4-star safety Nilijah Ballew committed to the Cards in April of 2013, nearly a year ago. With Charlie Strong going to Texas and Bobby Petrino being hired at Louisville, there has been uncertainty with many of the guys who were committed to Louisville while Strong was here. Some have flipped their commitments and for different reasons. This one certainly is not a case where the player saw a new coaching staff come in so he wanted to leave. In this case, the player fell in love with the university and the city, and now he has to find somewhere else to play college football.
Ballew was originally set to visit the University of Louisville 2 weeks ago, but the staff pushed his visit back to this coming weekend. This made him nervous, thinking that the staff was looking to recruit over him, so Ballew did what any smart athlete would do, and found backup plans. He visited Indiana on the weekend he was supposed to originally be at Louisville, and enjoyed it.
Fast forward to this weekend, when Ballew was set to visit on the date that the new staff set. Ballew has only talked with the coaching staff a couple of times, and they recently just told him that they are going to look around for defensive linemen that fit the new 3-4 scheme. So there really is no reason for Ballew to visit and stay “committed” if the staff feels like they are going to recruit others instead.
Indiana is now at the top of his list, and if they offer him, he would accept. He is visiting Bowling Green this weekend and they have offered. He will also likely hear from Vanderbilt. He could end up waiting until National Signing Day to see what other options present themselves.
So is Nilijah bummed about this happening? Or excited for a fresh start somewhere else? “Bummed because it happened so late (in the process)”, Ballew said. “I basically got kicked in the teeth it feels like, but I’m very optimistic and will ball out wherever I end up.”
I wish nothing but the best for this young man in his future. He fell in love with the University of Louisville as well as the city and wanted to be a Card regardless of who was coaching, and that is rare. So I personally hope he has nothing but success wherever he ends up.