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.
Former Duke linebacker Abaraham Kromah, fresh off a CFL workout, picks against the BDN Staff this week. The standings are ugly. Suffice it to say, Bob Green is still in the lead.
Mark Watson - FIU got caught looking ahead last week and lost their first game of the season. Duke must be on their toes at all times, for FIU is all about the big play. Duke has now gained confidence, but Renfree will not have as much time as he did against Tulane. The Blue Devils will go all out in that they have a bye week coming and that effort will help them to their third straight victory. Duke 34, FIU 28.
Bob Green - FIU will test the Duke defense with their team speed, but the Blue Devils' overall superior talent level will persevere. On offense, Duke will look to strike hard early, and achieve balance by mixing some runs and multiple short passes with long throws to deep threat Conner Vernon. A key statistic to keep an eye on is Time of Possession as through four games Duke is ranked #7 in the FBS at 34:29, while FIU is #104 at 27:06. With Lee Butler unavailable due to injury, true freshman Jamison Crowder will handle punt return duties in addition to his normal role returning kick-offs. Before this season is over, I expect Crowder to break out with a big return or two and this weekend in Miami would be a great time for Crowder to shine. Duke 27, FIU 21
Patrick Cacchio - ESPNU was wise to televise this game, as it should be both entertaining and competitive. Both offenses feature explosive talents that are likely to put up points on the board. The Blue Devil defense is playing with renewed confidence after two victories, while the Golden Panthers will look to fight back from a disappointing conference loss to Louisiana-Lafayette. Uncle Mo is on the Duke side, and it should be enough to carry the Blue Devils into their off week at 3-2 behind another strong performance by Sean Renfree. Duke 31, FIU 27
Andrew Slater - Florida International will look to get back on track as they take on the Blue Devils for their homecoming game. Their two offensive stars, QB Wes Carroll and WR Ty Hilton, were banged up last week against Louisiana, but are supposed to be healthy enough to go against their second BCS opponent of the season. Hilton was impressive earlier in the season when he racked up 201 yards against Louisville on national television, while the senior Carroll broke many of the school's passing records on last season's bowl run. Last week, RB Kedrick Rhodes stepped up and tried to fill the void by rushing for 157 yards in FIU's first loss of the season. Defensively, they should be concerned about Duke's resurgent passing attack, which is now averaging over 300 yards per game. QB Sean Renfree has been able to pick apart defenses by throwing short, accurate (72.7% completion percentage) passes to his tough and relatively deep receiving corps. RB Juwan Thompson distinguished himself last week by averaging nearly five yards per carry and getting his first two TDs of the season. The season-ending injury to Kenny Anunike will be a big one as he helped Duke finally establish a consistent pass rush and was the ACC's sack leader through the first four games. Matt Daniels, the team's leading tackler, will need to rally the troops and keep the momentum moving forward in South Florida. Even without their two stars, this dangerous FIU team was able to score 31 points last week. FIU 31, Duke 28.
Abraham Kromah - FIU will look to put pressure on Sean Renfree after his most recent performance against Tulane and it will be up to the Blue Devils' offensive line to neutralize it. If this happens Duke will have a field day, considering the defense is really coming into their own. Senior Safety Matt Daniels is playing like a Thorpe Award finalists and will not allow a pass to be completed nor a run to break for more than 7 yards as he looks to lead the Duke defense to it's third straight victory. Look for former all-conference receiver Don Varner to have a breakout game, assuming FIU will spend most of their time double covering Vernon (after his stellar performance last week). Duke 28, FIU 10'
Things are picking up at BDN Premium with exclusive interviews from the AAU circuit, Duke basketball team news, and Duke football recruiting. In addition to those perks, you also get Football Friday, so without further ado... Football Friday the 13th! [private]
Blue Devil Nation sends their condolences to the Alabama Crimson Tide and the family of OL Aaron Douglas, who passed away on Thursday in Florida. Needless to say, it has been a difficult offseason in Tuscaloosa, and our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the April storms and the tragic passing of this young man.
