Football season is coming and fast as evidenced by the fact that the ACC media will gather in Charlotte this week to discuss the 2017 campaign.
Duke hopes to get back to a bowl game again this season and to doing so while possible will be difficult in a tough conference. The Blue Devils return 12 starters from a season ago and will be a young team at several key positions.
The Blue Devils had been to four consecutive bowl games before that streak was broken a season ago. Duke is expected to be picked 6th in their division once votes are cast but their fortunes could be better in the Coastal race.
Here are a few pre season notes and information heading into Media Day for the Blue Devils.
Daniel Jones had a break out season after replacing the departed and formerly injured Thomas Sirk at the start of last season. Jones was thrown directly into the fire and after a slow start showed immense promise moving forward. Jones will take his first snaps this season with much more experience.
The wideouts pretty much return intact and there is more depth at this position than in years past. Duke has experience at Tight end to go with talented newcomers as well.
The offensive line should come together at least where the starters are concerned.
The Linebackers are solid with depth in the two-man starter scheme.
Coaching should be better as many on the staff had a season to get their feet wet in competition after a year that featured major change.
While the offense returns a lot of players on paper, the unit has to score no less than 7 more points from a season ago to compete.
The defensive front will build depth as it goes and is very young.
The defensive backfield is young as well and will break in new starters. Having a young unproven front and back is not an ideal situation.
The kicking game was abysmal a season ago. There are some newcomers hoping to help, but the team must find a kicker that can knock down a 40 yard and in FG on a moderately consistent basis.
As far as freshman who are most likely to start during the season we'll tab WR Scott Bracey Jr. on the offensive side of the ball. A redshirt freshman has the skill set to compete early on for a starters spot. On defense, look for true freshman DE to possibly start from day one or after a few games into the season.
Duke will also need to build running back depth quickly with two freshman high on the depth chart behind senior Shawn Wilson.
Duke will send QB Daniel Jones and DB Byron Fields to ACC media day as team representatives this Friday.
Duke opens the 2017 season with three consecutive home games before travelling to North Carolina for an early season ACC opener with its arch rival.
DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White announced on Monday the school and head football coach David Cutcliffe have agreed to a contract extension through June 30, 2021.
“Simply put, Duke University is terribly honored and very proud to have one of the truly pinnacle football coaches in the country leading the Blue Devil program into the next decade,” said White. “To be sure, what Coach Cutcliffe has accomplished over nine seasons at Duke is nothing short of extraordinary! With David’s innovation, vision, passion, not to mention well-seasoned expertise, our student-athletes will continue to enjoy, both academically and athletically, the very best – actually the ‘gold standard’ – experience within the broader enterprise that is college football.”
Hired on December 15, 2007, Cutcliffe has directed the Blue Devils to 52 wins over nine seasons – 42 more victories than the program’s cumulative total for the previous eight years (2000-07). He has twice earned ACC Coach of the Year honors (2012 & 2013), and was the National Coach of the Year choice by five major outlets following the 2013 campaign when Duke won a school single-season record 10 games, captured the ACC’s Coastal Division championship and appeared in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Prior to Cutcliffe’s arrival, Duke had played in eight total bowl games and never appeared in postseason contests in consecutive seasons. In succession from 2012-15, the Cutcliffe-led Blue Devils participated in four straight bowl games. A 44-41 overtime triumph over Indiana in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on December 26, 2015, provided the school’s first bowl victory since a 7-6 decision over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl on January 2, 1961.
Off the field, Cutcliffe’s nine-year tenure at Duke has produced ACC-leading totals for Academic All-ACC selections (67), National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award recipients (4), AFCA Good Works Team honorees (7), ACC Jim Tatum Award choices (4) and Academic All-America picks (5). In addition, Duke secured the AFCA’s annual Academic Achievement Award in both 2014 and 2015 to push its nation’s-best total to 14.
Cutcliffe is a native of Birmingham, Ala., 1976 graduate of the University of Alabama and 2016 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame inductee. After coaching at his alma mater, Banks High School, he served 19 seasons (1982-98; 2006-07) on the staff at Tennessee and six years (1999-04) as the head coach at Ole Miss. Cutcliffe has participated in 26 bowl games (1982 Peach, 1983 Florida Citrus, 1984 Sun, 1986 Sugar, 1986 Liberty, 1988 Peach, 1990 Cotton, 1991 Sugar, 1992 Fiesta, 1993 Hall of Fame, 1994 Florida Citrus, 1994 Gator, 1996 Florida Citrus, 1997 Florida Citrus, 1998 Orange, 1998 Independence, 1999 Independence, 2000 Music City, 2002 Independence, 2004 Cotton, 2007 Outback, 2008 Outback, 2012 Belk, 2013 Chick-fil-A, 2014 Hyundai Sun and 2015 New Era Pinstripe), and owns a 5-4 record in bowl contests as a head coach.
