CB Evrett Edwards took his official visit this weekend and will enroll with Quay Mann and Parker Boehme in January.

Virginia CB Evrett Edwards commits to Duke

CB Evrett Edwards is the type of star student-athlete Coach Cutcliffe wants at Duke

Head Coach David Cutcliffe and the Duke coaching staff received their 3rd verbal commitment in the class of 2013 on Wednesday from Virginia CB Evrett Edwards. Edwards is a 5’11″ 175 pound cornerback prospect from Woodbridge HS in Woodbridge, VA. Though he didn’t start playing football until 8th grade, Edwards was a quick study, learning from his uncle, Benny Guilbeaux, a former safety at Notre Dame. By his junior year in 2011, Edwards earned 1st Team All-District honors, totaling 38 tackles, 6 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 blocked field goals, and 1 blocked punt. The speedy prospect has seen his recruitment take off in recent weeks, and he chose the Blue Devils over scholarship offers from Boston College, Illinois, Ohio, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. He picked up his Duke scholarship offer on a March 17th visit to Durham and caught up with BDN shortly afterwards. He updated BDN today on his decision to commit to Duke.

 

BDN: Can you tell us about the decision you made today?

I called Coach Cutcliffe around 2:30 and told him I wanted to be a Blue Devil and I wanted to play for him after I finish high school.

BDN: What did Coach Cutcliffe have to say to you?

We were both very excited. He was proud. He was glad that I called him first, he was very glad about that. He let my position coach and my recruiting coach know.

BDN: I know that your family was involved in your decision; are they excited for you as well?

Yes, very much so!

BDN: What was it that ultimately led to your decision to commit to Duke today?

The fact that – the relationships there. I did my research on the school, I didn’t do what most players do and look at uniforms and what not, I looked at the endowment, what I can do for the school and what the school can do for me, and I really liked that. And just the relationships – the conversation that I had with Coach Cutcliffe, it was very big in my decision.

BDN: I’m sure Duke fans will be excited to hear from you; is there anything you want to let them know?

Go Duke!

BDN: Alright, thanks a lot Evrett and congratulations!

Thank you!

New Ryan Kelly

Ryan Kelly has successful surgery

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke junior Ryan Kelly will be sideline for 6-8 weeks following surgery to repair damage in his right foot. Kelly, a Raleigh, N.C., native, suffered the injury in practice on Tuesday, March 6 and missed Duke’s ACC and NCAA Tournament games. The surgery was successfully performed Tuesday at the Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center by Dr. James Nunley.

Kelly, a 2011 Academic All-ACC selection, averaged 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while playing in 31 contests (19 starts). He missed the final three games of the season due to the injury. Kelly scored in double-figures 18 times on the year with a career-high 23 points in a 79-71 win over Wake Forest on Feb. 28. He shot 40.8 percent (40-of-98) from three-point range and 80.7 percent (113-of-140).

Photo copyright Alamo Sports Photography

Duke first to offer Texas OL Sterling Korona

Duke is the first to offer Texas OL Sterling Korona - Photo copyright Alamo Sports Photography

Are the Blue Devils building a pipeline of offensive linemen from Texas? Last year, the Blue Devils signed an athletic offensive line prospect from the state of Texas in 6’6″ 255 pound Tanner Stone. Over this past weekend, Duke added another big Texan in 6’4″ 295 pound Austin Davis. Offensive Line Coach Latina is hoping to keep the pipeline flowing and add another top prospect from the state in 6’7″ 250 pound Sterling Korona from Reagan High School in San Antonio. The hard-working offensive line prospect is receiving plenty of interest from Big 12 schools, but recently picked up his first scholarship offer from the Blue Devils. BDN checked in with Sterling to find out more about his recruitment. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

