Al Golden addressed the local media for the first time Friday night since accepting the bid to play the University of Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl. He spoke on a variety of issues. One of those issues was how the Canes were using the bowl practices to get the younger players up to speed and to also use the time to work on recruiting future Hurricanes.
A few hours later, the Canes landed one of the top safety recruits in the state.
Marques Guyot, a 6-2, 180 pound safety from Park Vista High School in Palm Beach County flipped his commitment from Louisville Friday night and pledged his allegiance to the U, according to Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach Post, who broke the story on social media at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Guyot told Chiang, "I love it here, this place is awesome."
Guyot originally committed to the Cardinals in April. ESPN and Rivals both had Guyot as a three-star athlete. He was also recruited by Michigan, UNC, Florida and Oregon.
All verbal commitments are non-binding until National Signing Day on February 5, 2014 when players are free to sign Letters of Intent.
Golden, who has been on the road recruiting and even missed the introductory press conference in Orlando with Louisville coach Charlie Strong, said that recruiting is a lot different this year and that he feels good selling his program and does not have to worry about what the next coach will say after he leaves about Miami and the possibility of past-NCAA sanctions.
"At the end of the day, we feel like we're on a level playing field for the first time. It's unfortunate that it comes at the tail end of our third class, but nonetheless, it gives us a chance to finish this one and start the 2015 class with a clean slate," Golden said. "There has been a lot of positive energy out there, and we're just excited to move forward. You can feel the difference."
"Just jumping around, I think Taylor Gadbois and Alex Gall were two guys that really benefited from that," Golden said. "I think both of those guys stepped up and showed that they're capable, so we're going to continue to push them and get them ready here for the bowl game. Those are two guys that come to mind."
Golden could not escape the issues surrounding his secondary and the problems that Cardinals signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater can cause for them if they are not careful.
"We have to play really well. This is a very talented man," Golden said. "He has great commend on the offense. He has speed, good corps of receivers, knows how to distribute the football and doesn't make many mistakes with the football, can move in the pocket. It's going to be a great challenge for our corners and safeties."
Offensively, Golden thinks that Phillip Dorsett will be ready for face Louisville and get quality repetitions for the first time since the North Carolina game. Dorsett saw limited action against Pitt late in the game.
"I'm expecting him to be healthy, I really am. I'm as anxious as you," Golden said. "I've been out all week. I think we have a green light with him. We should see Phillip back to normal which hasn't been the case since the North Carolina game for us. We would love to have Phillip back - he was really having a heck of a year when he got hurt."