Tag Archives: Florida HS Football

Dade Christian's Ryan Janvion has narrowed his college choices down to Duke, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest

Duke is a finalist for star Miami student-athlete Ryan Janvion

Dade Christian's Ryan Janvion has narrowed his college choices down to Duke, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest

The strength of the new Duke defense relies on a group of dynamic athletes at the safety position to slow opposing offenses. Duke’s safeties are led by seniors Matt Daniels and Lee Butler, which means that the Blue Devils will have to reload at the position in 2012. The Duke coaching staff has secured a verbal commitment from Jacksonville safety Dwayne Norman and hopes another athletic Florida safety will join him in the Blue Devils’ class of 2012. Ryan Janvion, a 5’11” 175 pound athlete from Miami, recently took a visit to Durham and came away impressed. A four-year starter for Dade Christian HS, Janvion has played all over the field in his high school career, but is focused on playing strong safety at the college level. A star on the field and in the classroom (4.0 GPA), Ryan has narrowed his college choices down to Duke, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest. As the prototypical elite student-athlete Duke targets, the Blue Devil coaching staff is hopeful that Ryan will fill one of their few remaining available scholarships in the class of 2012. [private]

 

BDN: Can you tell us a little bit about your high school career and your strengths on the field?

I’m definitely being recruited most heavily as a strong safety. Colleges feel like I can be the best threat at that position because I can be involved in both the run and the pass game. My high school career has been great, I’ve been a four-year starter at Dade Christian, I started as a freshman. I actually started my 8th grade year during the spring, and that really helped me to get to the point where I am now because I was starting to define where I was going and I got used to playing the game of football early and that gave me an advantage over a lot of people. The game started slowing down for me each and every year and I’m at a point now where I just want to dominate on the field and be an unstoppable force and a game-changer.

BDN: What are some of the things you’re working on as you head into your senior season?

I’m definitely hitting the weights hard, trying to put on as much muscle mass as I can, well not so much that as just getting the strength portion in, continuing to get stronger. Since I know where I will be playing as a college player, I’ve started working on position-specific drills to improve my footwork, making sure my backpedal is right, my plant foot, different things that a safety would use on a gamefield. My hips, making sure my hips are flexible allowing them to turn and stop and do all the things to be able to cover good receivers, that’s what I’ve basically been doing. And also just working on speed because speed kills, you never want to neglect your speed. That’s probably one of, if not the, most important parts of the game, especially playing in the ACC football league.

BDN: Where do you stand with your recruiting process in regards to schools and scholarship offers?

I have a lot of offers, but the thing that made it really easy in my case, so to speak, was the academic standpoint. I definitely am one of those guys who is very serious about my academics, I’m a 4.0 student and I have straight A’s and I’m at the top of my class, so academics is really important to me. I definitely was only really looking at the schools that have the academic part to it as well, so that just kind of narrowed schools down for me just like that. And then I was able to narrow it down to my top 3 schools which were Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Duke, and that’s who I just visited this past week, I just got back today.

BDN: That’s a perfect segue into my next question about your visits, but before you talk about that, can you talk about what stood out to you about each of your three finalists?

They have great programs. They offer me a great opportunity to play early as well. Wake has been a special one, they were my first offer and they’ve been on me since my sophomore year. I’ve gotten to know my recruiting coordinator very well. I also have a teammate who plays at Wake Forest who was a great help to me my freshman year. His name is Daniel Mack and he was the one who really just carried me through high school football my freshman year. It was really new to me and I was one of the youngest players on the field, so me and him definitely have a great relationship.

BDN: That’s great to have a mentor like that. Can you talk a little about your visits, what you got to see and what stood out to you?

Well my first visit was to Duke. Duke’s campus is beautiful. The coaches actually had left on a retreat so when I saw the campus I didn’t get to see any of the coaches, but they actually came down just to see me the next day. I got to meet Coach Cutcliffe again, and my recruiting coordinator, Coach Lubick, and my position coach, Coach Knowles, my safety coach. Coach Cutcliffe is….wow, he’s amazing. He’s so wise and he knows what he’s doing. He’s a great head coach and he’s definitely going to do big things with that program. I had a great talk to him, I talked to him for over two hours and he really feels like I can be a part of something big at Duke.

BDN: I’m guessing you drove over to Wake Forest after Duke?

The next day I went to Wake. I had a sit down, the same talk with Coach Grobe. They’re both…I honestly really can’t pick a head coach between Coach Grobe and Coach Cutcliffe, they’re both tremendous guys, they’re very wise, they know what they’re doing and they know how to win. That’s definitely going to be a tough decision on my part. I’d have to look at the whole spectrum. Wake also has given me a great opportunity to play early. Two of their main guys at safety are graduating this year coming up, so that gives me an opportunity to step up and play early. Their campus is definitely beautiful. They were the first campus that I ever saw, I got to go up there and visit my sophomore year when I went to a camp, so this was my second time going and I was able to bring my dad and stuff. That was a really good visit to.

