LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Trinity High School wideout James Quick made official what University of Louisville fans had been hoping for years -- that he would commit to the Cardinals.
Quick did it in a maximum-exposure announcement at the start of the fourth quarter of the Army All-American Bowl.
U of L coach Charlie Strong, who can't comment on Quick until his national letter of intent is signed next month, nonetheless issued a four-word Twitter message: "What a great week!"
That it has been, for the Cardinals. Here are a few things the Quick commitment means for U of L:
1). The Cards get deeper at wide receiver. Teddy Bridgewater, who cemented his Heisman candidacy by throwing all over the nation's No. 1-rated pass defense in the Cards' Sugar Bowl win over Florida, now will have DeVante Parker, Eli Rogers, Damian Copeland, Michalee Harris (injured in 2012 but the Cards' leading receiver in 2011) and a crop of talented younger players, the Cards could be set to shatter some passing records next season. In fact, WDRB's Rick Bozich asks if this gives U of L the nation's top receiving corps next season?
2). They stay strong at home. Quick is Kentucky's Mr. Football, the winner of the Paul Hornung Award and was the state's Gatorade Player of the Year. Landing him is a big deal. Not landing him would've caused some grumbling around his hometown, despite how well things have been going. When Michael Bush and Brian Brohm passed over big out-of-state offers to stay home, it led to a BCS bowl berth for U of L. Quick's decision is similar -- and U of L hopes it will lead to similar bigger things.
3). It's another victory over the Big Boys. A couple of days ago, Charlie Strong beat his old school in the Sugar Bowl. Today, Strong beat his old mentor, Urban Meyer, in a head-to-head recruiting matchup. Quick's only other serious finalist was Ohio State, though he could've gone just about anywhere, including Oregon. Quick has the kind of speed that could've landed him a track scholarship anywhere he wanted. He was the Kentucky state champ in the 200 meters and second in the 100. He's also a polished an intelligent receiver, with good hands and outstanding body control. After losing Trinity defensive end Jason Hatcher to USC (though rumors are that Hatcher is taking another look around at the moment), getting Quick keeps U of L in a position of supremacy for in-state recruits. That's not a requirement for success, but it doesn't hurt.
4). More national buzz. Shortly after committing, Quick made the game-winning catch in the Army All-American Bowl, threw up an "L," then won the game's MVP award. Momentum is an important thing in sports. U of L gained it with its Sugar Bowl victory. It picked up more when 4-star defensive lineman De'Asian Richardson changed his commitment from West Virginia to U of L. (He'd chosen WVU over Oklahoma, and had offers from schools like Alabama, South Carolina and Florida State). Quick's commitment keeps it going.
5). Recruiting rankings. U of L's class is smaller this season because of prior signings, but even so, Jody Demling of CardinalAuthority.com says that the class could sneak into the Top 25 of the Scout.com national rankings with the addition of Quick, a 5-star recruit by that service.
6). Two words. Ticket sales. If U of L is smart (and generally when it comes to capitalizing on things like this, it has been), it's rolling out the season ticket order forms right now. The home slate next season likely won't sell a lot of tickets on its own, but the chance to watch what could be an historic season should be. If nothing else, Quick's commitment should make the Train a bit more crowded heading into next season.