City of Palms, Jabari Parker, Recruiting is Hot!

276487_249024271815605_690735912_nIt's that hot time of the season again for Duke basketball recruiting, and Blue Devil Nation will be in the thick of things to bring our paying members all the latest from the trail. BDN Premium is our extended subscription service, which features a private message board and hands-on coverage of the basketball and football programs, both the recruiting and the actual team beat itself. To bring you timely and accurate inside information, we believe one has to be there, right in the middle of the action.  And we are.

Starting today, members will be treated to updates as they happen from the City of Palms Basketball Tournament, which is loaded with the nation's top prospects, including Jahlil Okafor, a center that Duke is very interested in. Okafor is a Chicago native, as is another name that is on the tip of everybodys tongue, Jabari Parker. The multi-talented forward from Simeon High will make his collegiate decision tomorrow afternoon, and there is more than a little buzz surrounding his commitment.  Members can get BDN's collective thoughts on the matter. And our opinions should count for something, for as a BDN Team we've had numerous interviews with Parker (which you can see in our archives) and more in-person opportunities to watch him play than we can count. With the holiday season coming up, give the gift of BDN Premium or just give it to yourself and join a site that will give you one of the most Duke-centric experiences you can get.

Our football recruiting and team coverage is second to none.  It's the best kept secret out there thanks to the dedication of our staff.  Our basketball coverage speaks for itself.

But no worries if you just want to visit Blue Devil Nation, for we will always have free offerings which include game previews and rapid reactions to all of the games we attend.

It's an exciting time to be a Blue Devil fan, and we love what we do. Our staff of Patrick Cacchio, Andrew Slater, Tom Rubinson, Bob Green, Varand Khachadouri, Travis Boyd and our awesome team of moderators in Brad Jenks, Jay Dennis and Terry Rains, and of course our Admin, Susan Rego, all invite you to become a member today.  And to lighten the load on you, we are offering a 20% discount across the board on all memberships, be they monthly or yearly, which is by far the best value.  Once you have joined, we'll send you  the 20% discount back through Paypal.  So if you join for one year at $100.00, as soon as your Paypal payment clears, we'll send you 20 bucks back.  It adds up to just a few cents a day to unlock full site access and to stay informed on everything involving the Blue Devils.  See you on the inside!

A Selfless Act of Kindness from Duke WR Desmond Scott

1DURHAM, N.C. - One of the things which has impressed me as a media member since Duke Coach David Cutcliffe has been at the helm of the football program is the fact that his players have character.  No, this is not a statement from homer media, but something grounded with actual facts.  There have been many instances where Duke football players have been active in the Durham community and beyond.  Last season several offensive linemen went to Africa to help some in need.  And the list goes on.

The latest act of goodwill is from Desmond Scott.  The senior wideout is a player of high character and conducts himself during interviews the same way he lives his life, with high standards, always thinking first of others.  While Scott is not afraid to joke or be light with teammates as you will see in the video chat I had with him below, he knows when to get serious too.

I had spoken with Coach Cutcliffe on several occasions in the past about Scott and his selflessness.  Here was a player who had played running back at Durham Hillside, just down to road from Duke University, as well as in his first three years at the college level.  But in the pre-season, Duke suddenly was devoid of depth at the wideout position following the unfortunate accident involving Blair Holliday.   Scott willingly changed positions.

That position change from running back to wideout allowed Cutcliffe to get his best players on the field, something he referenced again today.  But I also learned of Scott and his latest selfless act today as well.  Players participating in bowls are allowed $550.00 in benefits, and Duke players -- who will face Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte -- have that luxury available to them.

Belk allows the players from both teams to enjoy a $550.00 shopping spree at their anchor Belk store in Charlotte, but Scott told Blue Devil Nation today that he would not be shopping for himself.  And he would not be shopping for parents or family members either.  Instead, as his family has no pressing needs, Scott decided that he will shop for others, so that he could share his gift with someone less fortunate during the holiday season.  Pretty nice, huh?  See for yourself what Desmond Scott had to say in our latest BDN Video offering, and know that Duke football players are truly young men you can be proud of.

Austin Davis recaps his official visit to Durham

Mansfield OL Austin Davis is ready to start his Duke career.

The Blue Devils hosted a number of official visitors last weekend, including several impressive offensive linemen. Among those was 6'4" 300 pound commit Austin Davis from Mansfield, Texas. Davis committed to the Blue Devils back in March of this year, and has seen the Duke program reach its first bowl appearance since 1995. The big lineman caught up with BDN shortly after his visit to Durham. [private]

How was your official visit overall?

It was an amazing weekend. The staff put it on great. It was very well organized. It was great. It was awesome seeing most of the people I’m going to go to school with and are a part of Duke. To see everyone, all the restaurants they took us and the food - it was all great.

Can you talk a little about who you were able to hang out with and who your host was?

Yes. I hung out with mostly the offensive linemen. I was able to meet Gabe Brandner and Sterling Korona for the first time and they’re great guys. I really thought it was great that we could hang out together, the chemistry is great. Our hosts were Matt Skura, Lucas Patrick, Tanner Stone and Dave Harding. They’re just great guys. They’re really just so easy to be around, seeing how great they are and they’re sincerely glad that I’m going to be part of the program. This whole weekend just makes me ready for college. I also got to meet Parker Boehme, he is going to be the quarterback in our class. It was great just seeing him this weekend on campus. I met Jake Kite. I met T.J. and Johnell. I met Joseph Ajeigbe and I got to meet Quay Mann. I got to meet a lot of commits. I think I met 10 or 11 of them. There were a few guys who weren’t there.

How did your conversations with the coaches go?

They were good. It couldn’t have been a better weekend. The coaches and the staff, they put on a great show from the beginning. We also got to watch some practice. Of course, that was awesome because there’s the first time we go to a bowl game in awhile and it was awesome being a part of it and seeing everything. It’s awesome to know that the classes above us, have set the bar and that we have something to work for now and we have a goal, we all have a  common goal that’s decisive, that’s a cut above. Now, we’re on the map. The classes above us really put Duke football on the map, so it really prepared us.

What was it like to watch the team practice?

Oh, the practices, I love it. It’s like I said earlier, everything they did this weekend was perfectly organized. They scheduled everything. Their practices are perfectly organized. It’s efficient. Everything is efficient. It’s cool to see how they do it officially and that’s great. That’s one thing I wanted. I got to talk to Coach Latina and he really talked football with us, talked to players, we learned a lot of plays, which is great. Then he was talking a lot about what I need to work on to get better, things like my weight and size, things that I need to work for us. A lot of goals. I watched them do some drills. I can do some drills on my own so that I can come up and try to practice hard, so I’ll be ready.

Now that you've had some time to reflect on it, how would you assess your senior season?

I thought I played very well. I thought I gave it my all on the field and my best. I know my team, we’re all together. We went two rounds into the play-offs and we’re hoping to do more always. Always shooting for our goals and we didn’t reach our goals, so it was kind of sad that it’s all over but I enjoyed my senior year, my team. I love those guys. It was great; we gave it our all. We ended our senior year on a good note. We made it to play-offs and that was a goal. It’s sad that it’s over but as one door closes another one opens and that obviously is Duke football.

Congratulations on a great career and I can tell you're excited to start your college career.

Yes I am. I’m very excited about Duke football and this weekend just reassures me that I made the best choice in my life. I can't wait.