Duke was among the first schools to offer Alabama DE Torey Agee

Run-stopping DE Torey Agee says Duke has “everything I’m looking for”

Duke was among the first schools to offer Alabama DE Torey Agee

With the addition of veteran Defensive Line Coach Rick Petri this offseason, expectations are high for the Blue Devils’ defensive line in 2011 and beyond. Prior to his arrival in Durham, Coach Petri has tutored some of the top units in the country at Miami, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and South Carolina. Throughout his career, Coach Petri has mentored numerous All-SEC and All-ACC defensive linemen, including NFL stars such as Warren Sapp and John Abraham. With a young group of athletic defensive linemen already in Durham, Coach Petri and the Duke coaching staff are looking to bring in potential impact players in the class of 2012. With three talented prospects already verbally committed, Duke is focusing their recruiting efforts on a handful of top recruits, including a big-time run-stopper from Alabama. Torey Agee is a 6’4” 250 pound defensive end from Opelika, AL and the son of former Auburn star Tommie Agee. Since we last spoke with Torey, he’s earned scholarship offers from several top schools, including Stanford and Vanderbilt. The star student-athlete was in Durham this past weekend and caught up with BDN to give his thoughts on his visit. [private]

 

BDN: Which schools have been recruiting you the hardest this spring and summer?

At this point, the schools that have really be in contact with me besides Duke have been Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Southern Miss, and Auburn.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit recently?

So far I’ve only had a chance to visit Georgia Tech and Duke, but I have plans for other visits later on this summer.

BDN: Do you know which schools you are planning to visit, or is that still up in the air?

I know I’m going to Vanderbilt and I’m probably going to go to camps at Auburn and Troy.

BDN: How did your visits to Duke and Georgia Tech go?

Both those schools are great, they have exactly what I’m looking for and that’s a strong academic program, so it’s right up my alley. Both campuses are beautiful, the football teams are good, the coaches are great, it was just a wonderful trip.

BDN: Since it’s fresh in your mind, can you talk a little about your visit to Duke this weekend?

The Duke visit was great. We toured the whole campus and met some of the coaches and some of the players and they told me what it would be like in a typical day if I became a Blue Devil. It was great, you know, I’m still kind of taking it all in.

BDN: Last time we spoke, you were taking your time with the process. Now that you’ve taken a few visits, do you know how or when you want to start to narrow things down?

No, I’m still pretty much taking my time, like I said,  I don’t really want to rush into anything, so I’m just taking it slow this summer, visiting a bunch of places and trying to get my thoughts together before I pick a school to go to.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Torey, and we look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Alright, thank you.

[/private]

 

It’s Back! More of BDN’s Monday Musings on Duke Athletics

BDN Photographer Rick Crank caught wonderful moment after Duke defeated UNC for the ACC Championship. BDN Photo

After a brief hiatus Monday Musings is back and we have plenty of stuff to talk about.  The reason the article went MIA was due to an overload of Blue Devil Nation Premium articles which simply dominated the site last week.  One thing BDN followers can depend on is the flat out best recruiting circuit coverage available. 

The NBA Draft is still fresh in many fans minds and the Blue Devils added three more players to the league.  Kyrie Irving became the second Blue Devil to be the first overall pick, joining Elton Brand as the two Blue Devils holding that honor.  Irving looked rather suave as he hit the podium fulfilling his dream.  While some Duke fans feel a void in that they saw him play just eleven games in the royal blue, there are benefits to his quick departure.  Irving will represent Duke well and he’s already had good things to say about Coach K and the program.  Having an alum in the spotlight will only bring more talk of the program and rising prospects really like seeing the hot rookies which stay fresh in their minds.  Duke adds Austin Rivers this year and trend is developing of great guards coming through Durham on a yearly basis.  Here is Irving and Tristan Thompson being introduced to Cleveland Cavalier fans.

How cool was it to hear, “And with the 21st overall pick in the NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select Nolan Smith of Duke?”  Maybe Kyle can give Nolan some tips as he rolls to home state to Oregon with a guaranteed contract in tow.  Smith worked hard at Duke and had both up’s and downs but he stuck it out and he is now in the NBA.  FWIW, I jumped out of my chair and cheered as if it were a Duke buzzer beater when his name was called.  Here is the latest article on NDotSmitty.