In terms of my strength, I think some of my biggest strengths are that I’m very technical with everything I do. Everything is technique, technique, technique. The better technique you have, the better it works out for your strengths and weaknesses, it comes with the technique, as long as you have better technique, it strengthens everything. In terms of what I want to bring to the college level, I think I can bring my work ethic, I pride myself on it. I think with work ethic, everything can be gained through work ethic as long as you keep working and keep getting stronger, everything will get better with time and if you keep working at it, you’ll be in good shape.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

My biggest things are gaining weight, getting stronger and faster. Improving the bond between my teammates and me, just working on getting a strong bond and a strong team together, hoping to make a bigger run than we did last year. My biggest things that I’m working on now are just my strength, my quickness, and my overall size and mass.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

Well, it all comes first with education. The better the education, the more I’m inclined to look into a school as someplace I want to go. And then obviously, great with football. Some of the biggest things are like when I’ve talked with Coach Roper, he’s been very helpful with me, he’s been a great guy, he’s always willing to answer any questions I have and help me with anything I need. Having a great support system around, it just really helps you.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and interest from schools now?

I have received interest from Texas State, [Texas] A&M, Texas Tech, UTSA, Houston, Kansas State Illinois, Yale, Princeton, basically that’s some of them. Duke has offered me and others have been talking about it and others have been implying it. But mostly Duke has told me that they’ve offered me and they want to get me up there. With some other schools it’s the same, but mostly Duke is the biggest of all of them right now.

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

I’ve visited Texas Tech and [Texas] A&M. I’m going to visit UTSA, Houston in a few days, probably Kansas State and some other Big 12 schools, but those are just a few.

BDN: You’re obviously in the heart of Big 12 country in Texas. How much of a factor will location be when you make your decision?

Well, we’ve always been very family-oriented, but if the opportunity presents itself and the scholarship is there and the academics is there and the athletics is there, I’ll be inclined to go wherever I feel I have the best opportunity.

BDN: It’s still early in the process, but are there any schools that have stood out to you at this point, or do you have a rough ranking in your head?

I think Duke has to be number one at this point. I’d probably put Houston next, followed by Texas Tech and Texas A&M and then UTSA.

BDN: Do you have a timeline in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

Well, to me I think it would probably be better for me to visit with people, see all the sides from people in my family and stuff like that, probably would be better for me to wait closer to Signing Day to bring all the facts and all the situations together and then make the best decision.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Sterling, and best of luck.

Thank you.

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Sterling’s highlights can be viewed here.

CB Evrett Edwards took his official visit this weekend and will enroll with Quay Mann and Parker Boehme in January.

Woodbridge (VA) DB Evrett Edwards picks up an offer on his visit to Duke

DB Evrett Edwards is the type of star student-athlete Coach Cutcliffe wants at Duke

During Coach Cutcliffe’s revitalization of Duke football, he has maintained the program’s reputation for featuring the top student-athletes in the ACC. A year ago, the program led the ACC with 19 Academic All-Conference selections, more than three times any other ACC program. The goal is to match that success in the classroom with the results on the field, and ultimately, that effort starts on the recruiting trail. This weekend, Coach Cutcliffe extended a scholarship offer to a top student-athlete from Virginia, who he hopes can help the Blue Devils continue to build their success both in the classroom and on the field.

Evrett Edwards is a 5’11” 175 pound cornerback prospect from Woodbridge HS in Woodbridge, VA. Though he didn’t start playing football until 8th grade, Edwards was a quick study, learning from his uncle, Benny Guilbeaux, a former safety at Notre Dame. By his junior year in 2011, Edwards earned 1st Team All-District honors, totaling 38 tackles, 6 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 blocked field goals, and 1 blocked punt. The speedy prospect has seen his recruitment take off in recent weeks, and he now holds 6 scholarship offers from Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Ohio, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. BDN caught up with Evrett shortly after his unofficial visit to Duke on March 17. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

My understanding for the game. I’ve been told that I have a very high football IQ. I use that to my advantage. I study a lot of film, I study so much film to the point where I know if they run a certain play, I know what their whole drive will consist of. My footwork, I play soccer, so at my position footwork is a big deal. My quickness and my speed, I run a 4.42 [second] 40 [yard dash] and 3.91 [second] 20-yard shuttle.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

First of all, better myself. Second of all, better the people around me, and through that, obtain a state championship.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

I’m looking for a school that will last with me for 40 years. I understand that football is going to be finished at some point, and whenever football is done with me and I’m done with football, I need a degree from a school that is going to mean something in the business world. So, a 40-year, not a 4-year school.

