Tag Archives: ECU

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

Duke is a finalist for 2 top uncommitted North Carolina prospects

Historically, National Signing Day has been a lackluster affair for Blue Devil fans, as Coach Cutcliffe and his staff typically work hard to secure verbal commitments during the summer and fall recruiting seasons. Last year, Duke fans were pleasantly surprised by the Signing Day commitment of Alabama TE David Reeves. This year, however, Duke Football fans will finally get to experience some authentic Signing Day drama. Duke is a finalist for two of the top uncommitted prospects in North Carolina, Jela Duncan and Keilin Rayner. [private]

 

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan will choose between Duke, ECU, and Wake Forest

RB Jela Duncan

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 190 pounds

High School: Mallard Creek

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

BDN Scouting Report:  With Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley heading to UGA, Duncan will be the top running back to remain in the state of North Carolina. After an outstanding high school season at Mallard Creek, Duncan capped off his career with 112 yards on only 7 carries in the 75th Annual Shrine Bowl. Duncan is an outstanding runner; he’s physical for his size, has great hands and good vision. There is no question that he has the tools to be successful at the college level and the ability to make an immediate impact for a program like Duke.

BDN Analysis:

Duke: Ever since he blew away the Duke coaching staff with his performance at camp last June, Duncan has been at the top of the Blue Devils’ recruiting board. Duke was the early leader, but seemed to fade slightly as other schools became involved. To those who have followed his recruitment and spoken with Jela throughout the process, it has always seemed like there’s something missing at Duke for him. The Blue Devils were fortunate to be able to take a commitment from Shaquille Powell in December, and a backfield of Powell and Duncan could become one of the ACC’s best. That being said, relative to their competition, Duke does have a crowded backfield, and Duncan will have to earn early playing time. Duke put forth their best on his official visit to Durham, and Duncan remains closest with Coach Cutcliffe, who followed up with an in-home visit last week.

ECU: Seemingly on the outside looking in for much of his recruitment, ECU has surged of late. After an official visit to in early January, Duncan seemed to find what he was looking for, and declared ECU his new leader. The Pirates offer a great social scene, immediate playing time, and perhaps most importantly, an NFL RB legacy. Football is king as ECU, and a star RB could quickly find himself crowned BMOC. With the upcoming conference realignments, ECU will face a relatively weak C-USA schedule and their national exposure may not match that of their ACC brethren. ECU, however, does not have a current RB commitment in the class of 2012.

Wake Forest: For those handicapping this recruitment, Wake Forest was a natural dark horse candidate: closest to home, recent success in the ACC, a run-heavy offense, and a solid academic reputation. It should be no surprise, then, that the Demon Deacons’ hit a home run with their recent official visit and have become a major player in Duncan’s decision. The Deacs’ already have an under-the-radar RB committed in the class of 2012 in Texan Joshua Wilhite. Still, Coach Grobe likely was able to sell Duncan on being the understudy and heir apparent to breakout star Josh Harris.

Summary: First and foremost, whichever school ends up with a commitment from Jela on National Signing day, they’re getting a good kid and a great running back. When recruiting battles get heated, players often are vilified, and that shouldn’t happen here. Duncan has been polite and conscientious throughout this process. He took his time, focused on his senior season, and then evaluated all of his options. This is not a decision he nor his family takes lightly, and in the end, he will select the school he feels offers him the best opportunity of fulfilling his dreams.

 

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

Keilin Rayner

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 215 pounds

High School: North Brunswick

Hometown: Leland, North Carolina

 

BDN Scouting Report: Rayner is a prolific run-stopper from either the LB or DE position. His size and speed likely translate best as an outside linebacker at the college level, but his versatility is one of his strengths. A tackling-machine, Rayner has a great nose for the football and the strength to wrap up ball-carriers. He has the instincts and athleticism to be a playmaker in the ACC, but must improve his coverage skills to earn early playing time on defense. His tackling ability and motor make him an excellent candidate to see early action on special teams.

BDN Analysis:

Duke: Duke was also an early leader for Rayner, as the Blue Devils were among the first to offer the in-state defensive star. By the fall, however, it appeared that Duke has fallen back to the pack, though the staff continued to communicate with Keilin. From Duke’s perspective, Rayner is the prototypical linebacker for their 4-2-5 defensive scheme. He has the tackling ability and frame that is reminiscent of current Bengals’ LB Vincent Rey, a former Duke star. Rayner would have the ability to earn immediate playing time, while also setting himself up for life after football, something important to his family.

