, 6-6, 250, Greenville (Ala.) HS/Mississippi CC

Khalid Thomas, rb, 5-10, 170, Godby HS, Tallahassee, Fla.

Ryan Timmons, ath, 5-10, 185, Franklin County HS, Frankfort, Ky.

Nate Willis, db, 6-0, 180, Pahokee (Fla.) HS/Arizona Western College


Willie Bailey, cb, 6-2, 172, Hallandale (Fla.) HS/Univ. of Florida

Richard Benjamin, cb, 6-1, 195, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Technical HS

Kyle Bolin, qb, 6-3, 185, Lexington (Ky.) Catholic HS

Chandler Bridgers, ol, 6-4, 270, Flowery Branch (Ga.) HS

Lyn Clark, lb, 6-2, 225 O. Perry Walker HS, New Orleans

Donel Elam, s, 6-1, 200, Fleming Island HS, Orange Park, Fla.

Cameron Fraser, ol, 6-4, 290, Central HS, Phenix City, Ala.

Keith Kelsey, lb, 6-1, 217, Gainesville (Fla.) HS

Skylar Lacy, ol, 6-6, 290, Southport HS, Indianapolis

Finesse Middleton, de, 5-11, 255, Gadsden City (Ala.) HS

Brett Nelson, qb, 6-4, 220, Southwestern CC, Chula Vista, Calif.

James Quick, wr, 6-1, 180, Trinity HS, Louisville

De'Asian Richardson, de, 6-3, 285, First Coast HS, Jacksonville, Fla.

Terrance Ross, s, 6-2, 188, Wekiva HS, Apopka, Fla.

Kyle Shortridge, dt, 6-2, 273, Seminole Ridge HS, Loxahatchee, Fla.

Keith Towbridge, te, 6-3, 230, Central Catholic HS, Toledo, Ohio

Chucky Williams, cb, 6-2, 180, Champagnat Catholic School, Hialeah, Fla.


Hunter Bivin, ol, 6-6, 290, Apollo HS, Owensboro, Ky.

Greg Bryant, rb, 5-11, 200, American Heritage HS, Delray Beach, Fla.

Devin Butler, db, 6-1, 180, Gonzaga Prep HS, Washington, D.C.

Michael Deeb, lb, 6-2, 235, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.

Steve Elmer, ol, 6-5, 300, Midland (Mich.) HS

William Fuller, wr, 6-1, 180, Roman Catholic HS, Philadelphia

Tarean Folston, rb, 5-10, 190, Cocoa (Fla.) HS

Mike Heuerman, te, 6-4, 225, Barron Collier HS, Naples, Fla.

Torii Hunter Jr., wr, 6-0, 180, Prosper (Texas) HS

Rashad Kinlaw, db, 5-11, 185, Absegami HS, Galloway, N.J.

Cole Luke, db, 6-0, 180, Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz.

Jacob Matuska, dl, 6-4, 255, Bishop Hartley HS, Columbus, Ohio

Mike McGlinchey, ol, 6-7, 280, William Penn Charter HS, Philadelphia

Colin McGovern, ol, 6-5, 280, Lincoln-Way West HS, New Lenox, Ill.

John Montelus, ol, 6-5, 305, Everett (Mass.) HS

James Onwualu, wr, 6-1, 210, Cretin-Derham Hall HS, St. Paul, Minn.

Doug Randolph, db, 6-3, 230, Woodberry Forest HS, Richmond, Va.

Max Redfield, db, 6-2, 195, Mission Viejo (Calif.) HS

Corey Robinson, wr, 6-5, 190, San Antonio (Texas) Christian HS

Isaac Rochell, dl, 6-5, 265, Eagle's Landing Christian HS, McDonough, Ga.

Jaylon Smith, db, 6-3, 220, Bishop Luers HS, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Durham Smythe, te, 6-5, 230, Belton (Texas) HS

Malik Zaire, qb, 6-1, 190, Archbishop Alter HS, Kettering, Ohio


Chris Blair, db, 5-11, 196, East Forsyth HS, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Calvin Blank, te, 6-4, 234, Terre Haute (Ind.) North HS

Aaron Clay, wr, 5-11, 201, Eastern Alamance, Mebane, N.C.

Steve Drida, k-p, 6-0, 187, Waukesha (Wis). West HS

Blake Dueitt, dl, 6-1, 251, W.A. Hough HS, Cornelius, N.C.

