Louisville Football: Cardinals May Grab Florida Transfer De'Ante Saunders

Jon HancockSenior Analyst IJanuary 7, 2013

De'Ante Saunders
De'Ante SaundersAl Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Louisville's win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl was the biggest victory in the school's history and proved that Charlie Strong is building something special. Players will always want to play for a successful program that is heading in the right direction, and that is exactly what is happening at the University of Louisville.

Louisville has been able to pick up some very talented recruits the past week, including 5-star receiver James Quick, who picked Louisville over Ohio State during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Now Louisville has a chance to pick up Florida transfer De'Ante Saunders. The sophomore safety recently announced he would be transferring after missing two games this season for disciplinary reasons and two more due to injury.

Saunders was also charged for marijuana possession his freshman year.

“Nothing against Florida or coach Muschamp, but I just needed a fresh start,” Saunders told Zach Abolverdi of The Gainesville Sun. “The top school I'm considering right now is Louisville.” 

Saunders had 18 tackles and one interception in six games this season. He had 26 tackles and two interceptions his freshman year, including one for a touchdown. When he committed to Florida in 2011 he was considered the 19th-best safety in the class by 247Sports.com.

Charlie Strong recruited Saunders while he was the defensive coordinator at Florida and has had some success getting Florida players to Louisville. Adrian Bushell played at Florida before coming to Louisville and started the past two seasons at the cornerback position. Ex-Florida players Gerald Christian and Robert Clark transferred to Louisville last year and will be eligible to play next season.

Saunders' off-the-field issues concern me a little bit, although Charlie Strong and the Louisville coaching staff have done a fantastic job turning players around in the past. I am sure Strong will not allow him to be a part of the program unless he proves he is willing to change.

Florida's backup quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, is also planning on transferring and has Louisville on his list. Louisville will probably not try to pick up Brissett since it has plenty of talent coming in at the quarterback position, although it is interesting to see so many players leaving Florida at the same time.

Saunders has not announced when he will make his decision.