Normally, programs sign between 20 and 25 high school prospects in any given class, maybe more depending on that program's scholarship count. This class, however, is not normal. Many seniors, who normally would have already moved on, decided to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility provided by the NCAA due to COVID-19.
Westfield defensive end Popeye Williams, one of the top 2022 in-state football prospects, committed to Louisville over the weekend. The 6-3, 230-pound Williams, rated as a three-star prospect on the 247sports composite and the No. weakside defensive end in the country, had previously scheduled official visits in June to Nebraska, Louisville, Cincinnati and Purdue.
Louisville doesn’t have a standout preseason draft prospect like it did the last two years in Atwell and 2020 first round pick Mekhi Becton. But there are a few defensive players who could see themselves on a NFL roster next year, including an offensive lineman who generated lots of buzz last year, but didn’t get a lot of playing time. A reminder: Because of COVID-19, the NCAA granted all players an extra year of eligibility so the players’ classes may be confusing.