Daniel Garces, dl, 6-1, 223, Providence HS, Matthews, N.C.

Nicholas Isaacs, lb, 6-1, 235, Withrow HS, Cincinnati

Jarrid Lloyd, ol, 6-5, 255, Benet Academy, Naperville, Ill.

Pat Maloney, ol, 6-2, 274, Maine South HS, Niles, Ill.

Stephan Martin, lb, 5-11, 226, Lakeland HS, Lake Alfred, Fla.

Jack Milas, qb, 6-1, 199, Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.

David Moore, db, 5-9, 167, Butler HS, Matthews, N.C.

Vinnie Palazeti, ol, 6-4, 284, Powers Catholic HS, Owosso, Mich.

Damerrian Petty, dl, 6-1, 288, Burns HS, Shelby, N.C.

P.J. Scott, ol, 6-2, 293, Morris (Okla.) HS

Ralph Smith, db, 5-8, 164, Avon (Ind.) HS

Stu Stanley, lb, 6-0, 207, Cathedral HS, Indianapolis

Haris Vrabac, ol, 6-7, 337, Warrant Mott HS, Warren, Mich.

Sean Wiggins, lb, 6-2, 226, Butler HS, Mint Hill, N.C.

Teddy Williamson, rb, 5-9, 171, Fort Zumwalt West HS, O'Fallon, Mo.

Anthony Winbush, dl, 6-1, 207, Warren Central HS, Indianapolis


Maurice Bennett, dl, 6-3, 300, East Mississippi CC, Madison, Miss.

Raphael Cox, dl, 6-3, 270, Trinity Valley CC, Cedar Hill, Texas

Drew Davis, lb, 6-1, 215, Bob Jones HS, Madison, Ala.

John Delaney, ol, 6-6, 310, Ventura (Calif.) CC, Fort Worth, Texas

Devante Duclos, lb, 6-0, 216, Miami (Fla.) Central HS

Joe Fennell, ol, 6-5, 320, South Fort Myers (Fla.) HS

Juwan Gardner, db, 6-1, 200, DuPont Manual HS, Louisville, Ky.

DeMarcus Glover, dl, 6-4, 240, Pine Forest HS, Pensacola, Fla.

Rashad Greene, db, 6-1, 175, Southwestern College, Daytona Beach, Fla.

D'Von Isaac, dl, 6-4, 275, Alpharetta (Ga.) HS

Aaron Jackson, wr, 6-3, 185, Frankfort (Ky.) HS

Shaquille Johnson, te, 6-4, 215, Columbia HS, Lake City, Fla.

Kyle Jones, ol, 6-4, 300, Mulberry (Fla.) HS

Cam Lewis, wr, 6-3, 205, Ballard HS, Louisville, Ky.

Justin Martinez, ol, 6-3, 275, St. Lucie West Centennial HS, Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Nicholas Norris, wr, 5-10, 170, Booker T. Washington HS, Miami

Joe Occhipinti, k, 6-3, 190, Hillsboro HS, Nashville, Tenn.

Dalton Patterson, db, 6-3, 195, Arkansas Baptist College, New Orleans

Connor Popeck, ol, 6-4, 280, Itawamba (Miss.) CC, Olive Branch, Miss.

Todd Porter, qb, 6-3, 195, O'Fallon (Ill.) HS

Brandon Ray, ol, 6-3, 285, Bob Jones HS, Madison, Ala.

Tanner Reeves, dl, 6-4, 230, George Jenkins HS, Lakeland, Fla.

Kalvin Robinson, dl, 6-5, 225, Vestavia Hills HS, Birmingham, Ala.

Donald Rocker, ol, 6-4, 296, Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville, Fla.

De'Andre Simmons, db, 5-11, 180, Royal Palm Beach (Fla.) HS

Jimmie Simms, ol, 6-5, 290, McDonogh 35 HS, New Orleans

Isaac Tanner, lb, 6-0, 223, Freedom HS, Tampa, Fla.

Taywan Taylor, wr, 6-1, 185, Pleasure Ridge Park HS, Louisville, Ky.

Kylen Towner, wr, 5-9, 165, St. Paul's Episcopal School, Mobile, Ala.

Lonnie Turner, wr, 5-10, 180, Los Angeles Harbor, Inglewood, Calif.

Marcus Ward, db, 6-3, 204, Vestavia Hills HS, Birmingham, Ala.

Derrell Young, olb, 6-1, 205, Boyd H. Anderson HS, Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.