Then there was Kyle Singler chosen #33 by the Detroit Pistons.  Singler barely missed the first round but he fell into a good situation with the Pistons in that he was still their first selection and he will get a sure contract.  The Detroit brass pointed to his leadership, work ethic and skills when they spoke of their prized rookie.  I will sure miss all three of these guys but the memories from each have been great, especially Nolan and Kyle who brought a National Championship to Durham.  Here is a link on the Pistons desire for character and that led them to draft KSing. 

It seems like a few months ago when I was covering Duke players at the N.C. Pro Am at North Carolina Central University.  Maybe it’s the fact I am getting older or it could just be that coverage never ends at BDN.  Regardless, BDN will be front and center with coverage for the event which starts this week.  BDN was the first site to cover this event and therefore we’ve developed good relationships with those involved.  It’s a first rate event worth your summer time and a friendly atmosphere awaits.  Stop by and say hello for I will once again be in the end zone with my own private desk;)  A key change to note — no high school players are allowed to participate per NCAA rules this season.  That means no Pinson, Purvis and such.  One other tidbit is that Duke players rarely show the first session, so look for them next week.  And yes, Duke will have players participate but their time will be cut short due to the China-Dubai trip which happens in August.  As we’ve said before, Duke is allotted ten full practices before the journey.

USA!  A few key Duke Basketball recruiting prospects  were missing during last weeks NBA Top 100 Camp and for good reason.  Targets Jabari Parker and Theo Pinson were in the red, white and blue leading Team USA to Gold.  Parker averaged 15.4 ppg and  grabbed 6.4 rebounds a contest.  Pinson was the fourth   scorer at 11.5 ppg and added an amazing 6.2 rebounds from the wing.  Team USA finished 5-0 defeating Argentina 104-64.  Here are the TEAM USA U16 Stats.

The player nicknamed "The Black Falcon," flew on both sides of the fence until his most awkward Skype announcement. We'll let you fill in the caption on this pic. BDN Photo

Stash this in the remember where you heard it department.  Harrison Barnes will be the ACC Pre season POY and maybe even the national one as well.  A look at returning scorers in the conference shows that he is the top returning one in the league.  And look for the Blue Devils Seth Curry to make first team while Mason Plumlee will be on the second team.  UNC and Duke will be picked one, two in the league.  Yes, Duke fans, Barnes pictured left would have been in the top 8 picks had he gone pro, so his return guarantees that he will be one of the most hated Heels ever.

Measurements are coming in from the Nike Skills Academies and we found out that the measurements for the brothers Plumlee. Mason Plumlee measured 6’10,” 234 with  6’11” wingspan, while Miles Plumlee measured 6’11.5,” 247 with a 7′ wingspan.  For full prospect measurements, check out the BDN Premium Message Board.

Recruiting information has been red hot of late and BDN has an incredible amount of material for you to catch up on by becoming a member.  We’ll be heading to the Peach Jam in July but there is much more before then.  We’ll keep you in a bit of suspense on that.  Look for a lengthy interview with Tony Parker today, so get off the fence and join the most dedicated Duke site in the world!  Be sure to go to our premium section located just under the header and take a look at what you’re missing. Recent interviews include, Robert Carter, Davonta Pollard, Rodney Purvis, Troy Williams, Joel James and Nate Britt.  BDN Premium brings you print and video interviews and if you haven’t heard the name Andrew Slater yet then you are not paying attention to our incredibly well informed basketball recruiting analyst and his one of a kind interviews.

BDN Photo

Duke Football Recruiting has been on a roll of late and you can find all the latest verbals by simply going to our football section.  Our resident recruiting analyst, Patrick Cacchio has been on a roll of late and BDN has become the place to be for Duke Football coverage.  We need more members on our football message board to discuss all the breaking news, so join up and help us make our forum the very best.  We are currently seeking a football board moderator, so send me a note through our popular twitter site if you are interested.   Anyhow, Coach Cutlciffe and staff are on a roll and they are beating some big schools for the latest commitments.  One other note, do not miss  our BDN Football Friday column which is the best weekly football article on the web.  If you find a better column on Cut’s team, let us know and we’ll work harder.