BDN: Is business something you want to study in college?

International Business.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and visits now?

I have 6 offers, most recent came from Duke yesterday. Earlier this week, on Tuesday, I got one from Wake Forest. On Friday, last week, was West Virginia. Thursday last week was Boston College and Wednesday last week was Ohio. Two or three weeks ago, my first offer came from Illinois.

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

I’ve visited Duke and UVA thus far. I’m really trying to plan a visit to West Virginia and then April 13th I’m going to Northwestern, they’re interested and talking about a possible offer. On the 14th I’m going to the University of Illinois.

BDN: Can you talk a little bit about your visits to UVA and Duke and what stood out to you about those schools?

Virginia, I talked to Coach Poindexter and he invited me to their Junior Day so we went down and visited, sat down and went over some film with Coach West, nothing serious. Duke, I’ve been in contact with Coach Roper for quite some time now, I went to spring practice, liked what I saw, had a chance to see the position coaches, watched film with them in a meeting, and then at the end of the day, Coach Cutcliffe called me into his office along with my parents. He told me he wanted to extend me an offer and thought that I would be a perfect fit for this school with my upbringing from my parents and how it’s hard to find true student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the field, and he really liked that about me.

BDN: Do you have a timeline in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

I had been saying November/December, but now, after the way things have been going the past couple of weeks, I really don’t have a timeframe. I’ve prayed about it with my parents and when I get that feeling, I’m going to make the phone call and drive or fly to whatever school and talk to the coach.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Evrett, and best of luck.

Alright, thank you.

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Peter-Kalambayi-3-12-12

ESPNU150 Watch List LB Peter Kalambayi recaps recent visit to Duke

Butler HS LB Peter Kalambayi registered 80 tackles and 6 sacks as a junior

Duke Assistant Coach Jim Collins is quietly building a tradition of quality linebackers in Durham. The Blue Devil linebacker alumni are headlined by recent standouts such as Mike Tauiliili (All-ACC), Vincent Rey of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Abraham Kromah of the CFL. Over the past two seasons, the Blue Devil linebackers have been led by standout freshmen in Freshman All-American Kelby Brown in 2010 and All-ACC Academic selection David Helton in 2011. With the recent signing day addition of talented in-state LB Keilin Rayner, the Blue Devils hope that trend will continue in 2012 and beyond. In the class of 2013, one elite LB has quickly risen to the top of Duke’s wish list. Peter Kalambayi is a 6’2″ 230 pound prospect from Butler High School in Matthews, NC. A member of the ESPNU150 Watch List, Kalambayi has already amassed over 20 scholarship offers. With 80 tackles and 6 sacks as a junior, Kalambayi has established himself as one of the top players in the class of 2013 in the state, and with a 4.3 GPA, he’s also the star student that could excel in Durham. BDN caught up with the elite student-athlete after his visit to Duke for the UNC basketball game on March 4. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

I have really good speed and pass-rushing ability.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

My hands and my quickness, overall quickness.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

A school with a consistently good football program and a great academic school as well.

BDN: Do you have any ideas for what you might want to study in college?

No, not yet.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and which schools are you hearing from the most?

I think I have 21 [offers]. Clemson, UNC, Stanford, Duke, UVA, they’re recruiting me pretty hard right now.

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

Duke, UNC, and UVA.

BDN: What stood out to you on your visits to those schools?

All 3 are good schools. UVA, I only went once. UNC, I went multiple times. Duke, I went multiple times. They’re all just great schools. Duke’s football program is developing, but UVA and UNC have great football programs and I like them all.

