A look at the Duke Blue Devils 2010 Football Schedule -Part 1

2010 Duke Football Schedule
Cutcliffe ready for season three - BDNP

Durham, N.C. – After 9 wins in his first two seasons at Duke, Coach David Cutcliffe and the 2010 Blue Devils will look to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 1994. Do they have the schedule to do it? As spring practices kicks off, BDN takes a first look at the 2010 Duke football schedule.

The Blue Devils return 40 lettermen, including 18 starters, from 2009′s 5-7 team, which finished in 4th place in the ACC Coastal Division. Season tickets are on sale now for Duke’s 7 home games in 2010 and can be purchased online at GoDuke.com or by calling (877) 375-3853.

The 2010 Blue Devils will play 7 of their 12 regular season games at Wallace Wade Stadium, highlighted by a September match-up with Coach David Cutcliffe’s alma mater and reigning BCS National Champion, Alabama. Seven of Duke’s 2010 opponents were bowl-eligible in 2009, including two BCS bowl teams in Georgia Tech and Alabama. Duke’s lone FCS opponent, Elon, finished the season at 9-3 and was invited to the FCS playoffs, where they lost to Richmond, 16-13. Overall, Duke’s 2010 opponents were 94-60 in 2009, which represents the third toughest 2010 schedule in the ACC.

September 4:Elon (2009: 9-3, 2nd place in Southern Conference, lost in 1st round of FCS playoffs to Richmond, 16-13)

The Phoenix will make the short trip up I-85 to Durham to kick-off the 2010 season. Elon is coming off the program’s first ever FCS playoff invitation in 2009, in head coach Pete Lembo’s fourth year with the program. The Phoenix finished 2009 ranked in the FCS top 10, but lost several key players from the team that finished second in the Southern Conference, including WR Terrell Hudgins, who was runner-up for the Walter Payton Award in his outstanding senior campaign (123 receptions, 1633 yards). Scott Riddle returns for his senior year as the team’s quarterback, and junior RB Jamal Shuman returns after an impressive sophomore campaign during which he averaged 5.1 yards per carry. The Phoenix do lose several key seniors on both the offensive and defensive lines, so question marks will exist heading into the season opener. Elon fell at Wake Forest last season, 35-7, in the team’s only game against an FBS opponent. Elon represents a quality FCS opponent, and one that the Devils will need to defeat to start off the 2010 season on the right track.

September 11: @ Wake Forest (2009: 5-7, 3-5 ACC)

Duke kicks off the 2010 ACC schedule early, with a rematch of last year’s season finale against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons defeated the Blue Devils on Senior Day in Wallace Wade Stadium, 45-34. While that game served as a celebration of the storied careers of senior QBs Thaddeus Lewis and Riley Skinner, this year both programs will start the season with question marks under center. The Demon Deacons lose 9 starters and return 49 lettermen from the 2009 team. Both the Devils and Demon Deacons will kick off the year against FCS programs in Week 1, thus this matchup will likely be the first true test for their young signal-callers and other new faces in 2010. Jim Grobe is 9-0 against Duke in his career at Wake Forest, though the two teams have produced some memorable games in recent years. Expect Grobe to have his team ready to play the Blue Devils after their opening Thursday night match-up with Presbyterian. This will be an important early season test for the young Blue Devils on the road.

September 18: Alabama (2009: 14-0, 8-0 SEC)

This game may already be the hottest ticket in Wallace Wade Stadium since the Rolling Stones a few years ago. The Crimson Tide faithful will try to be out in full force to see their reigning National Champions and Heisman trophy winner. It’s important for the Blue Devils to have a good turnout both on and off the field in this one (plug: get your season tickets now), as this will be one of the highest attended and most covered games in recent Duke history. Alabama will, of course, be the heavy favorite in this matchup, but you can bet Coach David Cutcliffe will have a few tricks up his sleeve for his alma mater and SEC power. The Crimson Tide will be coming off a big home game against Penn State in Week 2, and they’ll have to avoid a letdown against a fired up Duke team. There are several terrific storylines here: from Wallace Wade, whose statue stands outside the stadiums at both Duke and Alabama, to David Cutcliffe squaring off with his alma mater, to the appearance of a reigning national champion and Heisman trophy winner in Wallace Wade Stadium. You can be sure BDN will have lots more coverage on this game between now and September 18, so stay tuned and get your tickets now.