Speaking of Duke and ACC Football, I have been writing a preview of the conference for another site.  Everybody points to the Duke offense being able to move the ball  due to more vets on that side of the ball.  A closer look will tell you that Duke starts just two seniors and that nine of these kids will be back again the following year.  I picked Florida State and Virginia Tech as division winners and the main reason is that both have a manageable schedule.  The Blue Devils have the 22nd toughest schedule in the nation according to Phil Steele.  By writing a preview, I have a jump on fellow media members in picking the All ACC first and second teams at the fast approaching ACC Operation Football gathering.

Lastly, our prayers go out to the friends and family of two high school football players that were shot in Durham.

Duke beat out NC State, Wake Forest, Miami, and Vanderbilt for TE Dan Beilinson

Duke adds top in-state TE Dan Beilinson to class of 2012

Duke beat out NC State, Wake Forest, Miami, and Vanderbilt for TE Dan Beilinson

With the impending graduation of Cooper Helfet and Danny Parker, Duke is looking to reload at the tight end position in the class of 2012. On Saturday, the Blue Devils did that, securing a commitment from top in-state TE Dan Beilinson. Beilinson is a 6’5” 220 pound prospect from Panther Creek HS in Cary. As a junior, Beilinson caught 37 passes for over 500 yards, helping Panther Creek to a conference title and the state regional playoffs. His performance earned him 1st Team Tri-Nine All-Conference, among many other accolades. Highlights from Dan’s junior year can be viewed here. Beilinson chose the Blue Devils over offers from NC State, Wake Forest, Miami, Vanderbilt, Arizona State, Indiana, and ECU. Along with another verbal commitment, Erich Schneider, Beilinson has helped Duke successfully reload at tight end in 2012.

Welcome to Duke, Dan!

BDN caught up with Dan shortly after his commitment on Saturday.

 

BDN: How did you come to your decision to commit to Duke today?

Ok, yeah I guess I just decided to commit today, it was just kind of a gut feeling. I asked myself where I wanted to go and I said Duke and it just felt right.

BDN: How did you let the coaches know and what did they have to say to you?

I gave Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Middleton a phone call and they were both really excited, and I’m really excited right now as well and hopefully we’ll have a good time working together.

BDN: Now that you’ve got your decision out of the way, what are your plans for the rest of your summer?

I don’t really have any plans, just going to go to school workouts and focus on my senior year now.

BDN: Well best of luck with your senior year and I know Duke fans are excited to have you part of the Blue Devil family. Thanks a lot and congratulations on your commitment.

Alright, thank you very much.

 

A.J. Wolf was back in Durham to see Duke take on Stanford

Duke adds athletic NY lineman A.J. Wolf to the class of 2012

A.J. Wolf is the 10th verbal commitment in Duke's class of 2012

With the arrival of Defensive Line Coach Rick Petri in Durham this offseason, the Duke defensive line has been rejuvenated. Coach Petri and the players have worked hard to transform the position into a strength for the 2011 Blue Devils. Having worked with college and NFL stars such as Warren Sapp and John Abraham during his career, Coach Petri is know as one of the best teachers of the game. In the class of 2012, Duke has already added verbal commitments from two athletic linemen in Allen Jackson and Carlos Wray. On Saturday, the Blue Devils received a commitment from another athletic prospect, as 6’4” 250 pound A.J. Wolf gave his pledge to the Duke coaching staff. Wolf earned 1st Team All-League on both offense and defense as a junior, and was also named 2nd Team All-State at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY. After impressing the Duke coaches at camp last weekend, Wolf earned an offer and jumped at the opportunity to become a Blue Devil, choosing Duke over Penn State, LSU, Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton. His highlights can be viewed here.

 

BDN caught up with the newest Blue Devil shortly after his commitment Saturday.

 

BDN: How did you arrive at your decision to commit to Duke?

