Head Coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils have added their 5th verbal commitment to the class of 2012 today from the state of Colorado. Max McCaffrey informed the Duke coaching staff of his decision on Wednesday afternoon. McCaffrey is a 6’3” 190 pound wide receiver prospect from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. As a receiver and defensive back, Max helped lead Valor Christian to back-to-back 4A State Championship in his sophomore and junior seasons. The athletic junior, who also plays basketball and track, had received scholarship offers from Arizona State, Connecticut, and Wake Forest. Max is the son of former NFL WR Ed McCaffrey and the nephew of former Duke men’s basketball player Billy McCaffrey.
Check back with BDN for more on the newest Blue Devil.
On a chilly and damp Saturday, the Blue Devils received their second verbal commitment of the class of 2012, as defensive end Allen Jackson gave his pledge to Head Coach David Cutcliffe and Duke. Jackson was among a large group of prospects and their families who were in Durham for the annual spring game.
Jackson is a 6’5” 225 pound defensive end prospect from Owings Mills, Maryland. Playing defensive end and tight end for McDonogh High School, Allen earned All-Conference honors as a junior, and had already received offers from Duke, Maryland, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia. Partnering with fellow defensive end Roman Braglio, Jackson forms one of the top pass-rushing duos in the mid-Atlantic region. In his junior season, Allen totaled 83 tackles and 9 sacks, numbers he'll look to top in his senior year as he hopes to lead McDonogh to a state championship. Highlights from Allen’s junior year can be viewed here.
BDN: Can you talk about your visit this weekend and your decision to commit to Duke?
This weekend was great. Everything that we talked about, everything that was mentioned, contributed to my decision. Coming down, I didn't know that I was going to commit. I knew that I liked Duke a lot, but I also liked Rutgers a lot. But it was just the Duke education and the things that they have there, I think that nobody in the country can provide me as far as the academics and the people that they have there. I didn't think anyone else could amount to that, so that really played into my decision of picking Duke. And also, Coach Petri, his expertise on defensive linemen and approach to the game really intrigued me. That brought me closer to choosing Duke, and the Duke name was a big factor as well.
BDN: What were some of the things you talked about with Coach Petri as far as your role at Duke and things to work on this year?
They definitely see me as a defensive end and they like my athleticism, but definitely hope for me to keep continuing to lift as I am now and hopefully pick up some more pounds. But if not, when I arrive there in the summer, I definitely will continue to work out and pick up weight. He didn't really see weight as being a big issue right now.
BDN: What are your plans for future visits either this spring or summer?
Well, I think I'm definitely going to go down and visit, probably take in some practices and maybe go on an official visit this summer. Other than that, I'm not quite sure at the moment, but I'm definitely going to go down some more, I'm just not sure the dates and times yet.
BDN: Thanks a lot, Allen and congratulations on your commitment.
While the 2012 recruiting season is just heating up, Duke got on the board early with a commitment from TE Erich Schneider. After visits to Duke last summer and fall, Erich decided that the Blue Devils were the right fit for him. Erich is a 6’6” 220 pound prospect from Jacksonville, Florida. As a junior, Erich helped lead Episcopal high school to a 5-7 overall record, falling short of the state playoffs. The tall receiving prospect was recently in Durham for Junior Day and spoke with BDN after his visit. Highlights of Erich’s junior year can be viewed here.
BDN: Can you start off by describing some of your strengths for fans who haven’t had a chance to see you play?
I think my size, definitely, and my speed for my size and my quickness. So hopefully I’ll be able to get bigger, but still maintain my speed and my quickness.
BDN: What have you been working on this offseason?
My foot speed is basically the biggest thing, and just maintaining my speed, but I got to work on my foot speed the most.
BDN: You were recently in Durham for Junior Day. How did your visit go?
It was – okay, it was awesome. I went to, first of all I went to the meetings with the coach, the whole team, and then I went with the tight ends and had a look at what they do in their meetings and stuff. It was really neat, and then I was able to visit a practice, and that was awesome. It was really fast, really fast playtime that they use, it was awesome. So – and then I met some coaches, I met some of the players, and I basically just got to see what playing is all about, so that was really cool.
BDN: What were the biggest factors that led to your commitment to Duke?
Academics especially, and Coach Cutcliffe, definitely want to play for a coach like him. He brought in that whole coaching staff, so that’s – I know in the future it’s gonna be a really strong program, and I love the offense that they run. I’m really attracted to their receiving tight end, like myself.
BDN: Do you have plans to make any other visits this spring or summer?
Yeah, yeah, I’m probably gonna go up for a weekend or something and go to a camp there, work with the tight-end coach, maybe he’ll – and, I don’t know, I definitely am gonna go up there this summer, but I might also take my official visit there.
BDN: Have any other schools been in contact with your recently?
I’ve attempted a little bit to contact a few schools, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt a little bit, but not really. I’m considering, but I’m pretty solidly committed to Duke right now.
BDN: Is there anything else that you think is important for Duke fans to know about you?
I guess I just want to win. I want to help the team in any way I can, but it’s kind of cliché, but true.
BDN: Thanks a lot, Erich, and best of luck to you.