Good recruiting is the lifeblood of any athletic program. Duke Football continues to get verbal commitments from some of the nation's top players under David Cutcliffe. Once again, the Blue Devils are off to a fast start with concern to the Class of 2018 where they have six verbal pledges early in the process.
The gem of this class to date, may very well be Taj Rice. Listed at 6-3, 285 pounds, Rice could be a game changer from his defensive end position. The Louisville, Kentucky native chose DukeGang, a term many use, over some of the nation's top schools. Rice is a solid four star product but Cutcliffe and his staff rarely put emphasis on ratings as much as they do good fits.
The Blue Devils have certain kinds of young men they go after these days. One of the things they look for are the type of young men who will fit into a steady concept. The program is becoming known as one which develops its players and one where some have a chance to play right away if they have what it takes.
By creating a family atmosphere, Duke seems to be avoiding some of he pit falls with concern to bad off field conduct. They are straight forward with young men, telling them what to expect and delivering on that vision. That in turn, has turned into solid classes year in and year out as the program continues to reach for new heights.
Over this past weekend, Duke secured the service of Zamari Ellis, the top Tight End prospect in the state of North Carolina. Cutcliffe mentioned that he wanted to get in state kids into the program but that last seasons crop just did not have the right fits.
Standing 6-4 and weighing in at 240 pounds, Ellis has proto typical TC size. Ellis was a good fit for Duke and vice versa. Ellis was needed for future roster outlooks in that Duke uses this position as a strength on its offensive schemes.
Duke also secured he services of another North Carolinian in Gunnar Holmberg. One of the Blue Devils earliest pledges is a quarterback for Heritage HS in Wake Forest which is just down the road from Durham. The Cap 8 co-offensive player of the year will get to work under the guidance of Cutcliffe who has developed the Manning brothers, amongst others.
The Blue Devils went north for wide receiver Jake Bobo of Belmont, MA. A tall target at 6-4 and growing was pursued by Duke assistant coach Jim Knowles. Duke has had a lot of success getting players in the fold who attended their camps and Bobo is one of those young men.
Duke loves to recruit players from the south and the state of Georgia. They added another good one in OL, Casey Holman. Another Duke assistant Jeff Farris land, Holmon has good size at 6-4, 285. Holmon is yet another Junior Day visit success for Duke and he will be a factor in time at Duke.
Staying in the state of Georgia, Duke secured the future of CB, Taiyon Palmer. at 6-0, 167, he could use a little more weight as he gets older. But he makes up for that with speed and pop. Palmer is the type of athlete the program loves to get in the fold and mold. Palmer was recruited by Derek Jones, who knows what he wants as a coach, Palmer should become a welcome member of what the Blue Devils call the Cheetahs which is a name of their defensie backs.
Duke is in the running for many more prospects and are working it on the trail as I type. If the start is any indication, the staff is once again filling their needs and going toe to toe with the nations best in recruiting.
All of the current Blue Devils pledges are three star and above athletes by the various rating services.
DURHAM, N.C. – Defensive tackle Mike Ramsay returned a fumble 90 yards for a touchdown and wide receiver Aaron Young caught two passes for 79 yards to highlight Duke’s 65-snap scrimmage on Saturday morning at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.
In addition to his touchdown, Ramsay added one quarterback sack and one caused fumble. Duke’s defense also received contributions from cornerback Brandon Feamster (2 PBUs), defensive end Tre Hornbuckle (1 fumble recovery), defensive tackle Twazanga Mugala (1.0 sack) and linebacker Koby Quansah (3.0 TFL & 1.0 sack).
“I thought one thing the defense always brought was the intensity,” Quansah said. “We’ve started to communicate more. Everybody is talking. We have our check downs and assignments, and the big thing is really our communication. I’ve seen our offense get more physical, especially in the trenches. The offensive linemen are getting after it. They go from a hit on the defensive linemen and then try and bounce right back to us [as linebackers]. We’ve definitely been getting physical.”
Quarterback Daniel Jones was four-of-eight passing for 65 yards while Quentin Harriscompleted four-of-nine throws for 92 yards, including a six-yard scoring toss to tight end Davis Koppenhaver. Both of Young’s receptions – covering 38 and 41 yards – came from Harris. Running back Brittain Brown spearheaded the ground attack with 24 yards on five carries.
Also on Saturday, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe recognized the program’s five award winners from spring practice: tight end Bronson Bruneau (Blue Devil Heart Award), Hornbuckle (co-Most Improved Defensive Player), safety Jeremy McDuffie (co-Most Improved Defensive Player), running back Shaun Wilson (co-Most Improved Offensive Player) and Young (co-Most Improved Offensive Player).
Duke opens the 2017 season at home against N.C. Central on September 2. Season tickets may be purchased by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE or online at GoDuke.com/FootballTix.
DURHAM, N.C. – Kicking off with the annual Employee Appreciation Day when the Blue Devils host N.C. Central in the Bull City Gridiron Classic on September 2, Duke has set its promotional themes for the 2017 season.