Well last week, the 18th, I came to their football camp and then two days later they gave me an offer, so I decided to come back down and visit this weekend, because I know that you have to act fast or scholarships can get filled up. I visited yesterday and then today, and I liked everything I saw. I asked everyone, basically every student I saw, how they liked Duke and every single person said they love it. I heard the social scene is great, it’s D1 ACC football, and the education is fantastic. That’s why I decided to come here, the education is great and you’re also competing at a top D1 program, which is a combination that’s hard to find.

BDN: Can you talk about your relationship with the Duke coaching staff?

Well I’m a D-End, defensive end. I didn’t really know the staff well at all last week, but I came this weekend and Coach Cutcliffe, he’s a great guy, he’s a gentleman, he speaks the truth and he’ll always tell you what’s up. He’s really nice about and I got a good impression of him. Coach Knowles is also a good guy, he’s persistent though, he’s an aggressive recruiter, but it works. And then the D-Line Coach, Coach Petri is nice, he seemed really nice. All the coaches I got introduced to seemed like nice guys, I got a really warm feeling.

BDN: Can you give fans a scouting report on yourself as a football player?

Well I think the reason they really liked me is that I’m 250 pounds, but I have great agility for my size and great quickness for my size. I guess there’s a lot of potential in that. I’m not a brute force, I’m more of a finesse guy, I guess, but I have a big frame. They liked the fact that I don’t really use my big frame and I have quick feet, and together they saw potential in that.

BDN: Who are the other schools that you were in contact with and were considering before your commitment to Duke?

I was looking at Stanford, also, and Princeton. Princeton’s in the Ivy League, so it’s a much different experience. And Stanford, there’s a variety of reasons why I picked Duke over Stanford.

BDN: What are your plans for the rest of your summer as you head into your senior year?

The rest of the summer I’m just getting in great shape for my senior season in high school. And then senior year, I’m going to keep my grades up and keep working to eventually help the Devils win a championship.

BDN: Thanks a lot, A.J., and welcome to Duke.

Thanks a lot.

 

Duke solidified their special teams for the future with Thursday's commitment from Ross Martin

Top kicker Ross Martin is thrilled to be a Blue Devil

Duke solidified their special teams for the future with Thursday's commitment from Ross Martin

Among the many improvements since Head Coach David Cutcliffe’s arrival in Durham, none may be more significant than the Blue Devils’ special teams. Duke has gone from a team that repeatedly failed to execute on special teams to featuring a preseason All-ACC and All-American kicker in Will Snyderwine. Blue Devil fans have almost become spoiled by Snyderwine’s reliability, and the improvements in punting and returns have been apparent in recent years. On Thursday, Duke solidified their special teams play for the future by securing a commitment from top placekicker Ross Martin, beating out an impressive list of programs. At 5’10″ and 185 pounds from Walsh Jesuit HS in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Martin earned 1st Team All-State honors as a junior, and was named the #2 kicker in the country by Chris Sailer and the #3 kicker in the country by Kohl’s. Needless to say, the Blue Devils’ coaching staff is thrilled to add another future special teams star to the Duke program. Duke fans can get a look at the Blue Devils’ future kicker:

Training Video Spring, 2011 (Filmed May 8, 2011)

Junior Season Game Highlight Video (Filmed Fall, 2010)

FAB 50 Camp FG Champion – University of Michigan (Filmed January 30, 2011)

BDN caught up with the newest Blue Devil shortly after his commitment.

 

BDN: How did you arrive at your decision to commit to Duke?

Pretty much, when my older brother was looking at schools, he visited Duke and I went with him, and that was about five years ago and that’s when I started falling in love with it. Since then, it’s always sort of been my dream school because of the combination of great, world-class academics and D1 ACC football.

BDN: Can you talk about your recent visit and your relationship with the Duke coaching staff?

I’ve been in contact with the kicking coach, Coach Zac Roper, for awhile now. He actually came up to my school to visit with my head coach and that’s the first time we met in person. We hit it off and he’s an outstanding kicking coach. He has a tremendous expertise of the kicking game and I’m definitely confident that he can get me to the next level. They asked me to come out to their summer camp, and I went out last Friday and kicked in the stadium for Coach Cutcliffe and a couple other coaches and that night they offered me, and then just yesterday I went back to campus to commit with my family.

