By Conner Farrell —
The U of L football program is one month into the new era of head coach Scott Satterfield. Since the press conference in early December announcing his leaving Appalachian State, Satterfield has hit the recruiting trail and built his staff for the 2019 season.
On the recruiting side, Satterfield and company have acquired four players during the early signing period. Those players include Dupont Manual running back Aidan Robbins, offensive lineman Zach Williamson, linebacker Dorian Jones and quarterback Evan Conley.
Jones flipped his commitment to Indiana in favor of the Cards and Conley had previously committed to play for Satterfield at Appalachian State.
All four of the prospects are graded three stars according to 247Sports. The 2019 recruiting class was already going to be small because of a limited number of scholarships, but these student-athletes from the early signing period form a nice base to get the new age of Cardinal football started.
“These four right here are exactly what we’re looking for character wise, academically, and football wise,” Satterfield said at a press conference in December.
On the staff side, Satterfield has hired a slew of coaches throughout the month since his own announcement as head coach. These hires include his offensive and defensive coordinators.
Satterfield turned to Dwayne Ledford as Louisville’s new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Ledford leaves NC State following three seasons coaching the Wolfpack as a division opponent for the Cards in the ACC.
“Adding a coach with the experience of Dwayne Ledford is a key addition to our offensive staff,” Satterfield said.
Four of his offensive linemen were All-ACC performers in 2017, and prior to his time at NC State Ledford served under Satterfield at Appalachian State for four seasons.
On the defensive end, Bryan Brown and Cort Dennison will serve as co-coordinators.
Brown served under Satterfield at Appalachian State as the cornerbacks coach from 2012-2017.
“Bryan Brown is a young, upcoming star coach,” Satterfield said.
The Mountaineers ranked second nationally in interceptions under Brown, with 70 since the 2015 season, and led the Sun Belt conference in passing defense in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Dennison returns for a second stint at Louisville after previously serving as linebackers coach under former defensive coordinator Peter Sermon two years ago. Dennison left to coach the same position for the Oregon Ducks.
Another young coach, Dennison has proven a force in recruiting and helped the Ducks nab the sixth-ranked 2019 class per 247Sports.
“Cort is one of the top young assistant coaches in the country and is very familiar with the University of Louisville, having spent four seasons here and coached many of our players,” Satterfield said.
With most of his staff in place, Satterfield’s start to rebuilding the football program is off to the right start. Bringing in a staff with talent in-game and recruiting is monumental after a 2-10 season last year.
Another point in Satterfield’s favor is his record on the field. He guided the Mountaineers to a 51-24 record in six seasons at the helm. Known for an offensive play-calling background, here are three things to note about Satterfield’s offenses:
First, the running game is always churning. Sixty percent of Appalachian State’s offense has been running plays since 2014.
Second, the offensive line has allowed fewer than 20 sacks per season since 2014. This includes the second lowest nationally in 2017 with eight sacks per season.
Finally, Satterfield’s offenses do not turn the ball over. The Mountaineers have finished with, at least, a plus-seven turnover margin since 2016. They peaked at a plus-12 in 2017.
Spring ball and summer are still to come, but one month into the Scott Satterfield era, the rebuild is already underway and booming for Cardinal football.