One of Charlie Strong's priorities since taking over the Louisville program in December of 2009 has been to strengthen the interior lines. In each of his first two classes, Strong has signed impact freshman offensive and defensive linemen and last night received additional good news for his defensive line. Sheldon Rankins (6-3, 255), a defensive end out of Covington, GA committed to Louisville when the coaches stopped by for an in-home visit. Rankins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he tried to add a little drama to his commitment:
They brought coaches in and spent time with my family, Rankins told the AJC. I was already leaning towards Louisville. I had heard from other people that they might move me inside to defensive tackle, but they assured me that I’m their guy at defensive end. That’s all I needed to hear.
I made it look like I was going to the bathroom, but I went and got this Louisville hat I had already bought. I came back out with the hat on and everybody went crazy after that.
Rankins is the fourth commitment from a prospect in the state of Georgia, joining tight end/defensise end Larry Jefferson, quarterback Will Gardner, and defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown. Rankins was a high priority for the Louisville staff after it appeared that current defensive lineman commitment Pedro Sibiea was looking elsewhere (possibly to Big East rival Cincinnati or Minnesota). He lists offers from Missouri, South Florida, Wake Forest, Stanford and other schools.
Rankins is Louisville's 23rd commitment for the class of 2012 which analysts rank anywhere from 40-25, depending on your preferred service.
Be sure to check out our Recruiting Section for additional news as national signing day approaches.