Tag Archives: Duke Football commitments

RB Shaquille Powell committed to Duke over the weekend.

Duke Football Secures 3 Commitments

Head Coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils had a productive weekend, hosting 13 prospects on official visits and securing three verbal commitments. The commitments bring Duke’s class of 2012 to a total of 18 verbal commitments and help to solidify key areas of need for the program. Here’s a quick look at the newest Blue Devils. Check back in to BDN for the latest from the players themselves. Welcome to Duke!

RB Shaquille Powell committed to Duke over the weekend.

RB Shaquille Powell
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 200 pounds
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
High School: Bishop Gorman
Statistics: 2,427 yards and 40 touchdowns
Scholarship offers: Arizona State, Vanderbilt, Fresno State, San Diego State, Illinois, UNLV, Northern Arizona
BDN Scouting Report: Powell is an excellent between the tackles runner and brings an added dimension to the Duke backfield. He does not have elite speed, but is elusive and was a workhorse in high school for Bishop Gorman. He should be an excellent short-yardage and goal-line threat from day one. He will need to continue to improve his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and block to become an every down back at the college level. Overall, however, Duke fans should be excited about this pick-up. The coaching staff worked hard to land an elite back in this class and Powell is a great fit. The addition of a blazer like Jela Duncan could be the perfect complement to finish off the Blue Devil class of 2012.

Highlights:

DT Terrell Jackson
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 270 pounds
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
High School: Marion-Franklin
Statistics: 75 tackles and 20 sacks
Scholarship offers: Akron, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH), Toledo
BDN Scouting Report: Jackson is an under the radar lineman who impressed the staff at camp this summer. He will have to add some size and strength to play DT at the next level, but has the instincts and technique to be a solid ACC lineman in Durham. He’s shown flashes of ability as a run-stopper and was an elite pass-rusher in high school, earning 1st Team All-State honors. An intelligent player, he should be a quick study at the college level. Overall, Jackson is another player who fits the athletic mold Duke has been recruiting on the defensive line over the past few classes. Under Rick Petri’s tutelage, this group should continue to outperform expectations.

Highlights:

SAF Corbin McCarthy
Height: 5’10″
Weight: 205 pounds
Hometown: Norco, California
High School: Norco High School
Statistics: 50 tackles, 25 passes defended
Scholarship offers: Cal Poly
BDN Scouting Report: McCarthy joins several other lightly-recruited Californians in Durham. The hard-hitting safety has had aspirations of playing ACC football and the Blue Devils were the first to offer him that opportunity. McCarthy will have work to do to become an ACC caliber defender, primarily in the weight room where he needs to get stronger and faster. He’s another intelligent football player with good instincts, and that should help him adjust to the college game. Coach Cutcliffe has focused on bringing in better athletes to Durham, and though undersized, McCarthy fits that bill. Coach Knowles has developed a group of outstanding safeties in Durham, and McCarthy has the tools to continue that tradition.

Highlights:

TE Dan Beilinson hopes to make his decision soon between three finalists

Duke Football prospects visit for the Stanford game

The Blue Devils hosted several high school prospects on campus this weekend for the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony and Saturday’s game against Stanford. BDN Premium caught up with several of the prospects after their visit and got their thoughts on the game and the trip. [private]

TE Dan Beilinson visited for Duke's game against Stanford

TE Dan Beilinson, 6’5″ 220 pounds
Panther Creek HS, Cary, NC

It was very good! I’m solidifying my relationship with the coaches and staff even more…they can bounce back!

Dan helped Panther Creek to a thrilling 23-20 victory over Athens Drive on September 2, finishing with 4 catches for 67 yards. The Catamounts are 3-1 on the season after last week’s 42-21 win over Holly Springs. They will square off with Apex at home on Friday, September 16.

WR Max McCaffrey was Duke's 5th verbal commit in the class of 2012

 

WR Max McCaffrey, 6’3″ 190 pounds

Valor Christian HS, Highlands Ranch, CO

Great trip. Very impressed with Coach Cutcliffe and the rest of the staff.

Max is off to a great start to his senior year, leading 2-0 Valor Christian with 7 receptions for 89 yards. They will travel to Rampart on Friday, September 16.

A.J. Wolf was back in Durham to see Duke take on Stanford

 

DE A.J. Wolf, 6’4″ 245 pounds
The Hackley School, Tarrytown, NY

It went great. I really enjoyed seeing the coaches again. But it was too bad Duke couldn’t pull off the upset.