BDN: Scouts obviously have said great things about your kicking ability; how would you describe your strengths in your own words?

Well, probably my biggest strength is my mental ability and focus, and also my accuracy and range for field goals. I’ve hit field goals as far out in practice as 65 yards. For kickoffs, last year I had an over 80% touchback percentage.

BDN: Obviously with your ability, some other schools have taken notice. Who are the other schools that you were in contact with and were considering before your commitment to Duke?

The other schools that had offered me were obviously Duke, and then Texas, Pitt, Rutgers, Iowa State, Kent State. And then from the Ivy League, Harvard, Cornell, Penn, Dartmouth, and Columbia. I’d also been taken to Northwestern, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Cal-Berkeley, too.

BDN: That’s definitely an impressive list, so congratulations and I’m sure Duke fans and coaches are excited to have you join the Blue Devil family.

Oh yeah, I’m definitely thrilled.

BDN: What are your plans for the rest of your summer as you head into your senior year?

Actually I’m heading out to California for Chris Sailer’s Top 12 camp, where he invites the top 12 kickers in the country to compete out there. I’m actually doing that next week. After that, it’s pretty much back to high school football, with summer lifting and practice coming up.

BDN: Well that’s a great honor and best of luck in California next week. Is there anything else you want Duke fans to know about you?

No, not really, other than I’m just extremely excited to start off there. I really felt at home out there, just getting to meet everyone.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Ross, and welcome to Duke.

Sounds good, thank you.

 

NFL stars Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks have been working out at Duke this week.

BDN’s Football Friday

NFL stars Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks have been working out at Duke this week.

Fear not, loyal fans, Football Friday returns! If you’ve been under a rock for the past week, please be sure to check out all of our great interviews and reports from the NBPA Top 100 Camp. BDN was on the scene as always and has the best content with Duke’s prospects in 2012 and beyond. After a week hiatus here at Football Friday, we have a lot to discuss this week, so…lesssgo.

Congratulations to Kyrie, Nolan, and Kyle

All of us at Blue Devil Nation wish the best to Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler, as they begin their NBA journey. To hear their names called last night was certainly a dream come true for each of them and their families. We’ll be pulling for them and we know they will continue to make Duke fans proud in all that they do.

NFL stars invade Duke Football Facilities

With the NFL lockout continuing to drag on, former Duke QB Thad Lewis has become a fixture around campus this summer, but the Duke players were in for a surprise this week as they hit the weight room and the practice field. New York Giants Super Bowl XLII MVP QB Eli Manning has been working out at Duke this week with his receivers, including former UNC star Hakeem Nicks. The NFL players’ presence created a buzz on campus and among the Duke players, generating some excitement around Duke Football during the dog days of summer. It’s a great testament to the investment Duke has made in their football facilities that NFL players are working out on campus. As the program continues to build, Duke’s presence in the NFL should continue to improve.

Duke solidified their special teams for the future with Thursday's commitment from Ross Martin

 

Nine in Class of 2012

Duke is up to nine verbal commitments in the class of 2012 with the addition of kicker Ross Martin and offensive linemen Casey Blaser and Tanner Stone in the past week. All three were on campus recently for Duke’s football camps and outworked the competition to earn scholarship offers. At 6’5” and 6’6”, Casey and Tanner have solid frames to grow into with some work in the weight room, and appear poised to help anchor the Blue Devil line in 2012 and beyond. Martin is ranked as one of the top placekickers in the country by kicking guru Chris Sailer, and will join 2011 punter Will Monday to solidify Duke’s special teams for years to come.

Camp All-Stars

Duke hosted hundreds of young football players over the past two weeks, all of whom were looking to make a name for themselves in the eyes of the Duke coaching staff. Overall, the competition was outstanding and the Duke staff was thrilled with the turnout from not only the class of 2012, but future classes as well. Several of the camp standouts are already members of the Duke class of 2012, validating the staff’s previous scouting and evaluation. Jacksonville stars Dwayne Norman and Erich Schneider were impressive at safety and tight end; both remain solid verbal commitments to the Blue Devils. Along the offensive line, the two newest Blue Devils, Blaser and Stone, were among the best blockers on the field. The two big linemen have great athletic ability, work ethic, and football mentality.

