Tag Archives: BDN Twitter

Monday Musings – Duke Basketball & Football, Cheerleader of the week

Well it certainly is an exciting time of year for Duke fans with the football team riding a three game winning streak and the basketball team set to kick off practice.  A lot of us in the media joke about taking vitamins this time of year in that the hours can be brutal with both basketball and football kicking it into high gear at the same time.  Then, you have to add recruiting to the picture, for us, anyhow.  So, yes, a test of true endurance is coming up and I can only hope I am rested enough to deal with it.  Of course, there are a lot of worse things to be doing than being court-side for Countdown to Craziness or the sidelines for the Florida State game, so I’ll make due.

Basketball is here!

Let’s face it, Duke is a Goliath to many for the program is college basketball royalty and breaths the rare air of constant contention for championships.  While most are awaiting Countdown to Craziness, the coverage begins in earnest on Wednesday, when Duke holds their annual media day.  BDN will of course be on the scene to bring you information as it happens in that we are hands on with our unique and faithful coverage.

Countdown to Craziness

Man, can you believe that Countdown to Craziness is this Friday?  It doesn’t seem like that long ago when Nolan Smith came off the court in Greensboro, meeting Coach K in mid air for a hug after Duke won yet another ACC Championship.  For those who have never been to the event, it’s a religious experience for the fans with rabid Cameron Crazies rocking the house. And you see the freshman in their uniforms for the first time and simply gain our first look at this seasons team.  It’s off the charts from a fan perspective with skits, dunk contests and just flat out fun!  It’s always interesting to see what songs each player chooses to come out to as the lights are dimmed and spotlights glow.  This years event will be broadcast online at ESPN3 but there is nothing like being there in person!  The festivities start early on outside, so make a day of it by getting there early and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of all things Duke.  For the record, many want to know which recruits will visit.  The answer to that question is Matt Jones and Rasheed Sulaimon.  Most all the juniors Duke is recruiting will have duties with Team USA, thus causing a conflict in scheduling.  Rumors blew up that Tony Parker would be in, but as of today, that is not the case.  But of course, Parker remains a player that Coach K and the Duke Family dearly want in Durham.

And then …..

Support the football team the next day as they take on Florida State, a team that was picked by everybody to win the ACC in the pre season, not to mention being ranked #5 in the country.  This will be one angry group as they are coming off three straight losses including one to Wake Forest last week.  The Deacs took it right at the Seminoles and that is what you have to do, be aggressive and play to win.  Still, I hate facing a team that has gone as far to ban twitter among it’s players yesterday, for you can bet we get their best shot.  But this is a young Duke Football team with talent, so if they can match the intensity and play four full quarters of football, they will be in this game.  Our football coverage will continue tomorrow after Coach Cut’s press conference.  A reminder, we tweet as he speaks, so tune into to our popular twitter home a little after noon and check out his comments.  Folks, BDN has become the place for recruiting and team information due to the hard work of Patrick Cacchio with some assists from the rest of our staff. Patrick was in Miami to cover the big win over FIU, bringing you video interviews after the contest,  And that is something not even the TV stations to claim.  We are dedicated to covering Duke Football and this site is #Dukegang friendly.

Sean Renfree is the key

Sean Renfree is seeing the field better than at any time of his career in my opinion.  The coaches have turned him loose allowing him to stay in when in the red zone and his confidence has soared during that time.  Renfree is the key to the Blue Devils success, so if he gets protection, he will make Duke a tough out during a brutal stretch of games that remain on the schedule.

I think Seth Curry will blow up this season

The biggest question for Duke Basketball is where will points come from this season.  With Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving long gone, it is up to a lot of Blue Devils to step up to the plate for the opportunity is at hand.  I said in early summer that I thought Curry will make that leap this season and I still feel that way as the season approaches.  Curry is a scorer and he’s gone through the Duke system enough to flourish in it this season. I look for Curry to be first team All-ACC at seasons end.

Cheerleader of the week

We like to salute the team behind the team and we’re speaking of Duke Cheerleaders and the Blue Devil himself.  Folks have kept asking me to start Cheerleader of the Week back up, a Monday Musings tradition, so we did.