In week two, Duke will host Northwestern on September 9 for Youth Day and Durham Day. One week later, the Blue Devils entertain Baylor to celebrate Homecoming, Unity Day, Cheer Day and Former Player Day. Closing out the month on Friday, September 29, Miami visits Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium for Scout Night and Youth Sports Night.
Duke’s home contest against Florida State on October 14 features Band Day and Teacher Appreciation Day. On October 21, Pitt travels to face the Blue Devils for Family Weekend and Iron Dukes Day. The final home game of the regular season, a November 18 tilt with Georgia Tech, will serve as Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day.
Season tickets are available online at GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE.
2017 Duke Football Schedule (2016 Record; Bowl game)
2 – ^N.C. CENTRAL (9-3; 10-9 loss to Grambling in Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl)
9 – #NORTHWESTERN (7-6; 31-24 win over Pittsburgh in New Era Pinstripe Bowl)
16 – *BAYLOR (7-6; 31-12 win over Boise State in Motel 6 Cactus Bowl)
23 – at North Carolina (8-5; 25-23 loss to Stanford in Hyundai Sun Bowl)
29 – +MIAMI (9-4; 31-14 win over West Virginia in Russell Athletic Bowl)
7 – at Virginia (2-10)
14 –% FLORIDA STATE (10-3; 33-32 win over Michigan in Capital One Orange Bowl)
21 – ~PITTSBURGH (8-5; 31-24 loss to Pittsburgh in New Era Pinstripe Bowl)
28 – at Virginia Tech (10-4; 35-24 win over Arkansas in Belk Bowl)
4 – Open date
11 – at Army West Point (8-5; 38-31 win over North Texas in Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl)
18 – &GEORGIA TECH (9-4; 33-18 win over Kentucky in Taxslayer Bowl)
25 – at Wake Forest (7-6; 34-26 win over Temple in Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman)
^Employee Appreciation Day
#Youth Day/Durham Day
*Homecoming/Unity Day/Cheer Day/Former Player Day
+Scout Night/Youth Sports Night
%Band Day/Teacher Appreciation Day
~Family Weekend/Iron Dukes Day
&Senior Day/Military Appreciation Day
DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University head football coach David Cutcliffe and his staff announced Wednesday that 22 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the Blue Devil gridiron program.
The class includes six defensive backs, six defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, two running backs, two tight ends, one quarterback and one wide receiver. A total of nine states are represented in the group with six signees from Georgia, followed by three from Florida, three from Maryland, two from Alabama, Illinois and Tennessee, and one each from Ohio, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Virginia.
The six products from Georgia include defensive back Joshua Blackwell (Buford), defensive back Michael Carter II (Douglasville), running back Marvin Hubbard III (Tyrone), running back Deon Jackson (Atlanta), defensive lineman Drew Jordan (Suwanee) and offensive lineman Will Taylor (Snellville). Blackwell comes from Buford High School and helped the Rams to a 13-2 record as a senior with a trip to the GHSA Class 5A state title tilt. Carter II, the No. 43 cornerback in the country by Rivals.com, was named first team all-region as a junior when he booked 78 tackles with two interceptions. Hubbard helped Sandy Creek High School to the GHSA Class 4A playoffs and is charted as the No. 16 all-purpose back in the nation by 247Sports.com.
Ranked as the No. 46 running back in the nation by 247Sports.com, Jackson was an all-region selection as a senior after helping Pace Academy to the GHSA Class 3A playoffs. Jordan is a member of the ESPN300 (No. 283), charted as the No. 19 weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com and was named to USA Today’s American Family Insurance All-USA Georgia second team following his final campaign at North Gwinnett High School. Taylor, rated as a consensus top-15 center in the nation, was selected to participate in the Under Armour All-America Game following his senior season at Grayson High School.
Joining Duke from Florida are wide receiver Damond Philyaw-Johnson (Pensacola), defensive lineman Chris Rumph II (Gainesville) and defensive back Marquis Waters (Delray Beach). Johnson, out of West Florida Tech High School, caught 43 passes for 710 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior en route to receiving all-state honors from the Associated Press and Super Senior accolades from the Pensacola News Journal. Rumph II, who helped Buchholz High School to consecutive Florida High School Athletic Association playoffs bids, booked 105 tackles, 21.0 TFL, 18.0 sacks, two blocked punts, one interception and two fumble recoveries as a senior. He was named the 2016 Gainesville Sun Large School Player of the Year and picked up Florida High School Football Class 7A All-State first team accolades following his final season. Waters enrolled at Duke in January after finishing his Atlantic High School career with Sun Sentinel all-county honors. He was Palm Beach Post Super 11 selection and posted four INTs, nine PBUs and two caused fumbles during final season.