BDN: That’s a long drive from Winston-Salem to Nashville, so I’m hoping you flew. What did you think of Vanderbilt?

Yeah definitely, we flew. I didn’t expect to see what I saw at Vanderbilt. Their campus is really just in the middle of Nashville and it’s not closed off in any way. There’s main streets running right through their campus, and not just one, multiple streets. It was cool they were taking me on the golf cart and I was like “man, there’s no gates or anything like that.” The buildings are nice, I met the coaches, I have a great relationship with my recruiting coordinator over there as well, Coach McGriff. I met the head coach and he showed me his background and stuff like that and he’s looking to do big things at Vanderbilt, and we’ll see how that goes.

BDN: You’ve obviously narrowed things down to three great schools, so how do you plan to narrow things down and make a decision from here?

Well I’m looking to make a decision soon, like before school starts. I already took my unofficial visits to my top 3 schools so now it’s basically just coming here and first of all getting some rest, because I’m exhausted, so I can think straight and then I’ll take it over with my parents and my family and see what school is the best for me. Every time I went up there on my visits they would go through all this stuff and they would remind me that this is one of the most important decisions in your life. It’s not just the next four years, it’s actually the next forty years, because it’s what you’re going to do after school that matters so you want to get a good education and not regret your choice. You have to be selfish in this decision. You can’t think about disappointing somebody or trying to impress somebody. You have to look out for yourself in this decision because at the end of the day it’s about you. It’s about where you want to go to college. That’s where I’m at right now.

BDN: I know you’re exhausted and I really appreciate you taking a few minutes to speak with us. Thanks a lot, Ryan, and best of luck to you.

Definitely, no problem.

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Braddock HS OL Robert Conyers recently visited Duke

Blue Devils looking to add coveted Florida OL Robert Conyers

Braddock HS OL Robert Conyers recently visited Duke

The Duke Football class of 2012 is up to 14 verbal commitments now, and with only a handful of scholarships remaining, the Blue Devils’ coaching staff is looking to add a few impact players. One such prospect is a highly-coveted offensive lineman from the talent-rich state of Florida. Duke recently hosted 6’5” 275 pound junior Robert Conyers on an unofficial visit in Durham. Conyers is one of the top remaining uncommitted offensive linemen in the class of 2012, with 20 scholarship offers from programs throughout the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, and SEC. As a junior, Conyers helped lead Braddock HS to an 8-2 overall record and the state playoffs. His performance earned 1st Team All-County and 2nd Team All-State honors. Duke Offensive Line Coach Matt Luke is developing a talented group of linemen in Durham, and a potential star like Conyers would be a great late addition to Duke’s class of 2012. [private]

BDN: Can you tell us a little bit about your high school career and your strengths on the field?

Well, I only started playing offensive line at the end of my sophomore year. I went to a bunch of camps, and this past year I made the All-County Team and the 2nd Team All-State. Some of my strengths are just my footwork and my aggression.

BDN: You mentioned that you’ve been able to attend a few camps this year; what are some of the things you’re working on as you head into your senior season?

Just my strength and my pad level.

BDN: I know you have a pretty long offer list, so I won’t ask you to name all of the schools that are interested in you, but where do you currently stand with scholarship offers?

I have about 20 scholarship offers right now. And some of the bigger ones are Michigan State, Duke, USF, Wake Forest, Illinois, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, UCF, and a couple other ones.

BDN: That’s an impressive total. Where would you say you are in your recruiting process right now?

Right now I’m looking to narrow it down. I’m going to visit Michigan State and Illinois and then I’ll have like a top 5 probably after I make that trip.

BDN: Obviously, it will be tough to narrow things down to five schools, but what are the most important things that you are looking for as you evaluate a program?

Just the school’s atmosphere, the coaching staff, and the way I feel when I’m around them and around the other players that are playing there currently.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit so far and have any stood out to you?

I’ve visited Wake Forest, Duke, Vanderbilt, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Miami…I visited UCF, USF, and some of the schools that are standing out to me are USF, Wake Forest, Duke, just because of their coaching staffs and the total package of the school.

BDN: You mentioned that you’d like to have a top 5 after these next couple of visits. What are your plans for narrowing things down and making a decision from there?

Probably going to take like 2 or 3 official visits, but most likely the middle of my season is when I’m going to make my decision.

BDN: Are there any schools that you think you definitely want to take an official visit to at this point?

I’m still kind of narrowing all that down.

BDN: Is there anything else you want college football fans to know about you?

That I’m only 16.

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

Alright, thanks.