Speaking of social media …

If you are not following Blue Devil Nation tweets, you should be! We throw out a lot of information about recruiting, the teams and more.  It all started a few years back when we started tweeting from press row in Cameron and that carried into the National Championship game where we sent out real time stats and what was going on that the TV cameras were missing.  Sitting directly behind Coach K gave us a lot of insight even though I did duck when they were in the team huddle for I felt like I was seeing something I shouldn’t, LOL. It was a fabulous experience and I loved sharing the moments with Duke fans.  We share some recruiting information on twitter as well, but must save the best of that for out members, who help make BDN happen.  In fact, if you like what we do, the best way to support us is to become a member.  We also have  Facebook open group which is of course called Blue Devil Nation and we welcome you there as well.  It is set up for your participation.

Contests are a hit!

We love when fans take part in our twitter contests which have been a hit since their inception long ago.  Every week of the football season you can predict the score of the Duke Football game and that goes for all men’s basketball games as well.  You win a trial membership to our premium section and get your name in twitter lights if you win, so head on over and get your picks in this week.

Cha, cha, cha,cha, cha, changes …

Okay, that probably ticked off David Bowie in that it was a bit lame.  We spoke of site changes a good while back and they are still coming.  Since that time, BDN has been in talks with others as well about going under their flag.  We have yet to make a decision on what we’ll do but I must admit it is hard altering something I’ve built from scratch as it continues to grow in popularity.  We feel this is a unique site that has brought fans as close to the programs as one can get and we’ll not alter that without a lot of thought.  We have a lot of passion for Duke Athletics here and that is one thing you can rest assured will continue.  Thanks to all of you for making this place what it is today by following us.  We hit the road running with our original blog which became an overnight success and we continue to refine and try and make the site better.  We have built tremendous relationships which we cherish greatly for many of them are true and legitimate sources as well as friends.  When BDN says something, it is generally taken as gospel and we are proud that we have always dealt with the facts.  We have been and will continue to be the most hands on Duke site out there, thanks to the great staff we’ve assembled.

Stay tuned! 

By late Wednesday afternoon, the Nation will go nuts with coverage #DukeStyle.

NFL stars Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks have been working out at Duke this week.

BDN’s Football Friday

NFL stars Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks have been working out at Duke this week.

Fear not, loyal fans, Football Friday returns! If you’ve been under a rock for the past week, please be sure to check out all of our great interviews and reports from the NBPA Top 100 Camp. BDN was on the scene as always and has the best content with Duke’s prospects in 2012 and beyond. After a week hiatus here at Football Friday, we have a lot to discuss this week, so…lesssgo.

Congratulations to Kyrie, Nolan, and Kyle

All of us at Blue Devil Nation wish the best to Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler, as they begin their NBA journey. To hear their names called last night was certainly a dream come true for each of them and their families. We’ll be pulling for them and we know they will continue to make Duke fans proud in all that they do.

NFL stars invade Duke Football Facilities

With the NFL lockout continuing to drag on, former Duke QB Thad Lewis has become a fixture around campus this summer, but the Duke players were in for a surprise this week as they hit the weight room and the practice field. New York Giants Super Bowl XLII MVP QB Eli Manning has been working out at Duke this week with his receivers, including former UNC star Hakeem Nicks. The NFL players’ presence created a buzz on campus and among the Duke players, generating some excitement around Duke Football during the dog days of summer. It’s a great testament to the investment Duke has made in their football facilities that NFL players are working out on campus. As the program continues to build, Duke’s presence in the NFL should continue to improve.

Duke solidified their special teams for the future with Thursday's commitment from Ross Martin

 

Nine in Class of 2012

Duke is up to nine verbal commitments in the class of 2012 with the addition of kicker Ross Martin and offensive linemen Casey Blaser and Tanner Stone in the past week. All three were on campus recently for Duke’s football camps and outworked the competition to earn scholarship offers. At 6’5” and 6’6”, Casey and Tanner have solid frames to grow into with some work in the weight room, and appear poised to help anchor the Blue Devil line in 2012 and beyond. Martin is ranked as one of the top placekickers in the country by kicking guru Chris Sailer, and will join 2011 punter Will Monday to solidify Duke’s special teams for years to come.