Three 2012 quarterbacks stood out among the dozens of signal-callers who attended the various Duke camps and the David Cutcliffe QB College. The Blue Devils first offered Miami’s Bilal Marshall back in January, and they remain impressed with his dual-threat ability, hoping he will choose to become an impact player for the Blue Devil program. Highly-coveted lefty Tyler Cameron also showed great dual-threat ability, while 6’5” sleeper Thomas Sirk simply blew the staff away with his arm, ultimately earning himself a scholarship offer from Coach Cutcliffe. At the other skill positions, two receivers from the class of 2013 also earned themselves early scholarship offers. Jacksonville’s Ahmad Fulwood, at 6’4,” seemed to haul in everything thrown his way, while Ohio’s Shelton Gibson showcased his tremendous speed. Charlotte’s Jela Duncan posted a blazing fast 40 time, and he remains at the top of Duke’s RB wish list, along with Tarboro star Todd Gurley and bruising SC back Dondre Brown.

Duke was the first to offer Tarboro RB Todd Gurley, and he remains their top target

 

Rubber, meet road

With Duke’s camps now complete and fall training camp still over a month away, the focus over the next several weeks will almost exclusively be on filling out the class of 2012. With the advent of the internet, everyone is now able to become a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to recruiting. But unlike basketball, where one recruit can truly make or break a class, it’s essential to see the big picture in football recruiting. Let’s try to take a look at the forest, instead of the trees.

The best place to start is probably with a rough sketch of the Duke 2012 roster, barring any early defections or injuries, to give us a sense of the Blue Devils’ scholarship situation, depth, and needs:

QB (4): Sean Renfree (R-Sr.), Sean Schroeder (R-Jr.), Brandon Connette (Jr.), Anthony Boone (R-So.)

RB (4): Patrick Kurunuwe (R-Sr.), Desmond Scott (Sr.), Josh Snead (Jr.), Juwan Thompson (Jr.)

WR (8): Conner Vernon (Sr.), Corey Gattis (R-Jr.), Tyree Watkins (R-Jr.), Brandon Braxton (Jr.), Jamison Crowder (?So.), Blair Holliday (R-Fr.), Nick Hill (R-Fr.), Max McCaffrey (Fr.)

TE (5): Jack Farrell (R-Jr.), Ryan Hall (R-Jr.), Braxton Deaver (R-So.), David Reeves (?So.), Erich Schneider (Fr.)

OT (5): Perry Simmons (R-Jr.), Takoby Cofield (R-So.), Marcus Aprahamian (R-Fr.), Casey Blaser (Fr.), Tanner Stone (Fr.)

OG (6): Dave Harding (R-Jr.), Joey Finison (R-Jr.), John Coleman (R-Jr.), Laken Tomlinson (R-So.), Lucas Patrick (R-Fr.), Cody Robinson (R-Fr.)

C (3): Brian Moore (R-Sr.), Conor Irwin (R-Sr.), Matt Skura (R-Fr.)

DE (10): Kenny Anunike (R-Sr.), Justin Foxx (R-Jr.), Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo (R-So.), Dezmond Johnson (R-So.), Nick Sink (R-So.), Jamal Wallace (R-So.), Sam Marshall (R-Fr.), Mario Sanders (R-Fr.), Allen Jackson (Fr.), Carlos Wray (Fr.)

DT (7): Curtis Hazelton (R-Sr.), Sydney Sarmiento (R-Jr.), Will Bryant (R-So.), Steven Ingram (R-So.), Jamal Bruce (R-So.), Lucas Fisher (R-Fr.), Carson Ginn (R-Fr.)

LB (9): Austin Gamble (Sr.), Kevin Rojas (R-Jr.), Kelby Brown (Jr.), C.J. France (R-So.), Kyler Brown (?So.), David Helton (?So.), Britton Grier (R-Fr.), Jon Woodruff (R-Fr.), Deion Williams (Fr.)