ECU: The Pirates are the hometown school for Rayner, and that proximity to home is always tough to beat. Rayner shared his official visit to Greenville with Duncan, and all reports are that the staff hit a home run that weekend. ECU offers the same things as above: social scene, passion for football, and immediate playing time.

Summary: Rayner has played things incredibly close to the vest over the past week, making this a tough one to call. Reports are that the Blue Devils’ are the favorite among his family, but that the official visit to ECU is still looming large in Keilin’s mind. As with Duncan, it’s important to note that Rayner will be an excellent representative of whichever program he chooses. He’s been great to interview and will be a great addition to any football program.

 

While it’s seemingly easy for fans to make these decisions, each prospect has his own priorities, pressures, likes, and dislikes. Duke has done a good job in recruiting both players and has remained in both recruitments from day 1. The Blue Devils have earned a hat on each table and we’ll all have our fingers crossed on Signing Day. The addition of either Duncan or Rayner would be a perfect ending to what appears to be one of Duke’s strongest recruiting classes in recent years. The addition of both could just be the turning point this program has been looking for.

Be sure to check in with BDN for all the latest Duke Signing Day coverage. [/private]

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan will choose between Duke, ECU, and Wake Forest

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan recaps his Duke official visit for BDN Premium

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan is Duke's top remaining priority in the class of 2012

It’s no secret that Jela Duncan has been the Duke coaching staff’s top priority in the class of 2012 for the past several months. The Mallard Creek star RB is viewed as the type of elite athlete that will help the Blue Devils’ program get to the next level. As signing day approaches, Duncan is making his final visits and has narrowed his choices to Duke, ECU, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. Coach Cutcliffe has developed a strong relationship with the elite prospect throughout his recruitment and welcomed him to Durham on an official visit this weekend. Duncan checked in with BDN shortly after returning home from his Duke official visit. [private]

BDN: How was your visit to Duke?

IT went pretty good, it went pretty good. I like it up there, I like it.

BDN: You’ve been to Durham a few times before. What were you able to see on this visit that was different?

Well I got to see more this time. They showed me the academic buildings, got to see the indoor facility since it’s been put up, and I got to sit down and meet with the coaches a little bit more than I had before.

BDN: Did you get to spend some time with the Duke players and who was your host?

Yes, I did. Jamison Crowder. That was my first time actually meeting him.

BDN: Can you talk a little about your relationship with the Duke coaches?

First off, I have a great relationship with Coach Cut. We talk on the phone probably every other day. He calls sometimes just to check up on me and see how I’m doing. My relationship with the running back coach, Coach Roper, that’s a pretty good relationship. We sat down and watched film. He showed me some of the offense that they’re running and it’s basically some of the things we run at Mallard Creek. It was pretty simple.

BDN: What other visits do you have scheduled and when do you think you’ll make your final decision?

I’ll probably make my final decision after I come back from Wake Forest next weekend.

BDN: Is that your last visit remaining?

Yes sir it is. I probably might go on an unofficial visit to UNC this week but I don’t have the date yet.

BDN: You’ve also been able to visit ECU. Do you have a ranking of schools in your head at this point?

It’s basically between ECU, Duke, and UNC and Wake Forest.

BDN: What will be the one or two things that are most important as you make your final decision?

If I feel like I’m at home. Am I comfortable? Am I going to be able to be there for four years without football, looking at life outside of football?

BDN: Thanks a lot, Jela. Best of luck.

Ok, thank you sir.

[/private]

Mallard Creek's Jela Duncan is Duke's top remaining target in the class of 2012

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan declares “Duke is my leader”

Mallard Creek's Jela Duncan is Duke's top remaining target in the class of 2012

In the midst of a scholarship crunch, the Duke coaching staff has secured 14 verbal commitments in the class of 2012, and may only have one or two remaining scholarships available. With four upperclassmen at running back in 2011, an elite running back remains Duke’s biggest need in the class of 2012. Specifically, the Duke staff is looking for a player who can come in and contribute early, and they believe they found exactly that type of athlete just down I-85 in Charlotte. After an impressive performance at Duke’s camp earlier this summer, Mallard Creek’s Jela Duncan remains at the top of the Blue Devils’ list. [private]

Duncan is a 5’10″ 190 pound prospect who posted a blazing 4.23 second 40-yard dash in Durham in June. In his first full season at running back, Duncan helped Mallard Creek to a 13-1 record, rushing for 1,375 yards on 101 carries with 17 touchdowns, despite missing three games. His junior year performance earned 1st Team I-Meck Conference and plenty of attention from college coaches and scouts, making him a consensus top-40 RB prospect nationally. To date, Duncan has picked up scholarship offers from Duke, ECU, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Wake Forest, and Western Michigan. The star tailback has been busy on the camp circuit this summer, and checked back in with BDN to update Duke fans on his recruitment.

