If you want to see how to recruit perfectly during difficult times, look no further for an example than Louisville Football. They have put together one of the best classes in Louisville history and continue to add on. Today, they picked up a commitment from 2021 3 Star WR Ahmari Huggins-Bruce.
Hailing from Dillon, SC, the 5’10 165 lbs Huggins-Bruce held many offers, but ended up joining the flock. Among those offers are Virginia Tech, Duke, USC, Georgia Tech, Indiana, NC State, and Michigan State. 247sports ranks him as the 549th best prospect nationally and the 91st best at his position in the 2021 class. Wide Receivers Coach Gunter Brewer was Louisville’s lead recruiter for Huggins-Bruce.
Huggins-Bruce plays for Dillon High School and is a massive weapon on offense. Last season, he had 50 receptions for 997 yards and 12 TDs. He averaged 19.9 yards per catch. He contributed some to the rushing attack with 28 rushing yards and 2 TDs as well. Huggins-Bruce also had a 87 yard kick return for a TD.
Shawn and Sam watched Huggins-Bruce highlights and broke down his game below.
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce is a playmaking WR in the mold of current Louisville star Tutu Atwell. While slightly bigger than Atwell, his game and the way his coaches utilize his talent is similar. Ahmari is fast and laterally quick with great ability to accelerate. As a receiver, he works best in space because he can make would-be tacklers miss and is a threat to take it for 6. His route running is superb and he is excellent at using his eyes and hands to track and catch the ball. Ahmari is not afraid to attack the middle of the field and his playmaking is so excellent that his coaches like to utilize a similar pop pass that Louisville uses with Atwell. When defenders get their hands on him, he can break tackles and is extremely hard to bring down in general. Ahmari Huggins-Bruce is a threat to defenses every time his feet touch a field.
The very first thing that jumps out is Ahmari’s speed, acceleration, and quickness. He is absolutely a rocket in human form on the field when it comes to straight-line speed. If defenders allow him to get even with them, he’s going to blow past them and get behind them. To combine with his speed, are his lateral quickness and acceleration. His lateral quickness allows Ahmari to be very, very adept at cutting and juking; making people miss is his speciality. His ability to stop on a dime and then accelerate to top speed immediately is special as well. He’s just so good at weaving through defenses for major YAC.
His high school loves to throw bubble screens and use the pop pass Louisville has made famous with Tutu Atwell. As stated above, he is a danger with the ball in his hands and space to work with. Give Ahmari one blocker and he can make most others miss. I really love watching him being utilized as basically a RB with the pop pass. It allows him to have a lead blocker and be able to read the defense and use the quickness and speed to knife through the defense.
The lateral quickness shows up in his route running. Ahmari has fluid hips and breaks off his routes crisply. The release he gets means he’s almost always wide wide open with defenders well off of him. His curl routes are nearly impossible to defend and make his slant routes even more hard to defend. Around the goal line, his route running ability comes in extremely handy. Defenders have to guard against the fade, an out-breaking, or in-breaking route. With that in mind, they are stuck guessing and no defender wants to be guessing against a talent like Huggins-Bruce.
On deep balls, Ahmari has excellent hand-eye coordination. He is able to get his head and eyes around to find the ball in flight. He will watch it into his hands for excellent over-the-shoulder catches. This ability also shows up in curl routes where he can find the ball quickly after breaking off the route and have his hands in prime catching position. He rarely uses his body to catch the ball.
Make no mistake that, despite being a player who can avoid contact, Ahmari doesn’t shy away from it. He is fully prepared to run through tackles, lower his shoulder to deliver a hit, and go over the middle to reel in catches. On one short little hitch/bubble screen, the defense gets hands on him numerous times. Ahmari is too strong though, and just runs through a bevy of attempted tackles for a TD. On a pop pass run, along the sideline, a defender looked to punish Ahmari, but the defender ended up being the one punished when Ahmari lowered his shoulder. Going over the middle for a receiver isn’t fun. This is because there are usually a lot of defenders in the middle of the field and most of them like to light up a receiver. Some receivers may shy away from going over the middle or get alligator arms. Ahmari is not one of these receivers. He gladly goes over the middle to make catches. He will take a lick, but he will not drop the ball. He’s got moxie.
