Louisville Coach Steve Kragthorpe expects immediate help from some of his football recruits.
Coming off the first losing season in more than a decade, Kragthorpe cast a wide net in an effort to add some much-needed depth on defense. More than half of Louisville's 23 signees announced Wednesday were on the defensive side of the ball, including junior-college transfers Tim High (defensive end), Preston Pace (cornerback), Joe Townsend (defensive tackle) and Malcolm Tatum (defensive end).
"We want big, physical guys that aren't afraid to stick their face in the fan," Kragthorpe said.
The Cardinals were able to keep most of their recruiting class together despite a coaching-staff shakeup that isn't quite complete. Defensive coordinators Ron English and Bill Miller both left to take other jobs, and offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm might be on his way out. Yet Kragthorpe said he was pleased with this year's group.
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How quickly they get there might depend on how well the quarterback plays. The race is wide open, though Kragthorpe is impressed by junior-college transfer Adam Froman, a converted wide receiver who led Santa Rosa Junior College (Calif.) to an 8-3 record last year. Kragthorpe said Froman's size (6-3, 215-pounds) and speed certainly have him in the mix, though Krag thorpe is in no hurry to name a starter to replace departed senior Hunter Cantwell.
"He can make plays at quarterback," Kragthorpe said.
The Cardinals will need him to do just that behind a rebuilt offensive line, though Kragthorpe expects help from massive 6-6, 320-pound offensive tackle Joe Evinger, a transfer from College of the Canyons.
Dalcourt tops WKU group
Western Kentucky Coach David Elson said he and his staff "shook the bushes and turned over the rocks" to put together WKU's first class as a member of the Football Championship Subdivision.
"It's our biggest and largest class and the most athletic," Elson said Wednesday. "Time will tell exactly how good a class it is."
The Hilltoppers had 21 seniors last year and needed "a bit of everything," Elson said.
Franklin-Simpson quarterback Courtney Dalcourt might be the head of the WKU class.
"Courtney really improved his game this year," Elson said. "He's a dual threat with 1,000 yards running and 2,000 passing. He's from right down the road, and that makes it even better. He has shown leadership and character and is an excellent student. He seems to be the complete package."
Georgia Tech and Kentucky were Western's main competition for Dalcourt.
Western's goal, Elson said, was to build a depth chart of competitive players as the Toppers spent two years making the transition to the FBS.
"Throughout the transition, we tried to replenish with players we thought could move up a level," he said. "I think we're very close to the ideal breakdown at all positions. I like where we are."
EKU signs 15
Eastern Kentucky Coach Dean Hood announced 15 signees to his second recruiting class, including six Kentuckians.
"We were able to sign a balanced class," said Hood, who directed the Colonels to the Ohio Valley Conference championship last fall. "We were able to help ourselves in some much-needed areas such as linebacker."
Linebacker signees from Kentucky include Tyler Horn from Mercer County, Seth Logsdon from Central Hardin and Ichiro Chiba from Oldham County. Transfers Uriah Grant from West Virginia and Marcus Williams from Wake Forest are enrolled for the spring semester.
Tayor Wood from Delaware, Ohio, was the lone quarterback signee on Wednesday.
Linemen key for Tigers
Coach Bill Cronin's Georgetown Tigers needed help on defense, so they signed some linemen and added depth in the secondary.
"Our second goal was to improve our offensive line, and we also picked up a couple of skill kids," Cronin said.
Two players from the Cincinnati area pleased Cronin. Cornerback Davon Pitts and defensive tackle Philip Worrell should make an impact. Randy Doss from Harrison High School in Cleves, Ohio, was the lone first-day signee at quarterback.
"We're trying to get a more active quarterback," Cronin said. "Randy has a good arm and runs a little. That's what we try to do with our quarterbacks."
Among the signees were Scott County defensive back Chris Cronin, a son of the coach.
Farrier signs 23 at KSU
Twenty high school players and three transfers make up the initial signees in Coach Fred T. Farrier's recruiting class at Kentucky State.
"We were able to address critical needs for our team, especially on defense," Farrier said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.