ESPN 60 junior Josh Nickelberry commits to Louisville

ESPN 60 junior Josh Nickelberry committed to Louisville on Thursday night, giving Chris Mack his first high school recruit since taking over the Cardinals in March.

"I believe in what Coach Mack is preaching about the program he will be building," Nickelberry told ESPN. "I want to be the first guy to get things going in the right direction."

Nickelberry, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Northwood Temple Academy (North Carolina), chose the Cardinals over Virginia Tech, Auburn and a host of other schools. Ranked No. 42 in the ESPN 60 for the 2019 class, Nickelberry slots in as the No. 6 shooting guard in the country.

After missing on the final few prospects in 2018, Nickelberry's commitment comes as welcome news for Mack and Louisville. The Cardinals have a long list of targets in the 2019 class, including Isaiah Stewart, Jahmius Ramsey, Harlond Beverly, Kevin McCullar, Aundre Hyatt and others, but Nickelberry takes care of a spot in the backcourt.

Before Nickelberry's announcement, the Cardinals previously got a pledge from graduate transfer Christen Cunningham of Samford.

Mack took over Louisville in late March, signing a seven-year deal worth about $4 million per year. He replaced interim head coach David Padgett, who was promoted from assistant following the firing of Rick Pitino in the wake of last fall's FBI investigation.