A.J. kicks off his senior season at Hackley this Saturday at home against Riverdale Country. Good luck!

 

Duke’s top priority in the class of 2012 remains Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan. Duncan was in Durham for the opener against Richmond, but was not able to make the trip for the Stanford game. Duke remains his leader, with South Carolina not far behind. He has also stated a desire to visit Pitt and Purdue this fall. As for the class of 2013, the Blue Devils have begun to extend verbal scholarship offers, the first going out to Charlotte Christian DB Desmond Lawrence. Lawrence visited Durham in August and is a former teammate of Duke’s Kelby and Kyler Brown.

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Bayard Rustin WR Anthony Nash committed to Duke in July

Duke Football gets a commitment from 6’4″ WR Anthony Nash

Bayard Rustin's Anthony Nash committed to Duke on Sunday

Despite the recent success of Duke’s All-ACC receivers Donovan Varner and Conner Vernon, the program has lacked a long, physical receiver to create match-up problems with opposing cornerbacks. On Sunday, the Blue Devils added exactly that type of player with the verbal commitment of 6’4” 180 pound wide receiver Anthony Nash. Nash had a standout junior year at Bayard Rustin HS in West Chester, finishing with 62 catches for over 1300 yards and 16 touchdowns. His efforts earned him 1st Team All-League and 2nd Team All-Area in Pennsylvania. After a slow start to his recruitment, Nash made a name for himself on the east coast summer camp circuit. The big receiver chose the Blue Devils over North Carolina, Boston College, Purdue, and Penn State. BDN first spoke with Anthony after he earned a scholarship offer at Duke’s camp earlier this summer, and the newest Blue Devil checked in with BDN again shortly after he spoke with the Duke coaching staff today.

 

BDN: How did you come to the decision to commit to Duke today?

I had a conversation with my coach and my family and were talking about all the schools. We were talking about Duke and North Carolina, because I went to North Carolina this weekend. And I just felt like Duke would be the better fit for me for my future and my education in the long run. So I went with Duke.

BDN: You mentioned North Carolina as a school you were considering. What other schools were you seriously considering?

Boston College, Purdue, and the other school was Penn State.

BDN: What did the Duke coaching staff have to say when you informed them of your decision today?

They were thrilled. They were really happy. They were pumped up. Definitely Coach Cut, I talked to him and he said I made his day, so that felt good.

BDN: What are your plans for the rest of your summer?

Just to keep working hard and focus on my senior year.

BDN: Is there anything you want to say to Duke football fans?

Just be excited. Be excited.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Anthony, and congratulations.

Thanks!

Safety prospect Michael Westray became the 13th member of Duke's class of 2012

Duke boosts secondary with 2012 commitment from Westlake’s Michael Westray

Safety prospect Michael Westray became the 13th member of Duke's class of 2012

When you’re the head coach of an ACC football program, it can be hard to get away. Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe knows the feeling, as he and his family have been on vacation this past week, while his phone has continued to ring with prospects wanting to commit to the Blue Devils. On Saturday, Coach Cutcliffe received the good news from Michael Westray, a 6’2″ 185 pound safety prospect from Westlake HS in Waldorf, Maryland. Duke fans should be familiar with the Westlake program, as it is also the alma mater of freshman Duke LB Jon Woodruff. After playing primarily defensive line at Westlake, Woodruff is making the transition to linebacker at the college level. The newest Blue Devil, Westray, will make a similar move, as he slides over to safety after playing mostly cornerback in high school. Westray earned offers this summer from Duke and North Carolina State after impressive performances on the camp circuit, where he was clocked with a 4.4 second 40-yard dash. Prior to his commitment, Westray had also received interest from Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest. The Duke coaching staff is excited to see Westray develop at safety, and believe they have stolen two very good prospects out of Maryland this year in Westray and DE Allen Jackson. Blue Devil fans can get a look at Westray’s junior highlights here.

BDN caught up with the newest Blue Devil over the holiday weekend.

BDN: How did you arrive at your decision to commit to Duke?

Duke has always been there from day one, as part of my recruiting process as a player, as a student-athlete. They were one of the first schools to show me attention and they’ve been showing it consistently. My recruiting coordinator, Coach Zac Roper, has been very close to me, my head coach, and my family as a whole. That’s been a big part of my commitment. I’ve been to the campus twice, once for the camp and one on an unofficial visit. I enjoyed myself both times, I enjoyed the coaching staff and I enjoyed the whole vibe I got there. Another thing is one of my teammates from last year commited to Duke as well, Jonathan Woodruff.

