There’s still a little buzz in recruiting circles about the decision of Banneker High School’s Larry Jefferson to commit early to Louisville over other football scholarship offers from UGA, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Cal and North Carolina, among others, last week.
Surprising? Yes, at least on the surface. Even Louisville coach Charlie Strong was surprised with the early pledge, Jefferson confirmed to the AJC. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder said after he committed to Strong, the conversation went something this:
Strong: “That’s great, great news. We’re excited to have you. Welcome to the Louisville football family.”
Jefferson: “Glad to be part of it, Coach.”
(A couple of minutes later)
Strong: “Now you’re sure you’re not going to change your mind on us and be a Bulldog?”
Jefferson: “No sir, Coach. I’m coming to Louisville.”
Strong: “You’re sure? Because there’s a lot of Bulldog fans around your school and Atlanta.”
Jefferson: “I’m sure, Coach. I’m going to be a Cardinal.”
Actually, Strong should’ve been more worried about Cal than UGA or Auburn because the West Coast school was Jefferson’s runner-up.
Back to the story: Why Louisville? A main factor was that Jefferson (who has grown up in Atlanta) has an older brother and sister that both live in Louisville, along with many cousins. Said Jefferson, “My brother and sister are Louisville fans, so they were happy.”
“It is a good place for me to go,” Jefferson said. “With the academics, Louisville has my major, which is criminal justice. They are recruiting me as a tight end, and there’s the chance to play right away at that position. Coach Strong and all the coaches took me in as family when I visited the campus.”
Jefferson said he prefers to play tight end in college. He was being recruited by UGA and Southern Miss at outside linebacker; by Auburn and Illinois at wide receiver; and by North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Cal at defensive end.
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