BDN: Where do things stand with scholarship offers?

I still have the same offers from last time I talked to you, but South Carolina came into the picture. They said they should be offering me because I went down there to their showcase on Friday and performed really good. Coach Graham and Coach Spurrier really liked me.

BDN: So you were at South Carolina last weekend; have you been to any other camps recently, or do you have any planned?

Just South Carolina, that’s it right now. I’ve got an unofficial coming up on Friday to Carolina, North Carolina, so I can go up there and get evaluated.

BDN: Will that be your first visit to UNC?

Yeah, it’s going to be my first time visiting there, but I’ve driven through the campus and stuff.

BDN: Overall, what schools stand out to you at this point?

Duke is my leader for now.

BDN: Where would you say you stand with your recruitment – would you say you are hoping for more offers, or are you trying to narrow things down?

I’m going to try and stay up and earn some more offers during the season. I’ll probably narrow my offers down, I want to say probably towards the end of the season.

BDN: So is your plan to narrow things down towards the end of your season and then take your official visits?

Yes sir.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Jela, and best of luck in your senior year.

Yes sir, thank you.

[/private]

Pinecrest OL Bryce Kennedy is looking for a school with great academics

Pinecrest OL Bryce Kennedy likes Duke

Pinecrest OL Bryce Kennedy is looking for a school with good academics

Many consider the strength of Duke’s last recruiting class to be the offensive line, led by Cody Robinson, Marcus Aprahamian, Lucas Patrick, and Matt Skura. Coach Luke and the staff would love to add a few more impact linemen to the roster in the class of 2012, but it’s been a slow start at the position so far. With camp season in full swing, recruiting has picked up quickly, and Duke has extended offers to a number of top offensive linemen across the country, and some close to Durham. One of the top linemen in the state of North Carolina resides in Southern Pines, and 6’3″ 285 pound prospect Bryce Kennedy added a Blue Devil offer to his list a few weeks ago.

BDN: Can you start off by describing your strengths for fans who haven’t had a chance to see you play?

My biggest thing is I’m fast for my size, I get off the ball pretty quick, so I think that’s my biggest strength.

BDN: What are some of the things you have been working on this spring?

Trying to get stronger, I’m in the weight room a lot, doing a lot of weights. I’ve started the speed process, I’m doing less weights, a lot of reps, trying to get faster for the season.

BDN: What are your goals for your senior year?

My senior year I plan on giving my all, making plays, helping my team out, and I hope my team takes after me and gives it their all.

BDN: As you look at your college decision, what are the most important factors you are looking for in a school?

Main thing I’m looking for is if they have a good program in academics. I’m big on academics and my mom is too, so I know she’s going to want me to go to a school that’s big on academics.

BDN: Is there a particular academic program you’re interested in studying?

Not right now, I’m still looking around, but I mean schools like Duke and [North] Carolina, top academic schools.

BDN: What schools have you been in contact with the most?

South Carolina, East Carolina, NC State has been by. Clemson has been by, North Carolina by, and Duke has been by. I think that’s been about it. Wake Forest has been by. The schools I’ve been to already has been South Carolina, Duke, and North Carolina and I’m going to NC State this weekend or next weekend. Oh yeah, Stanford came by, too.

BDN: That was going to be my next question. How did your visits go to South Carolina, Duke, and North Carolina?

They’re all great, they’re all great schools. From what I saw, they’re all just great schools and would be great places to go to school.

BDN: Do you have any visits planned for this summer other than NC State?

I plan on going to Stanford this summer and Wake Forest and probably East Carolina. I’ll probably go back to South Carolina, Duke, and UNC too.

BDN: Have any schools stood out to you at this point in the process, either from your visits or your relationships with the coaches?

They’re all new to me, so they’ve all really, really, really surprised me. South Carolina, I know the coaches a lot, I know the OLine coach since I’ve been a freshman he’s been there and what type of guy he is. I like Duke and [North] Carolina a lot because of the campuses and I know how the academics are. I’ve talked to the coaches a lot and they seem like good coaches to have, like they’d be there for me and everything.

