Louisville finished with the sixth-best 2017 ACC recruiting class according to 247Sports. The class will include three 4-star players, but it’s one of the most unheralded recruits – inside linebacker Dorian Etheridge – that has caught the eye of the coaching staff.
“Dorian Etheridge is a guy at inside linebacker who could help us and contribute right away and help us with our depth there,” head coach Bobby Petrino said according to The Courier Journal.
Etheridge was a 3-star recruit, who didn’t receive much recognition when he committed to the Cardinals last July. The composite rankings at 247Sports rated him the 866th-best overall player and 34th-best at his position. From Charleston, W.V., the incoming freshman stands at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds.
But it appears Etheridge is competing to start alongside fellow inside linebacker and incumbent starter Stacy Thomas. Junior Isaac Stewart along with sophomores Amonte Caban and Malik Staples, who was the only true freshman to play on defense last year, rotated at the second inside linebacker position during spring practices. Converted safety and former 4-star junior-college transfer London Iakopo is also involved in the competition.
Some of the other true freshmen Petrino mentioned in his press conference Wednesday were wide receivers Corey Reed, Justin Marshall and Josh Johnson.