It’s hard not to compare Ahmari Huggins-Bruce to Tutu Atwell in terms of skill set and talent. They both do a lot of the same things. I imagine Louisville will use him in the slot a lot, but likely will line him up on the outside as well. He likely will need to work on blocking a little more for this offense, but I think he can be a good blocker. Regardless, the potential Ahmari Huggins-Bruce has is unbelievable.
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce has found a system that fits him and a coaching staff that will utilize his skills to make an instant impact in college football. The 6’0 165lbs wide receiver from Dillon, SC will be an instant impact player regardless of where he lines up during his career as a Louisville Cardinals. AHB is the perfect slot receiver for Coach Satterfield’s offense.
The blazing fast Huggins-Bruce, or AHB for short, routinely outruns coverage and angles by defenders. Ahmari is exceptionally quick and agile and has the ability to stop on a dime and accelerate back to top speed before defenders even know what hit them. He has elite level speed that rivals current Louisville player Tutu Atwell. It is safe to say that with these two speedsters on the field together, defenses won’t have a chance at stopping them both. The Late, Great “Louisville Lip” Muhammad Ali once said, “His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.” Well Louisville fans, I’m telling you defenders can’t tackle what they can’t catch and there ain’t many defenses or defenders in the country that will be able to catch AHB.
Ahmari has great hand and eye coordination. He usually catches the ball with his hands and rarely lets the ball get into his body. He also does a great job of tracking the ball, a really important ability for slot receivers since the ball usually gets to them as they are turning their heads. AHB will most definitely play the slot at Louisville, which usually puts him against linebackers or safeties. I’m telling you now, those defenders have no shot at covering AHB. A few important traits for slot receivers are: quick hands, strong hands, ability to quickly get in and out of his breaks, and the ability to quickly and successfully track the ball in mid air. Huggins-Bruce does all of those really, really well.
Make no mistake about it, AHB is a playmaker. Ahmari has the ability to take any route in the route tree or screen pass to the house. He can also thrive getting those same quick push pass jet sweeps we’ve seen Tutu break for long runs so often last year. He is very good route runner with dangerous speed. AHB already has a great quick release off the line of scrimmage, a release that only get better under Coach Brewer at Louisville. Huggins-Bruce uses his quick release to beat defenders from the start, and once he’s got the defender beat it’s usually off to the endzone for Ahmari. One of the more impressive things Ahmari does once he beats the defender, is he quickly stacks the defender. As I stated earlier, I love how AHB tracks the ball in mid-air, and that goes the same for his ability to track the deep ball.
AHB isn’t just all speed, he has a lot of wiggle to his game as well. He casually jukes unexpected defenders and outruns defenders who take bad angles. Although Huggins-Bruce is fast, he is deceptively strong. He breaks tackles with relative ease because most defenders are usually out of position when it comes to attempting to make a tackle. AHB is a playmaker and has great vision. Once the ball is in his hands, it’s like he automatically turns into a punt/kick returner. Huggins-Bruce is also patient when he needs to be, allowing his blockers to set up and then quickly accelerating through any small crease that he finds. One caveat I must put out there, I sure hope he works on putting the ball in his outside hand while weaving in and out of traffic. We all know, the ball is the program here at Louisville.
AHB is the 2nd wide receiver commit in the #FlyVille21 class, with Demetrius Cannon being the first. Cannon and AHB are the perfect complementary pieces and once they are coupled with Christian Fitzpatrick and Jordan Watkins, most ACC teams won’t know what hit them. I am extremely excited that Louisville got their number 1 wide receiver target and I’m sure he won’t disappoint either. #GoCards #FlyVille21
Ahmari Huggins-Bruce is a playmaking WR that has a chance to be truly special. The Tutu Atwell comparisons are justified because of Ahmari’s speed and elusiveness. I think he is a little more polished than Tutu was coming in because he’s played exclusively WR. I also believe he’s stronger, likely because he’s a little bigger. Another apt comparison is Louisville great Deion Branch. Ahmari Huggins-Bruce has a chance to be a star WR just as Tutu is and Deion was. The speed, the elusiveness, and the moxie are a star combination. With one of the best WR coaches in the nation Gunter Brewer teaching him, I think he will become exactly that…a star. The tools are definitely there to do so.
With Ahmari Huggins-Bruce’s commitment, Louisville now has 19 commits. 247sports ranks our class 18th nationally and 4th in the ACC. This is really turning into one of the best classes in UofL Football history.