Why Pierce Clarkson's commitment to Louisville football is such a big deal for 2023 class

·4 min read

Louisville football is in the middle of a massive recruiting weekend and just got its best news at the start.

Four-star quarterback and top-100 recruit on ESPN, Pierce Clarkson, committed to the Cardinals on Friday morning. The California native has been the primary target for Louisville in the 2023 class for a year now and Louisville football landed him just as he was arriving for another visit.

Clarkson is a four-star on every recruiting database and is the No. 12 rated quarterback in the country on 247Sports. He fills a massive hole at quarterback, being able to arrive on campus right as Malik Cunningham finishes his career next winter.

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It's hard to understate how big this commitment was for Scott Satterfield and his coaching staff. Here's why it's so important.

The future at quarterback

First and foremost, Clarkson's a good quarterback. Watch his film and you see an athletic quarterback who can make plays with his legs but also has a good arm, is accurate and looks comfortable in the pocket for a player of his age. That's exactly what the Cardinals have been looking for at the position.

Satterfield has struggled to lock down quarterbacks in his time at Louisville. Looking past Cunningham and there didn't seem to be much at the position outside of incoming freshman Khalib Johnson, who the staff is excited about. But now, Louisville has two quarterbacks it can trust.

Louisville's Scott Satterfield jokes with quarterback Malik Cunningham in the second half.
Louisville's Scott Satterfield jokes with quarterback Malik Cunningham in the second half.

For much of Satterfield's time at Louisville he's had one quarterback. The depth was a factor his first year when Jawon Pass went down and Cunningham and Evan Conley shared snaps. Since then it's been the Cunningham show and nobody else really behind him. Part of that is because it's hard to recruit a quarterback knowing they'll have to sit for years behind Cunningham. Nobody wants to come and sit behind one of the best in the ACC, frankly. Now, there's some hope for the future.

Johnson is a three-star quarterback from Alabama, but the staff loves his potential. He's on campus already participating in spring workouts. Now add Clarkson, one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 class and you have a position, the most important position, finally building a bright future. While fans may be torn on Satterfield, he's establishing some potential at the biggest spot in his offense and that's enough reason to have some optimism.

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His ability to recruit other people

Clarkson tweeted, long before he committed to Louisville, that he wanted to help build the best 2023 class. This is a crucial part of his commitment .

His parents bought 13 billboards around Louisville to announce his commitment and show how much he loves Louisville. In a world when it's hard to hold on to recruits because of the flipping and transfer portal, it looks like Clarkson is set on his decision. That means he can recruit his friends. His teammate and four-star corner JShawn Frausto-Ramos is on campus this weekend visiting Louisville for a second time as well. Ramos is a top-25 corner in the 2023 class.

But it goes beyond his own teammates. Both Ramos and Clarkson tweeted four-star receiver and top-50 overall prospect DeAndre Moore Thursday night as a recruiting pitch and Moore is expected to visit Louisville this weekend, as well. Moore is already verbally committed to Oklahoma, but could flip if he enjoys his Louisville visit enough.

There's more to it, but getting somebody like Clarkson on board early sets the stage for what could be a special 2023 class for Louisville and Scott Satterfield.

Louisville head football coach Scott Satterfield greet fans during the Cardmarch before the game against Boston College Saturday at Cardinal Stadium. Oct. 23, 2021
Louisville head football coach Scott Satterfield greet fans during the Cardmarch before the game against Boston College Saturday at Cardinal Stadium. Oct. 23, 2021

Picking up program momentum

One of the biggest things for Louisville right now is momentum.

Louisville ended the season with a disappointing loss to Air Force in the First Responder's Bowl and the fans voiced their displeasure on Twitter.

Since then interim athletic director Josh Heird has come out and strongly stated his confidence in Satterfield and Friday morning's news is the reason why. There's more going on behind the scenes that people in the Louisville athletic administration see and are excited about that fans don't see everyday. One of those is the recruiting.

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This commitment has a chance to change momentum for the Cardinals, from the fan base perspective. It's something fans can get excited about and with a loaded weekend full of four-star and highly-touted recruits on campus this weekend, there could be more good news coming for the Cardinals.

Cameron Teague Robinson CTeagueRob@gannett.com; Twitter: @cj_teague;

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Pierce Clarkson commits to Louisville football: Why it's a big deal