NFL lockout continues
With the NFL Draft now behind us, dozens of college seniors have been forced to put their future on hold while the NFL labor dispute continues. In past years, undrafted free agents typically receive contract offers or camp invites in the days immediately after the draft. This year, due to the lockout, undrafted players have been unable to contact teams, leaving their futures uncertain. This is a difficult time for Duke’s group of seniors who are hoping to make good on their NFL dreams. Abraham Kromah recently tweeted some of his frustration: “Notice it's only the vets with money and job security saying they are enjoying this lockout.” It’s in everyone’s best interest for the owners and players to reach an agreement; a cancelled or shortened season would be a huge mistake. For the sake of Duke’s seniors and others who are left with uncertain futures, we hope the two sides come together sooner rather than later.
First 3 kickoff times announced
The Blue Devils will open their season on Saturday, September 3rd with a 7PM kickoff against Richmond. Duke fans remember all too well the last time Duke and Richmond met under the lights in Wallace Wade Stadium, and a similar outcome would be a huge blow to the 2011 season. Under Coach Cutcliffe, Duke has hosted four straight night game home openers, with great crowds at the first three as part of Duke’s Annual Employee Appreciation Night. One of the defining moments early in the Cutcliffe era was the lightning-delayed home opener against James Madison, where much of the crowd of 32,561 waited out the storms to witness the program’s first win under Coach Cutcliffe. The Blue Devils will need that kind of support and enthusiasm in Wallace Wade Stadium this year as they take on another tough home schedule, highlighted by the September 10th game against Andrew Luck and Stanford, which is slated to kickoff at 3:30 PM and will be televised on ESPNU. After an early season conference road loss to Wake Forest in 2010, Duke will need to reverse their fortunes with a tough early season matchup with Boston College in Chestnut Hill on September 17, which will kickoff at 12:30 PM on the ACC Network.
September 3 Richmond 7:00 PM espn3.com
September 10 Stanford 3:30 PM ESPNU
September 17 @ Boston College 12:30 PM ACC
Recruiting moving along
The Blue Devils have secured two commitments early this recruiting season in TE Erich Schneider and DE Allen Jackson. For comparison, by the end of May in 2010, Duke had already received 5 verbal commitments and by the end of May in 2009, Duke had already received 4 verbal commitments. In both previous years, the majority of commitments were made in June and July, and the Blue Devils hope that will be the case again this year. The staff has been on the recruiting trail hard this spring, checking in with current recruits and scouting potential new prospects. With many high schools now in the middle of spring football practices, prospects are given an opportunity to showcase their offseason improvement to coaches in hopes of earning new scholarship offers. After spring practices wrap up, the next opportunity to impress college coaches will be the summer camp circuit. Duke will host its one-day camps on June 11th and 18th this year, with the David Cutcliffe QB College on June 16th and 17th.
It will be interesting to see how this recruiting season unravels, with written scholarship offers not sent out until August. Also, coming off a 3-win season, the Blue Devils have a lot to prove to prospective recruits, who want to play for a winning program. With a relatively small number of available scholarships this year, the Duke staff has been a little more selective than in previous years, focusing their efforts on several high-level prospects. All of these factors will come into play as Duke puts together the class of 2011. The Blue Devils are close to having the facilities, staff, and education to compete with any program in the country, but still need to improve in wins, fan support, and NFL alumni.
Just a few updates on the recruiting front:
DL Matt Godin committed to Michigan on Thursday. He visited Duke earlier this year and the Blue Devils were initially high on his list. Unfortunately, Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin ended up offering the Michigan native, and it became nearly impossible for any school to lure him out of his home state.
TE Evan Baylis committed to Oregon recently. After originally planning to make his decision over the summer, he decided the offer from the Ducks was too good to pass up.
DE Torey Agee received an offer from Stanford this week. Duke and South Alabama were the first to offer the Opelika, AL native, who plans to visit Durham this summer. With Stanford now in the mix, this recruitment has immediately become more competitive. Duke and Stanford are battling for a few prospects already (Dontonio Jordan, Albert Reid), so it will be interesting to see if the Cardinal can continue their success in the post-Harbaugh era.