September 25Army (2009: 5-7)

Army fell just short of a bowl bid in their first year under head coach Rich Ellerson and his option offense. In a Week 2 match-up at West Point last season, Duke defeated Army 35-19, behind the arm of QB Sean Renfree and the clutch play of CB Leon Wright. This will be the first of three match-ups against the option offense for Duke in 2010, and it will be important for the young Blue Devils to stay disciplined and focused after a much-hyped Alabama game. This is a game that Duke will need to win to improve their chance for a bowl bid, but Army will have revenge on their mind after last year’s loss at West Point, and likely will have some momentum coming off two home games in Weeks 2 and 3.

October 2: @ Maryland (2009: 2-10, 1-7 ACC)

Not much went right for the Terrapins in 2009, including a 17-13 loss in rainy Wallace Wade Stadium in late October. Coach Ralph Friedgen will be on the hot seat in 2010, and while a return to bowl eligibility might be a stretch for the 2010 Terrapins, you can expect them to be a much improved team. The Terrapins will have a new signal caller in 2010, along with some new faces on both the offensive and defensive lines. The growth of these young players may determine the Terrapins’ success, and the fate of the coaching staff. The Terps are fortunate to have a relatively easy start to their schedule, with a road match-up at West Virginia in Week 3 as their biggest early-season test. This will be the Blue Devils’ first trip to College Park under Coach David Cutcliffe and, as we know, they will not be greeted kindly.

October 9 Open

The Blue Devils open date again falls in the middle of their season in 2010. They will have already played 2 ACC games in the first five weeks, both on the road. With regards to bowl eligibility, the Blue Devils would be wise to enter the bye week with at least a 3-2, if not 4-1, record. The first half of the schedule includes only 1 FBS 2009 Bowl team (albeit, the National Champions), but the second half includes 6 FBS 2009 Bowl teams. The Blue Devils will finish the year with 4 ACC home games, 2 ACC road games, and a non-conference road match-up with Navy.

Part 2 will be out next week – bookmark Blue Devil Nation for your next Duke Football coverage fix

The Jon Scheyer Foundation will host May Madness: Gaming to Give

Jon - BDN Photo

DURHAM, N.C. – After leading the Duke Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA National Championship, senior Jon Scheyer plans to give back to the Durham community. The Jon Scheyer Foundation will host May Madness: Gaming to Give on May 1, 2010 from noon to 5 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The event will feature Halo 3 and FIFA 2010 Xbox video game tournaments, as well as live music by Nautical Young, Speak of the Devil and Point Break. In addition, Scheyer and members of the 2010 National Championship team will be on hand to sign autographs.

General admission for May Madness will be $10 at the door. Duke students will be admitted for $5 with their student ID. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted free of charge. Entry forms for the video game tournaments can be found on www.jonscheyer.com.Proceeds from May Madness will benefit the Jimmy V Foundation and the Emily K Center.

The Jon Scheyer Foundation benefits young people in the community and serves to develop and encourage the qualities of leadership, dedication and perseverance in the hearts of young people everywhere, and to give back to under served communities in need.

For more information about May Madness, visit www.jonscheyer.com or contact Brooke Scheyer at bscheyer@brighteststarfoundations.com.

BDN continues it’s look at Duke OL prospects with Marcus Aprahamiam

Marcus Aprahamian is a 6’5” 300 pound junior offensive tackle from Brookfield, Wisconsin. In addition to his efforts on the gridiron, Marcus is also a varsity track (shot put and discus) athlete at Brookfield Central High School, which produced Pro Bowl offensive tackle Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns. Marcus has been selected in the preseason Top 100 by Offense-Defense Sports, was named first team all-conference as a junior, and is generally regarded as the top 2011 offensive line prospect in the state.

On the sidelines and in the locker room, Marcus is a “great leader with great work ethic,” but on the field he is “quick and relentless.” He prides himself on finishing blocks, and continues to work to build strength and quickness heading into his senior year. This fall, he hopes to help lead his team to a conference and state title; personally, he would like to earn first team all-state honors in his senior year.

With a brother playing tight end at Dartmouth and his father a Princeton alumnus, academics will be an important component of his college choice. Like his father, Marcus has an interest in law, but is mostly looking for a school where he can picture himself and is able to connect with the coaching staff. Marcus would also like to have an opportunity to compete for playing time in his first year.

Marcus currently holds three BCS scholarship offers, two from the Big 10 and one from the ACC. He will visit Minnesota on April 24, and has already visited Indiana and Duke. Marcus was able to visit Indiana twice, attending a basketball game at Assembly Hall during one visit. Reflecting on his visits to Indiana, Marcus said he “loved it there, I really liked the big school environment.” He also added that one of his high school teammates is strongly considering the Hoosiers.

