Rankins picks Strong's Cardinals

Sheldon Rankins narrowed his list to Louisville and Wake Forest. After visiting Winston-Salem last weekend, the three-star Covington, Ga. defensive end announced his commitment to Charlie Strong's Cardinals Tuesday night.

Sheldon Rankins narrowed his list to Louisville and Wake Forest. After visiting Winston-Salem last weekend, the three-star Covington, Ga. defensive end announced his commitment to Charlie Strong's Cardinals Tuesday night.

Strong made an in-home visit with Rankins last week before his final visit to Wake Forest and Louisville assistants Clint Hurtt and Kenny Carter made a visit Tuesday to seal the deal with the 6'3, 255-pound defensive lineman.

"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.


Sheldon Rankins chose Louisville over Wake Forest.
"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 told InsideTheVille.com last week that he felt very comfortable with Strong's coaching staff.

"The coaching staff is great, they really know how to interact with their players," Rankins said. "They'll get on you but at the same time they'll coach you up real good and you become better. Charlie Strong has really turned it around up there. They almost went to the Orange Bowl in his second year. He's really turned it around and I see big things for them in the future."

Louisville has Rankins, who recorded 50 tackles, 9 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and two interceptions in 8 games this season, pegged as a strong side end. He's another outstanding defensive addition to the Cardinals recruiting class, which also includes four-star linebackers Keith Brown and Nick Dawson, and four-star safety Gerod Holliman.

"What recruit doesn't want to be part of something like that?" Rankins asked. "At the end of the day, it's not who you're going to play with, it's how comfortable you are."

Rankins recorded 55 tackles and 15 sacks as junior and received BCS offers from Boston College, USF, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, NC State, Stanford, Vanderbilt and North Carolina.

Rated the No. 83 defensive end nationally, Rankins bolsters an already strong group of defensive linemen that includes three-star tackles DeAngelo Brown and Dequan Ivery for Louisville's 2012 recruiting class.