Camp All-Stars

Duke hosted hundreds of young football players over the past two weeks, all of whom were looking to make a name for themselves in the eyes of the Duke coaching staff. Overall, the competition was outstanding and the Duke staff was thrilled with the turnout from not only the class of 2012, but future classes as well. Several of the camp standouts are already members of the Duke class of 2012, validating the staff’s previous scouting and evaluation. Jacksonville stars Dwayne Norman and Erich Schneider were impressive at safety and tight end; both remain solid verbal commitments to the Blue Devils. Along the offensive line, the two newest Blue Devils, Blaser and Stone, were among the best blockers on the field. The two big linemen have great athletic ability, work ethic, and football mentality.

Three 2012 quarterbacks stood out among the dozens of signal-callers who attended the various Duke camps and the David Cutcliffe QB College. The Blue Devils first offered Miami’s Bilal Marshall back in January, and they remain impressed with his dual-threat ability, hoping he will choose to become an impact player for the Blue Devil program. Highly-coveted lefty Tyler Cameron also showed great dual-threat ability, while 6’5” sleeper Thomas Sirk simply blew the staff away with his arm, ultimately earning himself a scholarship offer from Coach Cutcliffe. At the other skill positions, two receivers from the class of 2013 also earned themselves early scholarship offers. Jacksonville’s Ahmad Fulwood, at 6’4,” seemed to haul in everything thrown his way, while Ohio’s Shelton Gibson showcased his tremendous speed. Charlotte’s Jela Duncan posted a blazing fast 40 time, and he remains at the top of Duke’s RB wish list, along with Tarboro star Todd Gurley and bruising SC back Dondre Brown.

Duke was the first to offer Tarboro RB Todd Gurley, and he remains their top target

 

Rubber, meet road

With Duke’s camps now complete and fall training camp still over a month away, the focus over the next several weeks will almost exclusively be on filling out the class of 2012. With the advent of the internet, everyone is now able to become a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to recruiting. But unlike basketball, where one recruit can truly make or break a class, it’s essential to see the big picture in football recruiting. Let’s try to take a look at the forest, instead of the trees.

The best place to start is probably with a rough sketch of the Duke 2012 roster, barring any early defections or injuries, to give us a sense of the Blue Devils’ scholarship situation, depth, and needs:

QB (4): Sean Renfree (R-Sr.), Sean Schroeder (R-Jr.), Brandon Connette (Jr.), Anthony Boone (R-So.)

RB (4): Patrick Kurunuwe (R-Sr.), Desmond Scott (Sr.), Josh Snead (Jr.), Juwan Thompson (Jr.)

WR (8): Conner Vernon (Sr.), Corey Gattis (R-Jr.), Tyree Watkins (R-Jr.), Brandon Braxton (Jr.), Jamison Crowder (?So.), Blair Holliday (R-Fr.), Nick Hill (R-Fr.), Max McCaffrey (Fr.)

TE (5): Jack Farrell (R-Jr.), Ryan Hall (R-Jr.), Braxton Deaver (R-So.), David Reeves (?So.), Erich Schneider (Fr.)

OT (5): Perry Simmons (R-Jr.), Takoby Cofield (R-So.), Marcus Aprahamian (R-Fr.), Casey Blaser (Fr.), Tanner Stone (Fr.)

OG (6): Dave Harding (R-Jr.), Joey Finison (R-Jr.), John Coleman (R-Jr.), Laken Tomlinson (R-So.), Lucas Patrick (R-Fr.), Cody Robinson (R-Fr.)

C (3): Brian Moore (R-Sr.), Conor Irwin (R-Sr.), Matt Skura (R-Fr.)

DE (10): Kenny Anunike (R-Sr.), Justin Foxx (R-Jr.), Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo (R-So.), Dezmond Johnson (R-So.), Nick Sink (R-So.), Jamal Wallace (R-So.), Sam Marshall (R-Fr.), Mario Sanders (R-Fr.), Allen Jackson (Fr.), Carlos Wray (Fr.)

DT (7): Curtis Hazelton (R-Sr.), Sydney Sarmiento (R-Jr.), Will Bryant (R-So.), Steven Ingram (R-So.), Jamal Bruce (R-So.), Lucas Fisher (R-Fr.), Carson Ginn (R-Fr.)

LB (9): Austin Gamble (Sr.), Kevin Rojas (R-Jr.), Kelby Brown (Jr.), C.J. France (R-So.), Kyler Brown (?So.), David Helton (?So.), Britton Grier (R-Fr.), Jon Woodruff (R-Fr.), Deion Williams (Fr.)