Prospect interviews will start up again next week. Please feel free to chime in on the message board on any prospects you’d like to hear from. We’ll start to check back in with several of the prospects we spoke with earlier this year to see how their spring has gone and where they are in their recruiting process. Here’s to a great week! WE ARE DUKE.
If you haven’t joined BDN Premium yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. My wit and insight alone are worth the price of admission. Well, not really. It’s more like you get all of watzone’s scoop, Andrew Slater’s recruiting analysis, a great Duke message board community, and then my column is that last add-on in the infomercial that they throw in to close the deal. I’m the booklight that comes with your Snuggie. But seriously, it’s April and I can’t find a way to keep these columns any shorter. I guess that’s a good thing, as it means there’s still a lot of activity around Duke football. Thanks for joining us for another thrilling installment of BDN’s Football Friday. [private]
Sorry about the title, I thought it was a good line, until I realized well, it's not. Oh well, let's see you come up with something better.
Tyree Glover dismissed from program
This is old news now, but Tyree Glover was arrested on Tuesday in Durham and charged with trafficking cocaine. After a search of his dorm room, he was also found to be in possession of marijuana and was held in jail in lieu of $750,000 bond. Legal experts would know better, but I believe the trafficking charge for the amount of cocaine he possessed is a class G felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 42 months in prison and $50,000 fine. As would be expected, Coach Cutcliffe acted swiftly in dismissing Tyree from the program for “conduct unbecoming of a member of the program.” As a sophomore, Glover played in 11 games for Duke and started the September game at Wake Forest. It’s an unfortunate development for the program, both as a knock on Duke’s reputation and a loss of depth at linebacker. While I hate to try and find a bright side in situations like this, Glover’s dismissal will open up another scholarship this fall, which could certainly help with only 12 players in their final year of eligibility. Though his serious lack of judgment is indefensible, we all certainly hope that Tyree is able to turn things around for himself.
NFL Draft set for Thursday
The Blue Devils sent four players to the NFL in 2010, though none were taken in the NFL Draft. Duke has several NFL hopefuls again this year, and the Blue Devil Nation will be pulling to hear their names called on Thursday. At Duke’s annual Pro Day, DE Patrick Egboh, OG Brandon Harper, TE Brett Huffman, WR Austin Kelly, TE Brandon King, LB Abraham Kromah, CB Chris Rwabukamba, and LB Damian Thornton worked out for NFL scouts, and a few have had additional workout invites in recent weeks. In all likelihood, the Duke seniors may have to work their way into the league again this year via the free agent and training camp invite routes. Next to winning games, establishing players in the NFL is essential to help the Blue Devils recruit elite athletes.
Spring practices wrap up this weekend
The last of ACC spring practices will wrap up this weekend, and the ACC coaches held their spring conference call earlier this week. Since we toured around the ACC in last week’s Football Friday, we won’t do it again. Much of what we discussed last week still holds true: QB battle will head into August in Miami, Virginia Tech expects David Wilson to be very good, etc. Boston College expects to have Montel Harris back for the fall, but he was held out of their spring game for precautionary reasons, so we’ll keep an eye on his health as we head towards September.
As for Duke, Coach Cutcliffe didn’t have much to add, given that Duke wrapped up spring practice nearly a month ago. He reiterated the team’s youth, especially along the defensive front, where 10 of 15 players are underclassmen. He’s excited about the speed on defense and thinks that Coach Knowles did a good job with personnel assignments this spring, which we can only hope will continue into the fall. We’re all excited to see this Duke offense, as it has the potential to be great with an improved and consistent running game, along with three competent quarterback options.
But back to the defensive front, as that’s what makes me lose sleep at night. Coach Cutcliffe reiterated that he hopes to play up to 9 guys along the defensive front, which is an interesting concept. When was the last time Duke had that many ACC caliber defensive linemen? Are there teams that routinely use that many players along the defensive front? Of course, any team with decent depth rotates guys in and out, but I get the impression that Cutcliffe hopes to have 8 or 9 guys who play significant snaps each game. It’s really an intriguing strategy, given the group of players Duke currently has. With so many young first or second-year players up front, and with no clear-cut All-ACC caliber player(s), why not try to get 20-30 good snaps out of each guy? The most obvious benefit is that it will hopefully keep the unit fresh for late in games, but it also reduces the amount of pressure on each individual player. I’m sure there’s both advantages and disadvantages to this potential rotation, but I’m interested to hear your thoughts (message board, anyone?).