Defensive linemen Victor Dimukeje (Baltimore), Axel Nyembwe (Bethesda) and Derrick Tangelo (Potomac) will come to Durham from Maryland. Dimukeje, who is listed as the No. 36 strongside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com, recorded 72 tackles, 21.0 TFL, 10.5 sacks and two caused fumbles to earn USA Today American Family Insurance ALL-USA Maryland Football second team honors and Baltimore Sun All-Metro first team accolades as a senior at Boys’ Latin. Nyembwe, from The Avalon School, was a member of the USA Football’s Under-19 national team, which defeated Canada, 33-11, on January 28, 2017, at the inaugural North American Championships in Orlando, Fla. Tangelo, from The Bullis School, was a 2016 Maryland Crab Bowl selection and USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Washington D.C. pick along the defensive line.
From Alabama, the Blue Devils welcome offensive lineman Rakavius Chambers (Opelika) and defensive back Leonard Johnson (Hayden) to the program. Chambers capped his career at Opelika High School with all-state honors from AL.com and the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Johnson, rated as the No. 64 safety in the nation by ESPN.com, helped Hayden High School host its first playoff game in 24 years in 2016.
The offensive duo of quarterback Chris Katrenick (Algonquin) and tight end Jake Marwede (Wilmette) head to Durham from Illinois. Katernick enrolled at Duke in January after receiving first team all-state honors from the Illinois Football Coaches Association as a senior at Harry D Jacobs High School. During his final campaign, he completed 143-of-280 passes for 2,223 yards and 26 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Marwede, a member of the ESPN300 (No. 188), was a 2017 Under Armour All-America Game participant and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Illinois after his final season with Loyola Academy.
A pair of offensive linemen from Tennessee -- Patrick Leitten (Brentwood) and Jacob Rimmer (Milan) -- will join the Blue Devils in the fall. Leitten ended his time with Ravenwood High School with all-county, all-area and all-region accolades after helping the team to a 7-6 record and state playoff appearance. Rimmer, from Milan High School, was a two-time first team all-state pick by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association and two-time Region 7-3A Offensive Lineman of the Year choice.
Defensive lineman Ben Frye, a native of Dublin, Ohio, was first team all-state pick as a senior by the Associated Press. He also earned Ohio Capital Conference-Central Co-Defensive Player of the Year and first team all-league honors. Tight end Noah Gray, from Leominster, Mass., helped Leominster Senior High School to a 7-4 record as a senior, when he caught 30 passes for 619 yards and eight TDs and to earn all-state honors from the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association. Safety Lummie Young IV capped his time with Westside High School in Anderson, S.C., by earning USA Today American Family Insurance ALL-USA South Carolina first team and Defensive Player of the Year honors. A high school teammate of Tangelo at The Bullis School, defensive back Damani Neal, of Sterling, Va., is a consensus top-60 safety nationally who carded 55 tackles, two INTs and two caused fumbles to earn USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Washington D.C. honors as a senior.
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown High School
Josh Blackwell DB 5-11 180 Buford, Ga. Buford
Michael Carter II DB 5-10 175 Douglasville, Ga. South Paulding
Rakavius Chambers OL 6-3 320 Opelika, Ala. Opelika
Victor Dimukeje DL 6-2 265 Baltimore, Md. Boys’ Latin
Ben Frye DL 6-3 255 Dublin, Ohio Dublin Coffman
Noah Gray TE 6-4 230 Leominster, Mass. Leominster Senior
Marvin Hubbard III RB 5-9 185 Tyrone, Ga. Sandy Creek
Deon Jackson RB 6-0 210 Atlanta, Ga. Pace Academy
Leonard Johnson DB 6-1 185 Hayden, Ala. Hayden
Drew Jordan DL 6-2 255 Suwanee, Ga. North Gwinnett
Chris Katrenick QB 6-2 205 Algonquin, Ill. Harry D. Jacobs
Patrick Leitten OL 6-7 270 Brentwood, Tenn. Ravenwood
Jake Marwede TE 6-5 240 Wilmette, Ill. Loyola Academy
Damani Neal DB 5-10 190 Sterling, Va. The Bullis School [Md.]
Axel Nyembwe DL 6-2 310 Bethesda, Md. The Avalon School
Damond Philyaw-Johnson WR 6-1 180 Pensacola, Fla. West Florida Tech
Jacob Rimmer OL 6-7 290 Milan, Tenn. Milan
Chris Rumph II DL 6-3 215 Gainesville, Fla. Buchholz
Derrick Tangelo DL 6-2 290 Potomac, Md. The Bullis School
Will Taylor OL 6-3 280 Snellville, Ga. Grayson
Marquis Waters DB 6-0 190 Delray Beach, Fla. Atlantic
Lummie Young IV DB 6-1 200 Anderson, S.C. Westside
DB • 5-11, 180 • Buford, Ga. (Buford)
Played at Buford High School for coach Jess Simpson … consensus three-star prospect byESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 41 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com … following senior season, received the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett’s Cecil Morris Award, an honor presented to an all-county caliber player whose season was cut short by injury … helped the Rams to a 13-2 record and appearance in the state championship game … as a junior, earned first team all-state (4A) honors from the Georgia Sports Writers Association as squad went 13-2 and reached the state title game … also a first team all-region selection … posted 47 tackles and one INT as part of a Buford defense that allowed just 7.33 points per game … averaged 14.4 yards per punt return … in sophomore season, helped Buford to a perfect 15-0 record and GHSA Class 4A state championship with a 55-10 victory against St. Pius X Catholic in the title tilt … member of Team North Georgia, the 2013 Football University eighth grade national champions … also participated in track and field … helped 4x100-meter relay team to a fourth place finish (42.51) at the Georgia High School Association Class 4A state meet during junior year … placed second in the 200-meter dash (22.35) and 4x400-meter relay (3:28.13) at the GHSA Class 4A Region 8 meet during junior year while 4x100-meter relay (43.44) won the regional crown … born April 5, 1999 … son of Joe and Janine Blackwell … cousin, Katherine Randolph, was a member of the track and field program at Georgia State and was a member of the Sun Belt Conference championship 4x100 relay team in 2015.
