LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong has announced that three players have joined the Cardinals football program as early enrollees.
Defensive tackle Finesse Middleton, cornerback Willie Bailey and quarterback Brett Nelson have enrolled at Louisville for the 2013 spring semester.
Middleton, who attended Gadsden (Ala.) City High, is considered the 68th-best strong-side defensive end and the 50th-best player from the state of Alabama in the 2013 class by 247Sports.com. Middleton, a 5-foot-11, 260-pounder, recorded 63 tackles—29 for loss—and 11 sacks for Gadsden City last season. He had 45 tackles and 10 sacks his junior season as a defensive tackle.
Bailey, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound defensive back, is a transfer from Florida, where he redshirted his freshman year. A three-star recruit from Hallandale, Fla., Bailey had 81 tackles and two interceptions for Hallandale High. A second team all-state defensive back, Bailey was rated the No. 24 cornerback in the country by ESPN and was selected as the No. 77 high school player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com.
Nelson, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound signal-caller, played two seasons at Southwestern Community College. In two years as the starting quarterback, Nelson threw for 4,472 yards and 34 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. Last season, Nelson threw for 2,833 yards and 23 touchdowns, completing 63 percent of his passes. As a freshman in 2011, Nelson completed 139-of-his 261 passes (53.3 percent) for 1,639 yards. Nelson tossed 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He attended St. Francis High in La Canada, Calif.
The Cardinals begin spring practice on March 20.