As you might imagine, we haven’t heard much from the Duke staff this week, as the assistants have been on the recruiting trail. With the opening of the spring evaluation period last Friday, Coach Cutcliffe and the staff made calls to many of the high priority recruits to re-affirm Duke’s interest. It never hurts to be the first coach in a prospect’s ear, and Duke hopes it will pay dividends with some spring and summer commitments. Speaking of commitments, Coach Cutcliffe has mentioned his desire to have the class of 2012 essentially set by the start of the season, which some fans may have concerns about (the author included). We all know that many elite prospects, whether in basketball or football, tend to drag their recruitment out until the last possible minute. If Duke fills up its scholarships in August, it doesn’t leave much room for the January or February commitments. With a small class this fall, Duke doesn’t have a lot of margin for error, so it does make sense for the Blue Devils to try to secure the majority of their class by the fall. I don’t think Duke will be done with recruiting before the season, but it would be nice if they can get their commitment list into the double digits, hopefully leaving the remaining scholarships for some late-deciding elite talent. As we say on the message boards, just my .02.
So last week I name-dropped all over the place with recruiting, but none of it was very Watzonian. There’s so many names in football recruiting and things change so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. Trust me, I know. You talk to a kid from Oregon and he tells you he plans to take some officials in the fall before he makes a decision and then two days later he commits. No names, of course. Anyway, who are some of the players that Duke seems to have a good chance with at this point in the process? Let’s take a look:
QB: With only one offer extended so far, Duke seems to think they have a good chance with Bilal Marshall, and that seems like a reasonable assumption as this point. When we last heard from him, he was favoring Wake Forest, mostly because they were the first to offer and the only school he had really visited to date. That remains the case, though he is mostly wide open. The hope is that Duke can get Marshall on campus this summer, perhaps for Coach Cutcliffe’s QB College, and then go from there. This is a situation not unlike basketball, where if Duke loses out on Marshall, they could have a lot of ground to make up with some of the other QB prospects. That being said, the chance to play for the mentor of Peyton and Eli Manning is still pretty attractive. With the play of Connette and Boone this spring, it’s also not a requirement that Duke takes a QB in this class.
RB: If I said it’s not a requirement that Duke takes a QB in this class, then I have to say that it is a requirement to take at least one RB in this class. So I think we’ve established that Keith Marshall is a long shot, and I would add that Dami Ayoola and Nick Tompkins might be as well, since both already have double digit offers. We heard from Dontonio Jordan and Todd Gurley this week that Duke remains in the mix for them, and there’s still a long way to go in both of their recruitments. As for the South Carolina prospects, Duke is Dondre Brown’s only offer to date, while Jay Jay McCullough has an offer from in-state Clemson, which might be tough for any school to overcome, but we'll hear from him tomorrow.
WR: This is a tough group to really evaluate, as several have yet to visit Duke’s campus, which is never a good omen, though a few are from the West Coast, which makes it more understandable. We’ll hear from Justin Johnson over the weekend, and Duke is very much in the mix for his services. Of those on the East Coast, we’ll also hear from Jared Crump this weekend, and P.J. Harris and Desmond Frye are recent Duke offers.
TE: Duke remains in the mix for Dan Beilinson and already has a commitment from Erich Schneider.
OL: Duke has made a good impression on Andrew Jelks, Eric Olson, and Max Tuerk. In fact, I just heard from Eric that he will be on campus this weekend in Durham. Don't get excited about D.J. Humphries. I'm working on hearing from some of the new OL names.
DL: D.J. Reader and Carlos Wray have made multiple visits to Durham, and Duke has impressed Korren Kirven and Matt Godin, though Godin is a lifelong Michigan fan with a Wolverines offer. We’ll hear from Sheldon Rankins and Nigel Williams this weekend, two other good looking prospects with Duke offers, who appear to have some interest in the Blue Devils.
LB: Deion Williams and Keilin Rayner are at the top of the list and both have Duke near the top of theirs at this point in the process. Would be nice to get one of these guys on board soon.