He was able to visit Duke on April 1, touring the campus and football facilities with Coach Luke from 11AM to 5PM. His mother flew in and was able to tour the campus again with him the following day. Of his visit to Duke, Marcus said, “I really saw myself there.” Unfortunately, Marcus was not able to meet with Coach Cutcliffe during his visit. Marcus hopes to finalize his college decision early in the summer and then attend summer camp at his future school.

Duke picks up a true post commitment in Tyler Adams

Tyler Adams - BDN Photo

It was no real surprise when Tyler Adams [6-9, 250 Brandon, Mississippi] pulled the trigger to play his college basketball at Duke University making him the second commitment in the class of 2011, the other being Michael Gbinije.  You learned from BDN last week that Coach Krzyzewski and Nate James dropped in on Adams for an open gym and that was pretty much the clincher.

With Adams Duke fills a need in the middle in that Adams is a back to the basket, true post player which is rare these days.  Adams told BDN that he was honored that Duke started recruiting him last year and he liked the way Coach Krzyzewski told him how he would be used in the system.  “I like to bang,” said Adams in the three interviews BDN had with the prospect.

Adams also had high praise for Duke Assistant Coach Nate James who helped him to understand the opportunity at hand.  Adams will next participate in the Nike EYBL and once again BDN Premium will cover that event.  In fact, we’ll have reports from this weekend’s LeBron James Shooting Stars event by this evening, so check back in.

Coach K addressed the giddy crowd during Duke’s Award Banquet

Coach K took out his NCAA stool to sit on while he addressed Duke fans during the Awards Banquet where Duke raised their 2010 National Championship banner to the ceiling. copyright BDN Photo

DURHAM – With the National Championship still fresh in the minds of Duke fans, BDN brings you some of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s comments from the Award Banquet.  So, enjoy -

Just press play -

Grant Jones2

Duke Football taking a long look at OT prospect Grant Jones

Grant Jones is a 6’5” 301 pound junior offensive tackle from Lynchburg, Virginia, who has drawn interest from nearly every school in the ACC. Grant has been selected in the preseason Top 100 by Offense-Defense Sports, and was named first team all-conference, area, and state as a junior at Liberty Christian Academy. In addition to his football prowess, Grant also finished his junior year as the #7 overall wrestler in the country and enters his senior year third in the preseason rankings, though he says he is unlikely to pursue wrestling at the collegiate level.

Grant prides himself on his ability to finish blocks and leave his opponents on the ground; he also considers himself to be very strong in pass protection. His goal is to be thought of as a “competitor on every down.” He is always working to improve his technique, keeping his pad level low, and has really emphasized working on his explosiveness heading into his senior year. This fall, he hopes to win a state championship after losing in the title game last year. Personally, he would like to repeat his accolades as first team all-conference, area, and state.

When considering his college choices, Grant is looking for a school where he will get a great education over five years. He’s looking for a coaching staff with experience both on the field and on the sidelines, which he hopes will help to make him successful in life and in football. Mostly, though, Grant values “honesty and trustworthiness – I want a coach who will tell you where you stand and treat you fairly.” Growing up in Pennsylvania, Grant followed Penn State and Notre Dame football, but says that his childhood allegiances will have little to do with his own college career. “It’s a lot different looking at schools now,” he said.

Heading into the spring evaluation period, Grant expects to be evaluated by many schools in addition to the four who have already offered him a scholarship, those being Duke, East Carolina, Stanford, and Liberty. He plans to attend spring Nike camps at Penn State and Virginia Tech during the evaluation period, and hopes to showcase his skills for schools that have recently been in contact, which include Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, NC State, North Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss, Penn State, UCLA, and USC.

To date, Grant has visited Virginia, Maryland, NC State, and Duke. Grant said that he thought NC State has “great facilities and great coaching,” while he saw Duke as a program whose “stock is on the rise” and that “Coach Cutcliffe is a winner and he is going to get it done there.” Grant had high praise for Maryland’s Coach Friedgen and Virginia’s Coach London, describing them both as “honest and trustworthy” coaches; he added that both schools had “absolutely beautiful” campuses. With Virginia being only an hour from home, he said he was very familiar with the school and has been in touch with Coach London since his days at Richmond.

Grant hopes to make his college choice before his senior year.