Category Archives: Duke Football

Cutcliffe talks kicking game, James Madison and the latest scrimmage

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On yesterday's scrimmage - We did a little game work in yesterday.  We had to put that together and make it all work.  We followed up today with some walk thru's and corrections and an on the field scouting report continuing with James Madison.

We scrimmaged yesterday and we didn't tackle to the ground.  We couldn't afford to lose anymore running backs.  We got exactly what we wanted out of it ... great looks defensively at what the James Madison offense is suppose to look like.  Our number two units ran the James Madison offense.  We saw some things in there that give us problems, we saw some things in there we really liked. (Coach asked his team to stay late last evening and study tape).

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Lewis and Paulus are selfless leaders who are enjoying the Duke experience

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It's always nice when Duke Student Athletes support one another.  Just ask Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis who recently told BDN, "When you sign on the dotted line to attend Duke University you are embracing a family whether you are a student or student athlete."

He went onto say, "I want them (athletes) to support me, so I go out and support them."  Lewis could be seen at the Coach K Academy this summer checking out all of the former Duke players while stopping to talk to a couple of current players like Greg Paulus.  "I wish I could get out there on the court," said Lewis during that event.  He went on to say he played basketball in high school.

Almost all athletes at Duke played multiple sports at one time.  The aforementioned Paulus was one of the top rated quarterbacks in the nation out of high school.  In a twist of irony, Paulus could be found at a recent football practice peering on much like Lewis did in Cameron, wondering what if.

Lewis and Paulus are two perfect examples of the kind of special athlete Duke produces both on and off the court or field respectively.  Both could be seen at various Duke sporting events last year and both are willing to put in the work for their university of choice.

I mean, talk about being selfless!  Lewis could be field on the field handing out water to prospects during the Duke Football Camps.  Paulus could be found  atop the hill in the new practice facility waiting to give attendees to the Coach K Academy rides to and from their motel.  Just take a second and imagine Lewis handing you a gatorade and Paulus saying "where to," as his van loads.

"Greg Paulus is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.  He'll do anything for his school," said recently retired Frank Dascenzo of the Herald Sun while the two of us sat in the new practice facility during the K Academy.

Lewis also supported the basketball Blue Devils at the recent SJC Pro Am event at NC Central University.  It's kind of nice when Singler, Williams or Smith can look up and see Duke's starting quaterback in the stands.

There is one bond that ties the two together besides being the engine to their respective teams.  That being each one is throughly enjoying their Duke experience.  "Duke is somewhere you can be comfortable at.  It's somewhere where you want to be and it's somewhere where they want you," said Lewis.  He went on, "It's family oriented around here and I'm enjoying every mintue of every day.

So, if you happen upon Paulus or Lewis around campus or in any environment, you will see two Duke student athletes who strive to not only give their best, but to support one another.  Perhaps more importantly, they are enjoying their Duke experience.[/private]

OL David Harding commits to Duke – Today’s Scrimmage Report

[private]The Duke Blue Devils continued their early assault on the class of 2009 getting a commitment from David Harding a 6-4, 280 pound offensive lineman.  Harding plays tackle for Boone High School in Orlando, Florida.

The Devils beat out Florida State, Vanderbilt and many others including South Carolina.  There were unfounded rumors that Harding would commit to the Gamecocks this weekend floating around the Internet.

Harding's decision gives the Blue Devils a total 22 commitments under first year Coach David Cutcliffe.  It's quite obvious that many prospects can clearly see the direction in which the program aspires to go.  Harding was on campus to take in the "Meet the Devils," festivities and the scrimmage.  Duke has very much turned their attention to the class of 2010, but still has a few spots to fill in the 2009 class.

It's been a long time since Duke has committed so many prospects before their first snap in the coming season.  The staff has been quite active on the recruiting front and it's clearly the "Dawn of a New Day," which is the slogan on this seasons team poster.

Pictured - David Harding (center) checked out the Duke scrimmage with other prospects this past weekend

Today's Sctimmage Report from GoDuke.com -

DURHAM, N.C. -- Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed nine-of-11 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown and added another score on the ground to highlight Duke's 50-play controlled scrimmage on Tuesday afternoon at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Lewis hooked up with Sheldon Bell for a 33-yard scoring strike to go along with his four-yard touchdown scamper.  Tony Jackson paced the ground attack with 10 carries for 68 yards and one touchdown while Jay Hollingsworth scored on a three-yard run.

“The big thing was to try and create some game management situations,” said head coach David Cutcliffe. “We came out and divided our squad up and had our starting units together. We put them down 10 points midway through the third quarter and tried to play a game from then on. Fortunately, we came back and won by 21. We were productive, but the biggest thing I wanted to accomplish was not to get anybody hurt so we did not tackle live.

“What I was interested in seeing was our execution,” continued Cutcliffe. “I thought our offense executed very well and knew what to do. They threw and caught the ball well. Defensively, we worked exclusively towards James Madison. We got a really good jump start on that. We have been working off and on with that style of offense a lot. I think we learned a couple of things which was good for us. It also gives you a chance to look at your young players on the other team and some of those guys stepped up.”

Bell had three receptions for 53 yards while Johnny Williams added three grabs for 50 yards.

The Blue Devils open the season on August 30 at home versus James Madison.  Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. and tickets may be purchased at www.GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 877-375-DUKE.[/private]

“Meet the Devils” Photo Gallery

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The Blue Devil Nation strives to bring the best coverage available for Duke Football and Basketball.  Here is another photo gallery which features the festivities of the Meet the Blue Devils Day (be sure to click Meet the Blue Devils to view the gallery) where fans gathered for autographs from players and coaches.  Among the pictures are Coach Cutcliffe's SEC Western Division Champions ring and a more personal look at the new staff.

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BDN’s Football Scrimmage Gallery

[private]Here is a photo gallery from yesterday's football scrimmage - (View Gallery by going to this LINK and hitting slideshow, just below the picture). Check back for pictures from the "Meet the Blue Devils" event.  We will also have Coach Cutcliffe's comments after the game with a general recap of the days action.  BDN is the place for football coverage, so be sure to check back for almost daily reports leading into the season.

True freshman Jay Hollingsworth celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Thaddeus Lewis in the picture to your left.

The pictures in this gallery are set at low resolution.  All pictures on this site are property of BDN and cannot be reprinted without prior permission.[/private]