Michael Carter II
DB • 5-10, 175 • Douglasville, Ga. (South Paulding)
Played at South Paulding for coach Ed Koester … consensus three-star prospect byESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … listed as the No. 43 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com … charted as the No. 52 safety in the country by 247Sports.com … in senior campaign, registered 48 tackles, 7.0 TFL, two INTs and two kickoff returns for TDs to first team all-county and county defensive player of the year honors … as a junior, carded 78 tackles, 10.0 TFL and one INT en route to first team all-county and first team all-region honors … helped squad to a 9-3 ledger and state playoff berth … posted 35 tackles as a sophomore as South Paulding went 8-3 and reached the state playoffs … also played baseball and earned all-region honors in 2016 … born March 8, 1999 … son of Donna and Michael Carter … father played baseball at University of New Orleans in 1991-92.
OL • 6-3, 320 • Opelika, Ala (Opelika)
Played at Opelika for coach Brian Blackmon … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 16 center in the nation by247Sports.com … listed as the No. 51 offensive guard in the country by ESPN.com … helped Opelika to three consecutive region championships … two-year team captain … three-year all-area selection … following senior season, received all-state honors from AL.com and the Alabama Sports Writers Association … also a first team all-area pick by the Opelika-Auburn News … helped squad to a 13-2 record and appearance in the state championship game … participated in the 2016 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Kennesaw, Ga. … selected to play in the 2016 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … as a junior, helped Opelika to a 12-1 ledger and state playoff berth … team went 9-2 with a state playoff appearance during sophomore campaign … finalist for the 26th annual Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award, an honor presented to the nation’s top African-American high school scholar-athlete … born May 24, 1999 … son of Roderick Chambers and Catina Cooper … father lettered four seasons (1997-98-99-00) as a linebacker at Auburn University.
DL • 6-2, 265 • Baltimore, Md. (Boys’ Latin)
Played at Boys’ Latin for coach Ritchie Schell … consensus three-star prospect byESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … listed as the No. 36 strongside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com … charted as the No. 69 defensive tackle in the country by 247Sports.com … as a senior, recorded 72 tackles, 21.0 TFL, 10.5 sacks and two caused fumbles to earn USA Today American Family Insurance ALL-USA Maryland Football second team honors and Baltimore Sun All-Metro first team accolades … selected to play for Team Baltimore in the Crab Bowl following senior season … 2016 Senior Under Armour ELITE 100 postseason selection … in junior campaign, registered 42 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks and two fumble recoveries and earned All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference honors … born November 18, 1999 … son of Ben and Chinelo Dim.
DL • 6-3, 255 • Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman)
Played at Dublin Coffman for coach Mark Crabtree … three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 72 weakside defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.com … first team all-state pick by the Associated Press as a senior … also earned Ohio Capital Conference-Central Co-Defensive Player of the Year and first team all-league honors … in senior season, posted 84 tackles, 23.0 TFL, 10.0 sacks and two caused fumbles as Dublin Coffman went 9-3 and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs … as a junior, earned all-conference accolades as squad went 8-4 and qualified for the state playoffs … also lettered in wrestling … earned all-state honors as a junior after placing fourth in the state championships … born October 5, 1998 … son of Scott Frye and Kelly Pritchard … father played football at Olivet Nazarene University.
TE • 6-4, 230 • Leominster, Mass. (Leominster Senior)
Played at Leominster Senior for coach Dave Palazzi … three-star prospect by ESPN.com and 247Sports.com … listed as the No. 70 tight end in the nation by 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 70 athlete in the country by ESPN.com … as a senior, caught 30 passes for 619 yards and eight TDs and to earn all-state honors from the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association … also received all-state recognition from Inside the Huddle Massachusetts … named to USA Today’s American Family Insurance All-USA Massachusetts team … prior to senior campaign, earned Offensive MVP honors at the New York vs. New England 7-on-7 All-Star Challenge … in junior season, rushed for 437 yards and seven TDs while passing for 1,707 yards and 21 TDs to help squad to an 8-3 mark and berth in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs … two-time All-Star selection by the Worcester Telegram … also played basketball … born April 30, 1999 … son of Jason and Meagan Gray … father played ice hockey at Plymouth State University.