DB: Dwayne Norman will be making a decision this spring and it looks like it is down to Duke and South Carolina. Derek Jones has a good relationship with Miami’s Larry Hope. Duke was among the first to offer MarQuise Jones, Albert Reid, and Jonavaughn Williams. Would also be nice to get a DB on board soon.
Kicker: I didn’t mention this last week, but I see that it’s up on another site, so I’ll address it. Duke will, in all likelihood, need to take a placekicker in the class of 2012. Two in-state players, Paul Griggs and Brad Pinion, have both visited Duke and like the Blue Devils. With few scholarships available, it would be nice to be able to find a walk-on kicker, but it may be necessary to offer a scholarship in order to get an elite one. We’ll also have to see exactly where Will Monday is with his placekicking when he gets on campus this fall. Monday is expected to challenge Alex King for the starting punter job.
As you can see, the potential is there for Duke to put together a really good class in 2012, with almost all of the prospects mentioned likely to be rated as three starts or higher. The next few months are the critical period, as Duke will look to close out the recruitment with some of these players and receive commitments before the start of their senior year. We’ll do our best to stay on top of football recruiting and bring you the best, most efficient coverage around. Feel free to jump in with your thoughts, questions, etc. on the message board. Until next week, WE ARE DUKE.
March Madness is in full swing as Duke takes the court tonight in the ACC quarterfinals against Maryland. Is it just us, or do you also find that the weeks in March go a lot faster than the rest of the year? It probably has something to do with conference tournaments streaming on television and online nearly 24 hours a day. While productivity in offices and schools across the country plummets, we’re as busy as ever at BDN. There’s no better time to join BDN premium than March, as Mark Watson follows the Blue Devils every step of the way in their quest for ACC and NCAA championships. Now that we’ve got you hyped for basketball, here’s this week’s Football Friday. [private]
Welcome back, loyal readers. And I do mean loyal. If you’re reading a Football Friday column in the middle of the ACC tournament, well, it doesn’t get much more loyal than that. Mille grazie. Yes, Cacchio is an Italian name.
Duke is on spring break
Ah, spring break. Fond memories, right? Where did the time go? Anyway, the Duke football team is off this week for spring break, and many of the players are taking advantage in warm, sunny locations, from South Beach to the Caribbean all the way to the California coast. Personally, I think they’ve earned it, from the early morning February practices to the late-night November film sessions. Student-athletes miss out on many aspects of the typical college experience due to their extracurricular commitments, but this week, the Duke football team gets to join in the revelry. Safe travels to all and we all look forward to getting back to work on Wednesday morning.
ACC spring football kicking off
Miami and Clemson hit the field for spring practice this week. Both programs
have question marks at the quarterback position, where Clemson will be breaking in first-year starter Tajh Boyd, while Miami appears to have a true QB controversy on their hands. New Head Coach Al Golden ruffled some feathers with his spring depth chart, placing many of last year’s starters near the bottom in an effort to challenge his team this spring. Most surprising may have been at the QB position, where he placed rising senior Spencer Whipple ahead of last year’s starters Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris. Next week, spring practice will kick off at Boston College, NC State, Wake Forest, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Speaking of the Tar Heels…
While many in Chapel Hill may still be in denial, we’re all aware that there have been some issues with the Tar Heel football program. Unfortunately NCAA violations are more common than we would like to think in college sports today (see Auburn, Baylor, Ohio State, Tennessee, USC, etc.), but I think there may be an even bigger issue here, and that is the double standard that appears to exist for coaches and players. Ohio State players are suspended for five games, while Jim Tressel is suspended for two. UNC players are held out of several games, some for the entire season, while the coaching staff denies accountability.
