For the second time in the past month, the Blue Devils, fresh off their first bowl appearance in 18 years, have flipped a commitment from another BCS school. Chris Holmes, a 6'2" 190 pound prospect from Chancellor High School, had committed to NC State last summer, but the coaching change in Raleigh forced him to consider other options. The Duke staff seized the opportunity, bringing the star defensive back in for an official visit in December. The Blue Devils received a commitment from another Chancellor High School player two years ago in DT Sam Marshall. Marshall's presence, along with the relationship with the Duke coaching staff, was a big factor in the decision to switch to the Blue Devils.
Fredericksburg.com first reported the news of Holmes' decision. “I had a better bond with the coaches and the players at Duke,” Holmes told Nathan Warters of Fredericksburg.com, "It’s a team that’s on the turnaround. I liked that, I wanted to be a part of that.”
Holmes holds more than a dozen scholarship offers, including ACC programs like Boston College, Clemson and NC State, along with Michigan, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
Holmes joins fellow Virginia defensive backs Evrett Edwards and Jake Kite in the Blue Devils' class of 2013. Edwards will enroll at Duke next week, while Kite and Holmes expect to enroll this summer. The Blue Devils will have to replace 3 starters in their defensive backfield after the graduation of Lee Butler, Jordon Byas, and Walt Canty.
Earlier in December, the Blue Devils received a commitment from Dominic Zanca-McDonald, a Florida linebacker who had previously committed to Tennessee. Like at NC State, the Volunteers have undergone a coaching staff change, which led to an opportunity for the Duke staff to secure another commitment. The Blue Devils will host LB Jerod Fernandez, another NC State commitment, on an official visit later this month.