CB (8): Tony Foster (R-Sr.), Zach Greene (Sr.), Ross Cockrell (R-Jr.), Lex Butler (R-Jr.), Garrett Patterson (R-Jr.), Quan Stevenson (R-So.), Jared Boyd (?So.), Tim Burton (R-Fr.)

SAF (8): Jordon Byas (R-Sr.), Walt Canty (Sr.), Taylor Sowell (R-Jr.), August Campbell (R-Jr.), Anthony Young-Wiseman (R-Jr.), Issac Blakeney (R-So.), Chris Tavarez (R-Fr.), Dwayne Norman (Fr.)

K (2): Paul Asack (R-Sr.), Ross Martin (Fr.)

P (1): Will Monday (So.)

WR Drae Bowles could become a program-changer for the Blue Devils, on and off the field

With only a handful of scholarships remaining (if my math is right, please don’t check me), Duke has a glaring need at RB, where they will only have four scholarship players and no underclassmen. The expectation is that Duke will look to add at least one, but probably two running back prospects with their remaining scholarships. We also think that the staff would love to add a top QB to follow behind Boone, with Bilal Marshall and Thomas Sirk at the top of the list. At receiver, Duke could look to add someone alongside McCaffrey, and Drae Bowles is the number one priority; those around the program call the highly-coveted Bowles a potential program-changing recruit for the Blue Devils.

Duke probably needs to add another tight end in 2012 to join Erich Schneider, and the top two targets are currently Dan Beilinson and Ryan Morris. Elsewhere along the offensive line, Duke has a great amount of depth, which will allow Blaser and Stone to develop during their first years in Durham. There could be room for at least one more lineman in this class, and Duke remains hopeful that Alex Kozan or Andrew Jelks (who will not be announcing his decision soon, contrary to reports) will make their pledge to the Blue Devils.

Defensively, Duke has to be thrilled with the first three members of the class of 2012; both Wray and Jackson should develop into top ACC pass-rushing ends, and Norman is the prototypical hard-hitting safety the coaching staff loves. The biggest remaining need defensively is probably at defensive tackle, where Duke would love to add a potential program-changer in Korren Kirven (although another option could be to move Wray to DT and add an elite DE). A top prospect like Keilin Rayner or Jeremiah Allison to join under-the-radar commit Deion Williams would solidify the linebacking corps, and there’s room for at least one more defensive back at corner or safety.

With the graduation of pre-season All-ACC and All-American selection Will Snyderwine, there will be big shoes to fill at placekicker, and Duke hopes that Ross Martin, one of the top five kickers in the country, will be up to the task. Alongside Will Monday, Martin should carry the Duke kicking game for the next several years.

Give us back the Victory Bell, cheaters

 

Closing thoughts

With so many moving pieces, it’s hard to keep a finger on the pulse of football recruiting, and even harder to objectively evaluate individual commitments. Duke has done a nice job so far of adding solid athletes at positions of need (DE, SAF), while also bringing in a few prospects with high potential at positions of depth (OL, WR). Scholarships remain available for potential program-changers like Drae Bowles or Korren Kirven, and the best way to secure those commitments will be to win games this fall.

Well, that was quite the whirlwind of name-dropping. If we still haven’t satisfied your craving for Duke football, be sure to check out our recent previews featured on College Football Zealots and BC Interruption. And of course follow us on Twitter for up to the minute updates on Duke Football recruiting and team news. We’re on Facebook, too, by the way. And if you clicked on all the links in this article and are wondering why you can’t read the interviews, then it’s time for you to join BDN Premium. If you want to discuss Duke Football, correct my earlier math, or simply just want to become the most well-informed Duke fan on the planet, then you should also join BDN Premium. And current members, be sure to check out our new-look Football Message Boards today.

I guess that’s it for this week. Seriously? You were going to let me get away with that? Yeah, something kind of big happened in Chapel Hill this week. But see, there isn’t much to say, really, the NCAA took care of that for me. And so did Stewart Mandel. And Brett McMurphy. Good luck with all that, Butch. And give us back the Victory Bell.

Until next week, WE ARE DUKE.

This is a sample of the weekly Duke Football updates you’ll have access to as a BDN Premium member.  Join today and get inside access to happenings around the athletic programs where you’ll have a front row seat on the recruiting front.