Louisville football fans sold their soul to a man they consider a college football coaching mastermind, yet this genius isn’t wise enough to recruit the best kids in his own city.
Rondale Moore and Stephen Herron aren’t just the best kids in the city of Louisville, they’re a pair of Top 50 players and future high school All-Americans. Moore is a 2018 slot receiver and Herron is a 2019 defensive end, but their finalists share one thing in common: Louisville was not there, but Kentucky was. Why?
“Louisville is 10 minutes away and they never even showed up at school,” Herron told Jon Hale of The Courier-Journal. “They never did anything. I don’t know if it was just the fact they thought they were so close they didn’t have to work as hard, but whatever it is, UK came up a few times and I went down for the spring game.”
The best football program in the state, who is just six years removed from a national championship, is ten minutes away from Petrino’s office, and he won’t even stop by the school to show his face.
It gets better.
“For me, my position coach (at Louisville) and I just didn’t have that relationship,” Moore said before committing to Texas on Sunday. “I camped twice, and I just felt like I hadn’t got that respect that I believed I deserved. … I felt like they just recruited out-of-state guys more than the guys 10 minutes away from their home. That was just kind of disrespectful to me. Louisville was always kind of like a dream school of mine, you’d say, if I had one.”
When a four-star receiver who runs a legitimate 4.3 and squats more than 500-pounds calls your school his “dream school,” you turn that dream into a reality. Charlie Strong made it happen for All-American and Kentucky Mr. Football James Quick when he was Louisville’s head coach, but Bobby does not seem to care much about local talent.
“I feel like Louisville right now is very focused on these Florida boys and these Southern dudes and are not really even giving in-state a look unless you’re a top dog,” Herron said. “Right now, I don’t really understand it, but that was Louisville’s problem: Just the fact that Grantham left and they didn’t really even make an effort to come see me, any contact. … They never came out to the school. It just seemed like they were recruiting out-of-state dudes better than they were recruiting me and Rondale, two big athletes, 10 minutes away.”
Not only does Petrino not care, his coaching staff is so disorganized, they forget to keep recruiting players once other assistants leave.
The statements from Moore and Herron should be music to Kentucky fans’ ears. Since Petrino returned to Louisville, only his first class was ranked higher than UK’s. We’ll see if his new bold strategy to surpass UK on the recruiting trail — ignore all of the best players that live close to your school — will produce results on National Signing Day.