This double standard doesn’t only arise when NCAA violations are uncovered. Coaches are allowed to up and leave programs without penalty, while players must go through a tedious transfer process and are usually required to sit out an entire year. A perfect example is the revolving door that has been the UNC Defensive Line Coach for the past few months. John Blake, implicated in the Gary Wichard scandal, resigned in September. Charlie Coiner was appointed to replace Blake, but was then replaced by Brian Baker in January. Baker worked to make sure UNC was able to sign top defensive line prospects Devonte Brown, Delvon Simmons, Shawn Underwood, and Sylvester Williams (who enrolled in January) in their class of 2011. Just after National Signing Day, Baker left the Tar Heels for a position with the Dallas Cowboys. UNC has since brought in Joe Robinson from LSU, giving them a total of four DL coaches since the start of the 2010 season. Now, top recruit Delvon Simmons has asked for his release from his letter of intent, and there appears to be some controversy. While the coaches were able to leave without penalty, Simmons must wait to hear whether UNC will grant him a full release, a conditional release, or hold him to his letter of intent. The situation is puzzling, even for the wild world of football recruiting. For starters, Simmons never took an official visit to Chapel Hill and did not have an in-home visit with the Tar Heel coaches. Stay tuned. The bottom line is that these coaches should be held to the same commitments and standards as their players.
Duke prepares to host Pro Day
Duke will graduate another group of outstanding seniors this year, as the
program continues to build on the field while maintaining the program’s tradition of academic excellence. NFL scouts will be on hand in Wallace Wade Stadium on March 22 to take in workouts of Blue Devil seniors. Duke graduates 19 letterman this year, including starters Patrick Egboh, Brandon Harper, Brett Huffman, Austin Kelly, Brandon King, Abraham Kromah, Wes Oglesby, Chris Rwabukamba, and Damian Thornton. Best of luck to all the Duke seniors as they pursue careers in football and other fields!
Recruiting slowly starting to pick up
Over the past week or so, recruiting has started to heat up around the country, as players and coaches assess each other’s interest. Duke hosted two junior days and entertained well over 100 recruits from the class of 2012; a few other prospects have visited Durham to take in spring practice. A handful of Duke prospects have already pledged their verbal commitments to rival ACC schools, including LB Sha’Keel Rashad to UNC, OL Mike Madaras to Maryland, QB Gray Crow to Miami, and OL Joel Suggs to Wake Forest. Hooker and Madaras both held verbal offers from Duke. The Blue Devil staff will keep an eye on these prospects, as decommitments are all too common in college football recruiting, but will focus their efforts on hundreds of other prospects, trying to find the best players for the Duke program.
The next big recruiting milestone for the Blue Devils will come on March 26, as the program hosts a number of prospects for their spring game, which is set for a 3 PM kickoff. We’ll have a full list of attendees as we get closer, but BDN has already learned that California LB Deion Williams will fly in for the weekend. Williams holds a Duke offer and is very high on the Blue Devils early in his recruitment. It’s important to note that all of these spring visits are unofficial visits, meaning that prospects must pay for their own expenses. It’s a sign of serious interest that players like Bart Houston and Deion Williams are making the trip across the country to learn more about the Duke program. I expect Duke’s recruiting to really take off in June, as Duke will host a series of camps for high school players, including Coach Cutcliffe’s QB College, which will allow the Duke coaches to evaluate prospects firsthand.
Let’s Go Duke
Thanks again for reading. Please feel free to join in on our football message board; we welcome Duke football fans of all opinions, shapes, and sizes. Until next week, you may now return to March Madness. Show your Duke pride and support the Blue Devils as they begin their championship quest tonight in Greensboro. We are Duke!
DURHAM, N.C. – Four Blue Devils – Cooper Helfet, Abraham Kromah, Will Snyderwine and Conner Vernon – received All-ACC honors as the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association announced the 2010 football all-conference teams on Monday.
Snyderwine and Vernon were second team selections while Helfet and Kromah received honorable mention recognition.
Snyderwine, a 5-11, 190-pound redshirt junior kicker from Potomac, Md., made 21-of-24 field goals and all 32 of his PAT attempts for 95 total points in 2010. He set school single-season records for field goals, consecutive field goals made (18) and field goal percentage (.875) while posting the second-highest single-season point total behind Clarkston Hines’ 104-point campaign in 1989. His 52-yard field goal against Georgia Tech matched the ninth-longest successful kick in school history. In the ACC, Snyderwine ranks first in field goals per game (1.75), tied for first in PAT percentage (1.000), sixth in points per game (7.9) and fourth in field goal percentage (.875). Nationally, he ranks sixth in field goals per game.