Marvin Hubbard III
RB • 5-9, 185 • Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek)
Played at Sandy Creek for coach Chip Walker … consensus three-star prospect byESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … rated as the No. 53 running back in the country by ESPN.com … charted as the No. 16 all-purpose back in the nation by 247Sports.com … in senior season, had 77 rushing attempts for 423 yards and one TD to earn all-region honors as team went 8-4 with a state playoff appearance … had a season-long 93-yard TD run against Cedartown … as a junior, received all-conference, all-county and all-region accolades after rushing for 985 yards and 13 TDs as Sandy Creek went 9-3 with a state playoff berth … had three rushing TDs as a sophomore during an 11-2 campaign and helped the Patriots to an 11-1-1 season as a freshman … also participated in track and field … At the 2014 Georgia High School Association 4A state championship, finished second in the 100-meter finals (10.70), seventh in the 200-meter finals (22.50) and first in the 4x100-meter relay (41.27) … high school teammate of current Blue Devil Javon Jackson … born August 11, 1999 … son of Artelia and Marvin Hubbard … brother, Antonio, played football at Georgia Southern University.
RB • 6-0, 210 • Atlanta, Ga. (Pace Academy)
Played at Pace for coach Chris Slade … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … listed as the No. 36 athlete in the country byScout.com … ranked among the top 60 running backs nationally by 247Sports.com (No. 46) and ESPN.com (No. 54) … all-region pick following senior season as Pace went 6-5 with a state playoff appearance … as a junior, received all-state honors after rushing for 1,562 yards and 10 TDs as team went 13-2 and captured the state championship … in the state title game, rushed for 114 yards and three TDs as Pace defeated Fitzgerald, 42-21 … in sophomore campaign, caught 26 passes for 492 yards and rushed 27 times for 162 yards while totaling eight TDs as Pace went 7-6 with a state playoff appearance … also played basketball … born February 18, 1999 … son of Deon Jackson and Dadra and Tiffani Smith … father lettered four seasons (1996-97-98-99) as a running back at The Citadel and rushed for 1,346 career yards … mother was a member of the track and field program at the University of Miami and earned All-America honors after placing 13th in the long jump at the 1995 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships … stepfather played basketball at Utah State … brother, DarQuez Watson, is a current member of the football program at Presbyterian College.
DB • 6-1, 185 • Hayden, Ala. (Hayden)
Played at Hayden for coach Keith Register … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 64 safety in the nation byESPN.com … as a senior, posted 57 tackles and three INTs while rushing for a school single-season record 1,636 yards with 17 TDs as squad went 8-3 and advanced to the state playoffs … had three TD rushes of 50-plus yards during a 15-carry, 246-yard performance against Fairview on October 15, 2016 … totaled four games with 220-plus rushing yards on the season … as a junior, registered 48 tackles and three INTs and carded all-state honors from the Alabama Sports Writers Association as squad went 9-3 with a state playoff appearance … also played basketball, earning all-county honors … born July 3, 1998 … son of Hattie and Leonard Johnson.
DL • 6-2, 255 • Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett)
Played at North Gwinnett for coach Bob Sphire … four-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … member of the ESPN300 (No. 283) … charted as the No. 17 outside linebacker in the country by ESPN.com … listed as the No. 19 weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com … charted as the No. 21 weakside defensive end in the country by 247Sports.com … in senior season, registered 39 tackles, 6.0 TFL and 5.0 sacks … named to USA Today’s American Family Insurance All-USA Georgia second team … also received all-region honors in 2016 while helping North Gwinnett to a 6-5 record and state playoff berth … as a junior, logged 45 tackles, 6.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks and one caused fumble to earn all-region honors … helped squad to an 8-3 record as a sophomore … also participated in track and field … born November 11, 1998 … son of Candace and Daniel Jordan.
QB • 6-2, 205 • Algonquin, Ill. (Harry D. Jacobs)
Enrolled at Duke in January, 2017 … played at Harry D. Jacobs for coach Bill Mitz … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 33 pro-style quarterback in the country by 247Sports.com … listed as the No. 34 pocket quarterback in the nation by ESPN.com … earned first team all-state honors from the Illinois Football Coaches Association as a senior after completing 143-of-280 passes for 2,223 yards with 26 TDs and nine INTs while rushing for 193 yards and six TDs … also received All-Fox Valley Conference and Fox Valley All-Area accolades … helped squad to a 7-5 ledger and state playoff appearance … in state playoff opening round win over Lincoln Park, completed nine-of-12 passes for 232 yards and three TDs for school’s first postseason win since 2006 … as a junior, completed 130-of-234 passes for 1,807 yards and 17 TDs, rushed for eight TDs and garnered all-conference and all-area honors as team went 7-3 and reached the state playoffs … in sophomore campaign, completed 87-of-166 passes for 1,367 yards and 12 TDs … finished career with school records for passing yards and passing TDs … also participated in track and field … born August 30, 1998 … son of John Katrenick and Kathleen Oates.