BDN: Do you have an idea for how you would like to narrow things down and make your decision?

Yeah, I’m going to talk to my parents about and see what schools are at the top.

BDN: Is there anything else you think is important for college football fans to know about you?

The only thing that’s really important to me is that I’m going to give my all on every play, I’m going to be there to support my team, and I’m a player that they can count on.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Bryce, and best of luck to you.

Alright, thank you sir.

 

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

Recruiting heating up for NC LB Keilin Rayner

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

The Duke coaching staff has been scouting the country in search of players to help improve the Blue Devil defense, but they have been focused on an in-state linebacker for several months now. Keilin Rayner is a 6’3” 220 pound linebacker prospect from Leland, North Carolina. As a junior, Keilin played primarily defensive end, helping North Brunswick HS to the state playoffs and a 5-7 overall record. The Duke coaching staff would love to add Rayner to the class of 2012 at linebacker, where he could make an early impact for the Blue Devils. Highlights from Keilin’s junior year can be viewed here. Duke and ECU were the first two programs to offer a scholarship to Rayner, whose recruitment has taken off this spring. When BDN last spoke with Keilin, Duke was a program that had impressed him, but with over half a dozen offers now, where do the Blue Devils stand?

 

BDN: What coaches have stopped by to see you this spring?

Pretty much all of them, Clemson, Maryland, Virginia Tech, [NC] State, [North] Carolina, ECU, and Wake Forest came by.

BDN: When we last spoke Duke and ECU were the first two schools to offer you; what other schools have offered you this spring?

[North] Carolina, [NC] State, Duke, ECU, Wake, Clemson, South Carolina, Florida International, I think that’s about it.

BDN: Which schools have you visited so far?

I didn’t get to visit any this spring, but previously I visited ECU, [NC] State, and Duke. I’m hoping to visit [North] Carolina maybe next week.

BDN: Do you have plans for any other visits this summer?

Maybe some camps, but other than that I don’t know yet.

BDN: With recruiting picking up for you, what are your thoughts for when you want to narrow things down and make your decision?

I would like to visit all the schools that have offered me and some other schools that haven’t, probably make my decision later after I’ve visited.

BDN: Which schools or coaches do you feel like you have the best relationship with?

Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Luke from Duke.

BDN: What are your plans for the summer?

Just work out, pretty much.

BDN: That’s great, I know you mentioned you would be playing more linebacker this fall, what kind of things have you been working on?

A lot of coaches said to work on my hip flexibility and getting off the ball, working on that.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Keilin, and best of luck.

Thank you.


 

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

Duke and NC State lead for LB Keilin Rayner

Duke and NC State have stood out to Keilin Rayner

In 2010, Duke coaches and fans were impressed by the play of freshman linebacker Kelby Brown. On the recruiting trail, the Duke coaching staff is searching for more hard-hitting linebackers to join Brown on the Blue Devil defense. Keilin Rayner is a 6’3” 220 pound linebacker prospect from Leland, North Carolina. As a junior, Keilin played primarily defensive end, helping North Brunswick HS to the state playoffs and a 5-7 overall record. Highlights from his junior year can be viewed here.

 

BDN: Can you start out by describing your strengths as a player?

I guess my speed for my size, be able to get off blocks and go back side and get to the ball.

BDN: What are some of the things you have been working on this offseason?

My agility is one thing, my agility and my ability to get off the ball, speed to get off the ball.

BDN: What are your goals for your senior year?

Get a lot of tackles, pretty much.

BDN: What are the most important factors you’re looking for in a college?

Pretty much the facility, the fans, and the tradition for winning, like trophies and such.

BDN: Which schools have you heard the most from so far? Who were the first schools to contact you?

I got my first offer from ECU, it was like the end of my sophomore year, and I’m talking to Duke and Clemson – I talked to the Florida coach he called the other day.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit so far?

Yeah, I went to Duke, ECU, pretty much been around the state, haven’t been out of state.

BDN: Have any schools stood out to you at this point in the process, either on your visits or your contact with coaches?

Yeah, Duke and [NC] State. [NC] State’s facilities specifically appear top notch, and Duke pretty much you can get a degree, pretty much worldwide, from an educational standpoint with Duke.

BDN: Do you have plans to visit any other schools this spring or summer?

Maybe South Carolina, or Virginia Tech.

BDN: At this point in the process, do you have an idea for when you would like to make your college decision?

Maybe after football season.