BDN: How did you inform the Duke coaching staff about your decision and what did they say to you?

I was in the office of my high school head coach, and we called Coach Cutcliffe. He called Coach Cutcliffe directly and I said, “Coach, I want to be a Blue Devil.” He was excited, he was on vacation actually, and he said “well my vacation is going to be a whole lot better now, my dinner is going to taste a lot better tonight,” and stuff like that.

BDN: You’ve played all over the field in high school. Where do the coaches see you fitting in at Duke and what do you hope to bring to the program?

They put me at safety and I really hope to be an impact player for the team, get after this ACC championship.

BDN: Now that you’ve made your decision, what are your plans for the rest of your summer?

I’m just focusing on my football team, my high school football team, preparing, lifting weights, things like that.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Mike, and welcome to Duke.

Thank you.

Join BDN Premium to discuss the newest Blue Devil and all things Duke Football on our Premium Message Board!

Will St. John Bosco WR Justin Johnson be the next Duke commitment?

Free Football Friday!

Free Football Friday! We’re having so much fun building our football coverage here at BDN, we thought we’d share with the whole class this week. In case you have been living under a rock, BDN is quickly becoming the place for the best Duke Football coverage around. We follow recruiting all offseason with prospect interviews, commitment stories (yeah, we broke the last three commitments, but who’s counting?), and we’re the only site that’s with the team all season long. Football Friday is our weekly look inside the world of Duke Football, so let’s get after it.

 

WR Max McCaffrey is Duke's 5th verbal commit in the class of 2012

One for the thumb

The Duke class of 2012 is up to five, after the commitment of WR Max McCaffrey earlier this week. Needless to say, the Duke staff is thrilled to add McCaffrey to the Blue Devil family. Max is the son of former NFL Pro Bowl receiver Ed McCaffrey, the nephew of former Duke men’s basketball player Billy McCaffrey, and the grandson of former Duke great Dave Sime. Max’s younger brother, Christian, is also a star at Valor Christian, defending back-to-back Colorado State Champions.

 

Preseason prognosticating

It’s the time of year when everyone gets to be an expert in college football. The 2011 preview publications are hitting newsstands and dozens of websites are publicizing their own predictions. Coming off a 3-win season, most of the prognosticators are not predicting a bowl for the Blue Devils in 2011, with many picking Duke to finish last in the ACC Coastal Division. Duke has a tough schedule in front of them this year, but a young and hungry team that is more than capable of winning ball games. We’ll have our full predictions in the coming weeks as the season approaches.

 

Kelby Brown preparing to lead Duke defense

Most of the aforementioned prognosticators have pointed to the ACC-worst Duke defense as the biggest concern for the 2011 Blue Devils, and it’s no secret. Duke has question marks on the defensive side of the ball, especially up front, where only a handful of upperclassmen return. The Duke linebackers should be led by a healthy Kelby Brown in 2011, who will be joined by his younger brother Kyler Brown. ESPN’s Heather Dinich caught up with Kelby this week, who sounds ready to bring some swagger back to the Duke defense.

 

Football camp kicks off next week

Duke will host dozens of high school prospects next week for the first of two one-day summer football camps. One-day camps have historically been a great chance for prospects to impress coaches and earn additional offers, and you can bet that BDN will bring you the best coverage possible from Duke’s camps this year.

 

Recruiting #SCOOP

Will St. John Bosco WR Justin Johnson be the next Duke commitment?

 

You know we always save the best for last here at Football Friday, even when it’s free. Duke hosted California WR Justin Johnson on an unofficial visit today, and he had the following to say to the Blue Devil Nation:

The visit was great. I loved the campus, I love the way they have their academics set up to assit the football players. I just think it’s an all-around great school. I got a chance to check out all the facilities from the weight room to the locker room to the field and got a chance to see the new indoor practice field in the making. I met Coach Cutcliffe and I think he’s an awesome coach and I love his passion for the game. At the end I got a chance to check out the Duke annual sale and bought a lot of gear. Commitment is on my mind and may be done soon.

Needless to say, check back with BDN over the weekend for the latest from Justin on his visit and his decision. Have a great week – WE ARE DUKE!

