Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If you've followed college football coaches on Twitter for any length of time, at some point you've probably seen them enthusiastically celebrating some curiously non-specific positive development. This tweet from Louisville head coach Charlie Strong from earlier today is a perfect example:
When these tweets appear, it's a safe bet the team in question has just landed a big commitment for their next recruiting class (though NCAA rules prevent them from commenting on them by name until a letter-of-intent is signed). It didn't take long for the news to spread that that was the case here as well, as Miami-Northwestern dual-threat quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has pledged to sign with the Cardinals .
If Bridgewater follows through and signs with Louisville, it will be a massive coup for Strong and the Cards. Bridgewater is rated as high as a five-star prospect by some services and a four-star, top-100 talent virtually everywhere; Maxpreps' Tom Lemming ranks him the No. 96 player in the country. For a program like Louisville with little in the way of past recruiting successes on this level, not only landing a prospect of Bridgewater's stature but landing him from points as distant as Miami is a huge, huge statement for Strong and his staff; one local writer has already called Bridgewater the "biggest recruit in school history." Combine the continued improvement the Cards showed under Strong this season with wins on the recruiting trail like Bridgewater, and "the Ville" will be challening for Big East titles sooner rather than later.
On the flip side, Bridgewater's decommitment from Miami in the wake of Randy Shannon's firing and subsequent snubbing of the new 'Cane staff under Al Golden is not the early message Golden wanted to send on the recruiting trail. Northwestern has long been a key pipeline for the Hurricanes, and though one recruit bolting in the immediate wake of the coaching turnover doesn't necessarily indicate there's any long-term damage done, Golden will have to stop the bleeding in a hurry and keep as much Miami talent at home as he can, or his tenure won't end any differently than Shannon's.