BDN: Are there any coaches you have started to develop a close relationship with?

Coach Brown from UVA, Coach Brewer from UNC, and Coach Cutcliffe from Duke.

BDN: Are there any other schools you plan to visit or would like to hear from?

I have no plans, but I want to visit Clemson and Stanford sometime before next year.

BDN: Do you have a timeline in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

Probably after football season. I don’t know, I guess I’ll start narrowing it down before my season.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Peter, and best of luck.

Thanks.

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It was a tough way for Miles Plumlee to end his career - LK Photo

Time to pull yourself up by your boot straps

It was a tough way for Miles Plumlee to end his career - LK Photo

Goliath can rumble around his landscape and defeat a lot of foes along the way but once in a blue moon David will come along and take careful aim with his rock and slay the giant. 

In a sense that’s what happened last evening when a not so well known Lehigh team knocked off the traditional power in an upset heard round the world.

Even late this afternoon, ESPN.com is still running the upset as it’s top headline and poor Blue Devil followers have to turn on CBS and hear the likes of UNC alumnus Kenny Smith gloating in public despite the fact that media is supposed to act in an objective manner. 

That’s the way it is when your team is coached by the winningest coach in NCAA history and a program that has set the standard or model of sustained excellence.

It will not get any easier for the Blue Devil Nation be it the team or fans for the haters and there are many, will take shot after shot at the supposed demise of Duke.

Make no mistake, this Blue Devils team should not have lost to a 15 seed in a Greensboro Coliseum that has been akin to Cameron West in the past several years. 

Many of those 10 of 14 ACC Tournament Championships happened in the facility and the Blue Devils seemed poised to face Xavier tomorrow but every now and then the basketball God throws you a curve ball and the pitch was a nasty one in this case leaving the Blue Devil locker room in disbelief.

This years team has been a victim of lofty expectations despite the loss of Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler and there was really no way they could have achieved a lot more than they did.

This team never really developed that one true leader and that’s something which is a must but some players personalities just don’t fit the mold.

The Blue Devils hid a lot of weaknesses all season long and for the most part had a great season, finishing a game out of the regular season title and having won against a loaded field in Hawaii.

In the end, somehow, someway, the offense sputtered in a miserable fashion and an improved defense simply could not stay in the lane of victory while it was further developed with the loss of Ryan Kelly.

There were times in the loss to Lehigh where it seemed like the opposition was playing the vaunted man to man defense has played a part in so many wins at Duke and that was disturbing.

But one cannot take away a thing from Lehigh for they put it all out there for 40 minutes and played in a consistent and edgy manner the whole game and quite frankly, they did what it took to win by making huge players when they were needed.

Like the Florida State loss in the ACC Tournament, Duke just could not find a stop when they most needed one and the vision of a Mountain Hawk breaking down court for a dunk still haunts many.

But it is in a bitter defeat that some players find themselves and you have to experience the pain of a loss in basketball to enjoy the victories.

In recent years the Duke fan base has become spoiled beyond belief, demanding perfection and expectations come with the turf, but those same fans need to on occasion take a loss in in order to get hungry again and realize victories are not a given.

It tickles me how some feel sorry for themselves and lash out on message boards questioning everything from what  flavor Gatorade was the team drinking to some really out there conspiracy theories.

Yep!  A loss for Duke is a big deal and there is simply no short cut to deal with the pain but some average perspective should allow the fan base and the program to absorb this loss.

It’s a sunny day in Durham on the outside, but there is a lot of clouds in the minds of many and sometimes, it’s just the way it goes.

But Duke Basketball is alive and well and they’ll be  heard from again. And maybe in next years tournament they’ll be the one doing the heart breaking.

A friend once told me there are times when you simply need to pull yourself up by the boot straps and man or woman up.  This is one of those times when the entire Blue Devil Nation should consider following sound advice.

The joy of Duke Basketball hasn’t gone away forever, just for a few dreary days.