Vernon, a 6-2, 195-pound sophomore wide receiver from Miami, Fla., currently leads the ACC in pass receptions (73), receptions per game (6.08) and 100-yard receiving games (4) while standing third in the league in both receiving yards (973) and receiving yards per game (81.1). His 73 receptions fell one catch shy of the school’s 40-year old single-season record of 74 set by Wes Chesson in 1970.
Helfet, a 6-4, 240-pound junior tight end from Kentfield, Calif., caught 34 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns this past season. Over the final five weeks of the year, he had 28 receptions for 339 yards and twice was the recipient of the ACC’s Player of the Week accolade for offensive linemen.
Kromah, a 6-1, 225-pound redshirt senior linebacker from Staten Island, N.Y., ranks second in the ACC with a team-best 129 tackles in 2010. He also led the Blue Devils with 9.5 tackles for loss while reaching double figures in the tackle column eight times including a career-best 20-stop performance in the season finale versus North Carolina.
DURHAM, N.C. – Duke redshirt junior kicker Will Snyderwine has earned first team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the organization announced on Monday.
Snyderwine, a native of Potomac, Md., becomes the 17th player in Duke football history and the first since 1989 to receive first team All-America recognition.
In 2010, Snyderwine made 21-of-24 field goals and all 32 of his PAT attempts for 95 total points. He set school single-season records for field goals, consecutive field goals made (18) and field goal percentage (.875) while posting the second-highest single-season point total behind Clarkston Hines’ 104-point campaign in 1989. His 52-yard field goal against Georgia Tech matched the ninth-longest successful kick in school history.
In the ACC, Snyderwine ranks first in field goals per game (1.75), tied for first in PAT percentage (1.000), sixth in points per game (7.9) and fourth in field goal percentage (.875). Nationally, he ranks sixth in field goals per game.
For his career, Snyderwine has made 38-of-44 field goals and all 56 of his PAT attempts for 170 points. On Duke’s career lists, he ranks first in PAT percentage (1.000), first in field goal percentage (.864), second in field goals, tied for third in field goals of 50+ yards (2), sixth in total points, eighth in field goal attempts, tied for ninth in PAT attempts and 10th in PATs.
Snyderwine is joined on the 2010 AFCA All-America team by Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State), Alshon Jeffry (WR, South Carolina), Lance Kendricks (TE, Wisconsin), Lee Ziemba (OL, Auburn), Rodney Hudson (OL, Florida State), Stefen Wisniewski (OL, Penn State), Gabe Carimi (OL, Wisconsin), Chase Beeler (C, Stanford), Cam Newton (QB, Auburn), Kendall Hunter (RB, Oklahoma State), LaMichael James (RB, Oregon), Da’Quan Bowers (DL, Clemson), Adrian Clayborn (DL, Iowa), Jabaal Sheard (DL, Pittsburgh), Ryan Kerrigan (DL, Purdue), Luke Kuechly (LB, Boston College), Greg Jones (LB, Michigan State), Tank Carder (LB, TCU), Reggie Rembert (DB, Air Force), Patrick Peterson (DB, LSU), Prince Amukamara (DB, Nebraska), Quinton Carter (DB, Oklahoma), Kyle Martens (P, Rice) and Owen Marecic (KR, Stanford).
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945.
Other first team All-America honorees in Duke football history include Fred Crawford (1933), Ace Parker (1936), Dan Hill (1938), Eric Tipton (1938), George McAfee (1939), Steve Lach (1941), Bob Gantt (1942-43), Bill Milner (1943), Pat Preston (1943), Al DeRogatis (1948), Billy Cox (1950), Blaine Earon (1950), Red Smith (1951), Ed Meadows (1952-53), Bob Pascal (1955), Roy Hord (1957), Tom Topping (1957), Mike McGee (1959), Tee Moorman (1960), Jean Berry (1962), Jay Wilkinson (1963), Bob Matheson (1966), Ernie Jackson (1971), Billy Bryan (1976), Clarkston Hines (1988-89) and Chris Port (1989).