CB (8): Tony Foster (R-Sr.), Zach Greene (Sr.), Ross Cockrell (R-Jr.), Lex Butler (R-Jr.), Garrett Patterson (R-Jr.), Quan Stevenson (R-So.), Jared Boyd (?So.), Tim Burton (R-Fr.)

SAF (8): Jordon Byas (R-Sr.), Walt Canty (Sr.), Taylor Sowell (R-Jr.), August Campbell (R-Jr.), Anthony Young-Wiseman (R-Jr.), Issac Blakeney (R-So.), Chris Tavarez (R-Fr.), Dwayne Norman (Fr.)

K (2): Paul Asack (R-Sr.), Ross Martin (Fr.)

P (1): Will Monday (So.)

WR Drae Bowles could become a program-changer for the Blue Devils, on and off the field

With only a handful of scholarships remaining (if my math is right, please don’t check me), Duke has a glaring need at RB, where they will only have four scholarship players and no underclassmen. The expectation is that Duke will look to add at least one, but probably two running back prospects with their remaining scholarships. We also think that the staff would love to add a top QB to follow behind Boone, with Bilal Marshall and Thomas Sirk at the top of the list. At receiver, Duke could look to add someone alongside McCaffrey, and Drae Bowles is the number one priority; those around the program call the highly-coveted Bowles a potential program-changing recruit for the Blue Devils.

Duke probably needs to add another tight end in 2012 to join Erich Schneider, and the top two targets are currently Dan Beilinson and Ryan Morris. Elsewhere along the offensive line, Duke has a great amount of depth, which will allow Blaser and Stone to develop during their first years in Durham. There could be room for at least one more lineman in this class, and Duke remains hopeful that Alex Kozan or Andrew Jelks (who will not be announcing his decision soon, contrary to reports) will make their pledge to the Blue Devils.

Defensively, Duke has to be thrilled with the first three members of the class of 2012; both Wray and Jackson should develop into top ACC pass-rushing ends, and Norman is the prototypical hard-hitting safety the coaching staff loves. The biggest remaining need defensively is probably at defensive tackle, where Duke would love to add a potential program-changer in Korren Kirven (although another option could be to move Wray to DT and add an elite DE). A top prospect like Keilin Rayner or Jeremiah Allison to join under-the-radar commit Deion Williams would solidify the linebacking corps, and there’s room for at least one more defensive back at corner or safety.

With the graduation of pre-season All-ACC and All-American selection Will Snyderwine, there will be big shoes to fill at placekicker, and Duke hopes that Ross Martin, one of the top five kickers in the country, will be up to the task. Alongside Will Monday, Martin should carry the Duke kicking game for the next several years.

Give us back the Victory Bell, cheaters

 

Closing thoughts

With so many moving pieces, it’s hard to keep a finger on the pulse of football recruiting, and even harder to objectively evaluate individual commitments. Duke has done a nice job so far of adding solid athletes at positions of need (DE, SAF), while also bringing in a few prospects with high potential at positions of depth (OL, WR). Scholarships remain available for potential program-changers like Drae Bowles or Korren Kirven, and the best way to secure those commitments will be to win games this fall.

Well, that was quite the whirlwind of name-dropping. If we still haven’t satisfied your craving for Duke football, be sure to check out our recent previews featured on College Football Zealots and BC Interruption. And of course follow us on Twitter for up to the minute updates on Duke Football recruiting and team news. We’re on Facebook, too, by the way. And if you clicked on all the links in this article and are wondering why you can’t read the interviews, then it’s time for you to join BDN Premium. If you want to discuss Duke Football, correct my earlier math, or simply just want to become the most well-informed Duke fan on the planet, then you should also join BDN Premium. And current members, be sure to check out our new-look Football Message Boards today.

I guess that’s it for this week. Seriously? You were going to let me get away with that? Yeah, something kind of big happened in Chapel Hill this week. But see, there isn’t much to say, really, the NCAA took care of that for me. And so did Stewart Mandel. And Brett McMurphy. Good luck with all that, Butch. And give us back the Victory Bell.

Until next week, WE ARE DUKE.

This is a sample of the weekly Duke Football updates you’ll have access to as a BDN Premium member.  Join today and get inside access to happenings around the athletic programs where you’ll have a front row seat on the recruiting front.