OL • 6-7, 270 • Brentwood, Tenn. (Ravenwood)
Played at Ravenwood for coaches Rich Wessman and Will Hester … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … nationally, ranked among the top 60 offensive tackles by 247Sports.com (No. 52), Rivals.com (No. 53) and ESPN.com (No. 55) … earned all-county, all-area and all-region honors following senior campaign after helping team to a 7-6 record and state playoff appearance … selected to play in the 2016 Toyota East-West All-Star Classic … as a junior, helped Ravenwood to a 14-1 record and state championship with a 26-17 win over Maryville in the title game and carded all-county and all-region honors … also participated in lacrosse … born September 17, 1998 … son of Alex Leitten.
TE • 6-5, 240 • Wilmette, Ill. (Loyola Academy)
Played at Loyola Academy for coach John Holecek … four-star prospect by ESPN.com and a member of the ESPN300 (No. 188) … three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … consensus top-20 tight end prospect, with rankings of No. 4 by ESPN.com, No. 14 by 247Sports.com, No. 15 by Scout.com and No. 19 by Rivals.com … helped Loyola Academy to two-year record of 27-1 with a state championship in 2015 and state runner-up finish in 2016 … as a senior, had 68 rushing attempts for 342 yards while catching 42 passes for 580 yards and six TDs to earn Gatorade Player of the Year honors for Illinois … also received Player of the Year accolades from the Chicago Sun-Times and was a first team all-state pick by the Illinois Football Coaches Association and Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette … had five rushing TDs in a win over Brother Rice to propel team to the 2016 Catholic Blue championship … selected to participate in the Under Armour All-America Game in January, 2017 … as a junior, caught 16 passes for 227 yards while rushing for eight TDs as Loyola Academy went 14-0 and captured the state crown … born May 5, 1999 … son of Andy and Brenda Marwede … father played football at Yale … mother played tennis at Lake Forest College … sister, Hannah, is a member of the soccer team at the University of Miami.
DB • 5-10, 190 • Sterling, Va. (The Bullis School [Md.])
Played at The Bullis School for coach Pat Celinto … four-star prospect by ESPN.com … three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … consensus top-60 safety nationally with rankings of No. 26 by ESPN.com, No. 48 by 247Sports.com, No. 55 by Scout.com and No. 59 by Rivals.com … as a senior, carded 55 tackles, two INTs and two caused fumbles to earn first team all-conference honors … also a USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Washington D.C. selection following senior season … in junior campaign, recorded 63 tackles and one INT … as a sophomore, posted 112 tackles 5.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks and one INT … finished career with 252 tackles and four all-conference citations while helping Bullis to 31 victories … also participated in track and field, helping Bullis to a conference championship … born December 2, 1998 … son of Bryan Neal and Yolonda Wilson.
DL • 6-2, 310 • Bethesda, Md. (The Avalon School)
Played at The Avalon School for coach Tyree Spinner … three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … ranked as the No. 70 defensive tackle in the country byScout.com and the No. 92 defensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com … member of USA Football’s Under-19 national team, which defeated Canada, 33-11, on January 28, 2017 at the inaugural North American Championships in Orlando, Fla. … following senior season, selected to the Maryland Crab Bowl … also played basketball … born July 24, 1998 … son of Roger Nyembwe and Brigitte Pelengamo .
WR • 6-1, 180 • Pensacola, Fla. (West Florida Tech)
Played at West Florida Tech for coach Harry Lees … consensus three-star prospect byESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 86 wide receiver in the nation by ESPN.com … member of three consecutive district championship teams as West Florida Tech posted a three-year ledger of 25-10 … as a senior, caught 43 passes for 710 yards and 13 TDs to earn all-state honors from the Associated Press and Super Senior accolades from the Pensacola News Journal … helped team to a 9-3 record and state playoff berth … in junior season, caught 38 passes for 761 yards and 12 TDs … had 36 receptions for 669 yards and eight TDs during sophomore campaign … finished prep career with 147 receptions for 2,639 yards and 39 TDs … also participated in track and field … at the 2016 Florida High School Athletic Association 2A state championship meet, placed fourth in both the 400 meters (49.92) and 4x400 relay (3:21.33) … at the 2015 FHSAA 2A State Championship meet, placed sixth in the 400 meters (49.98) and seventh in the 4x400 relay (3:21.56) … born July 22, 1998 … son of Damien Johnson and Keyetta Philyaw.
OL • 6-7, 270 • Milan, Tenn. (Milan)
Played at Milan for coach Jeff Morris … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … consensus top-65 national offensive tackle prospect by 247Sports.com (No. 51), ESPN.com (No. 51), Rivals.com (No. 57) and Scout.com (No. 64) … two-time first team all-state pick by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association and two-time Region 7-3A Offensive Lineman of the Year choice … as a senior, served as team captain and helped Milan to a 9-3 ledger and state playoff berth … following senior season, earned All-West Tennessee Lineman of the Year honors and USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Tennessee first team accolades … earned invitations to the East-West All-Star Game and West Tennessee All-Star Game following final campaign … as a junior, helped Milan to a 9-4 record and state playoff berth … aided Milan to an 11-4 ledger and state playoff semifinal appearance as a sophomore … made 39 consecutive starts at left offensive tackle during career … born February 23, 1999 … son of Chris and Stephanie Rimmer.