 

Football Friday wishes Blue Devil Nation a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend

BDN Premium Football Friday: Recruiting updates

Football Friday wishes Blue Devil Nation a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend

In case you haven’t noticed, things tend to come in waves here at BDN Premium. With AAU coverage in full swing, we’re also entering the heat of the college football recruiting season. The Blue Devils have added another verbal commitment this week, and they’re just getting started. [private]

 

Class of 2012 up to 4

California LB Deion Williams joined TE Erich Schneider, DE Allen Jackson, and SAF Dwayne Norman as the first four verbal commitments in the class of 2012 this week. As a junior, Williams earned 2nd Team All-Trinity League honors, playing on both sides of the ball. Though Duke was his only offer to date, the coaching staff targeted Williams early on in the recruiting season and there’s reason to believe that they expect him to develop into a solid college player.

Back to the board

During the recent spring evaluation period, the Duke coaching staff was out in full force, scouting the country for players who will make an impact for their program. At the start of the evaluation period, Duke had extended around 50-60 offers. That number has now swelled to nearly 100, so let’s take another look at the recruiting board by position.

Duke was the first to offer Tarboro RB Todd Gurley

Running backs

Let’s start with one of the positions of greatest need in 2012, after not bringing in a running back in 2011. Duke is up to 12 offers at running back, a good indication that they hope to take more than one in this class. Eleven of those prospects are still undecided, with J.C. Coleman, a Virginia Tech commit, being the lone exception. Dontonio Jordan is expected to announce his decision today, with most expecting his pick to be Kansas or Stanford. We’ve already heard from several of the remaining prospects, so we have some idea of where Duke stands with them: Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, l’Tavius Mathers and Nick Tompkins. Interviews with some of the new names will be posted this week.

Offensive linemen

The offensive linemen are widely considered to be the strength of the class of 2011, and Duke hopes that success continues in the class of 2012. So far, Coach Luke and the staff have come up empty, losing six offensive line prospects to other schools; most recently, Patrick DeStefano to Clemson and Max Tuerk to USC. There are eleven uncommitted offensive line prospects remaining on Duke’s board, and we will focus on this position in interviews next week.

Defensive linemen

It’s no secret that Duke needs to improve on defense, and recruiting well along the defensive front would go a long way towards that cause. With an athletic defensive end prospect in Allen Jackson already on board, Duke is looking at 8 additional defensive end prospects and 12 defensive tackle prospects. Of those offered, only two have committed elsewhere: Brent Wilkerson to Penn State and Matt Godin to Michigan. Again, a lot of these prospects aren’t new to us: Torey Agee, Korren Kirven, David Reader, Jordan Watkins, and Carlos Wray.

Duke would love for Keilin Rayner to join Deion Williams at LB in the class of 2012

 

Linebackers

The Blue Devils added Deion Williams to the class of 2012 this week, and will look to add at least one additional linebacker in this class. Keilin Rayner remains at the top of the list, but Jeremiah Allison is a new west coast prospect that has entered the mix. We’ll hear from him this week as well.

Safeties

Dwayne Norman became the newest member of the Duke secondary last week, but he is joined by five other uncommitted prospects on the recruiting board, which includes Ron Geohaghan, C.J. Prosise, and Jonavaughn Williams.

Cornerbacks

After losing out on Ronald Darby to Notre Dame, Duke remains focused on a group of five cornerbacks, led by Larry Hope and Albert Reid.

Tight ends

Duke views Erich Schneider, the first commitment of the class of 2012, as a tight end prospect, but will need to add at least one more to build depth at the position with the graduation of Cooper Helfet and Danny Parker. While they lost out on Evan Baylis to Oregon, Duke remains aggressive with a group of elite tight ends, headlined by Dan Beilinson, Justin Meredith, Kent Taylor, and Colin Thompson.

Wide receivers

The Duke offense remains attractive to elite wide receivers, and with All-ACC receivers Donovan Varner and Conner Vernon now upperclassmen, the Blue Devils will need to reload at the position in the class of 2012. Micheal Summers is an athlete we recently heard from who could fit nicely as a slot receiver, and Duke continues to pursue Jared Crump, Justin Johnson, and Max McCaffrey.

Duke has offered GA dual-threat QB Chris Moody

Quarterbacks

So now you’re asking, did he really mean quarterbacks? I thought Bilal Marshall was the only one with an offer. Well, here’s your reward for reading this far. Duke has extended an offer to Georgia QB Chris Moody, another dual-threat prospect in the class of 2012. Moody has offers from other ACC programs such as Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech, along with an offer from Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks. Here’s a highlight clip for those who want to see more.

Busy week

For most of you, this is a holiday weekend, and we wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day. For those of us here at BDN Premium, it will be a busy weekend, and we hope you’ll come back for the best AAU and Duke football recruiting coverage around. WE ARE DUKE.

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