Chris Rumph II
DL • 6-3, 215 • Gainesville, Fla. (Buchholz)
Played at Buchholz for coach Mark Whittemore … consensus three-star prospect byESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 72 outside linebacker in the nation by ESPN.com … two-time first team all-state pick … during senior season, logged 105 tackles, 21.0 TFL, 18.0 sacks, one INT and two fumble recoveries as Buchholz went 8-3, captured the 7A District 3 championship and secured a state playoff berth … earned first team all-state honors and was named the Large School Player of the Year by the Gainesville Sun … also a first team all-area pick and Super 11 choice by the Gainesville Sun … received 2016 USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Florida second team accolades … in junior season, totaled 102 tackles, 23.5 TFL, 13.5 sacks and one INT as squad went 10-2 with a state playoff appearance … born October 19, 1998 … son of Chris and Kila Rumph … father played football at the University of South Carolina and is currently an assistant football coach at the University of Florida.
DL • 6-2, 290 • Potomac, Md. (The Bullis School)
Played at The Bullis School for coach Pat Celinto … three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 63 defensive tackle in the nation byScout.com and No. 75 defensive tackle in the country by ESPN.com … as a senior, posted 50 tackles, 19.0 TFL and 8.0 sacks to earn USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Washington D.C. and first team All-Interstate Athletic Conference honors … helped squad to 7-3 record in final campaign … selected to play in both the 2016 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl and Maryland Crab Bowl … as a junior, earned first team all-conference honors after registering 39 tackles, 17.0 TFL and 6.0 sacks … helped Bullis to 21 wins and a pair of conference championships during three-year tenure … also participated in basketball and track and field … born May 14, 1999 … son of Angelo Kasa and Marie Luhnmbu … cousin, Prince Shembo, lettered four seasons (2010-11-12-13) as a linebacker at Notre Dame and was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
OL • 6-3, 280 • Snellville, Ga. (Grayson)
Played at Grayson for coaches Jeff Herron and Mickey Conn … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … consensus top-15 center nationally as ranked by Rivals.com (No. 3), ESPN.com (No. 5), 247Sports.com (No. 9) and Scout.com (No. 13) … as a senior, earned first team all-state honors from both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia Sports Writers Association as Grayson went 14-1, captured the Georgia Class 7A state championship and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the USA Today final national poll … also received first team all-region, all-county and all-metro accolades … following final season, selected to play in the 2016 Under Armour All-American Game and served as a captain for Team Armour, which earned a 24-21 victory over Team Highlight … during junior campaign, helped Grayson to a 13-1 ledger, the Class 7A Region 8 championship and berth in the state playoff semifinals … born April 28, 1999 … son of Marty and Pam Taylor.
DB • 6-0, 190 • Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)
Enrolled at Duke in January, 2017 … played at Atlantic for T.J. Jackson … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … listed as the No. 67 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com … charted as the No. 82 safety in the country by 247Sports.com … as a senior, posted four INTs, nine PBUs and two caused fumbles to earn first team all-county honors from the Sun Sentinel and Super 11 accolades from the Palm Beach Post … helped Atlantic to a 9-4 ledger and state playoff berth in 2016 … as a junior, played at Village Academy for coach Donald Hanna and registered 40 tackles and one INT along with 950 rushing yards and 13 TDs … spent sophomore campaign at Atlantic and helped team to a 9-3 record and share of the Class 7A District 13 championship … also participated in track and field … at the 2016 Florida High School Athletic Association 4A state championship meet, placed seventh in the 200-meter finals (22.24) and fifth in the 4x400 relay (3:19.66) … born February 13, 1999 … son of Gladys Solomon.
Lummie Young IV
DB • 6-1, 200 • Anderson, S.C. (Westside)
Played at Westside for coach Scott Earley … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … charted as the No. 87 safety in the nation by247Sports.com … as a senior, totaled 63 tackles, two INTs and four fumble recoveries to receive USA Today American Family Insurance ALL-USA South Carolina first team and Defensive Player of the Year honors … also named to the Palmetto Champions All-Star Class 5A Upper State team as voted on by the South Carolina Football Coaches Association … helped Westside to 10-2 record, 5A Region I championship and a state playoff berth … in junior campaign, posted 70 tackles and eight INTs as Westside went 11-2, won the region title and reached the state playoffs … two-time first team all-area pick by the Anderson Independent Mail … had 54 tackles and four INTs as a sophomore … chosen to represent South Carolina in the 2016 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … also participated in baseball and basketball … born July 14, 1999 … son of Lummie and Stacey Young … cousin, Nicole Owens, graduated from Duke University in 1995 and from Duke University Law School in 1998.