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QB Thomas Sirk committed to David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils on Wednesday morning

Baker County (FL) athlete Thomas Sirk earns a coveted Duke QB scholarship offer

Baker County athlete Thomas Sirk is attracting interest from top programs this summer

Though he admittedly dislikes the label, Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe is known in football circles as a quarterback guru. Having mentored both Peyton and Eli Manning (who worked out at Duke on Wednesday), along with several other top collegiate signal-callers, Coach Cut’s reputation is well-deserved. At Duke, he has continued to develop outstanding quarterbacks, starting with two record-setting years for Thaddeus Lewis and an impressive sophomore year for Sean Renfree, along with freshman Brandon Connette. When it comes to quarterback recruiting, Coach Cutcliffe is understandably selective, carefully evaluating hundreds of high school quarterbacks each year, but only offering a scholarship to a select few. Thomas Sirk, a 6’6” 212 pound athlete from Baker County HS in Florida, is one of those select few. Remarkably, Sirk has never played a full year at quarterback in high school, but impressed the Duke coaching staff in person last Saturday in Durham. With interest from schools like Florida, Florida State, and Tennessee, Sirk’s recruitment has officially taken off this summer. His highlight film, which has piqued the interest of several college coaches, can be viewed here. [private]

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

I guess I’d say I’m versatile, I play all over the field, and quarterback. I’m a big guy, I guess, I’m 6’5” 212 right now and I move pretty good for my size.

BDN: You mentioned playing quarterback, is that the position you want to play in college?

That’s what I want to play in college, I’ve been offered by Duke at quarterback.

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

Right now I’m in conditioning. I’ve been working with my receivers on throwing, working on my steps a lot this summer. This is my first year at quarterback really, coming into my senior season, I’m not an original quarterback, last year I played wide receiver, so I just need to work on timing with my receivers and trying to get in touch with them.

BDN: What are your goals for your senior year and your first year under center?

I’m looking to take our team to be the first team to be undefeated in our county. I want to pass for over 1500-2000 yards this season, that’s definitely one of my goals to have high passing yards and I want to have a completion percentage above 65% this year, too.

BDN: What are the most important things you are looking for in a college?

Right now I’m looking at what’s the best place for me, where I‘m going to start earlier, going in, looking at their depth chart. I want to be somewhere where I’m going to get a chance to play for the most years.

BDN: Which schools have been recruiting you this summer?

I’ve been offered by Iowa State as well as Duke. I’ve been recruited by Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, University of Miami, Georgia Tech, Troy, and Vanderbilt.

BDN: Have you had a chance to visit any schools, and what schools are you planning to visit this summer?

I’ve visited Florida State, Florida, Duke, Vanderbilt, I visited Vanderbilt last year during the season. I have Tennessee and Vanderbilt coming up the 17th and 18th of July for camps. I’ve got Florida State coming up again, it’ll be my second time visiting Florida State, July 23rd.

BDN: Are you planning to work out at quarterback at those camps?

Yeah, yeah, I’m planning to work out at quarterback at all those schools. I’ve been in contact with Tennessee’s quarterback coach, we talked on the phone last Friday morning, I’ve been recruited by Tennessee but that’s the first time I actually got to talk to their quarterback coach. I recently made a film at quarterback and it’s on YouTube now, and if you get a chance you can look at that, but it’s on YouTube and some of these coaches are starting to see that and that’s where I’m getting contacts from schools at, by seeing that video. I work with a quarterback coach in Alabama named David Morris.

BDN: Sure, he played in college, didn’t he?

Yeah, yeah, he played at Ole Miss, he played behind Eli Manning.

BDN: Well that’s definitely a great mentor to have.

Yeah, definitely.

QB Thomas Sirk says that Duke definitely stands out as a great opportunity for him

BDN: Do any schools stand out to you, that you have a good relationship with and you feel like there’s a good opportunity for you to play early?

Well Tennessee and Duke. I mean definitely Duke, when I went up to Duke and visited them this past weekend, their coaching staff, I came in there and they treated me very good, worked me out at the camp. I got to sit down in person and talk to Coach Cutcliffe and that’s when he offered me. I’ve been in touch with them all week after the camp. And Tennessee, I’m liking Tennessee right now, they’ve got a new facility going up and I like the town of Knoxville, too.

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

Well I’m not making any decisions right now, I’m just kind of taking it all in right now. It will probably be the middle of my season before I make my decision. Right now I’m just trying to take it all in, like I said. Not trying to rush into anything, I’m seeing what’s further to come, what offers I get, what opportunities I have.

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

Ok, I appreciate it.

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Booker HS WR Ricky Jones plans to visit Duke this summer

Speedy Florida WR Ricky Jones Jr. says “Duke is very strong” in his recruitment

Booker HS WR Ricky Jones plans to visit Duke this summer

The Duke coaching staff is looking to add dynamic athletes to the class of 2012 and have been scouting the country in search of potential impact players for the program. In recent years, the Blue Devils have had success with pulling players from the state of Florida, headlined by the dynamic receiving duo of Donovan Varner and Conner Vernon. In the class of 2012, Duke is already off to a great start in Florida, securing commitments from TE Erich Schneider and SAF Dwayne Norman. Ricky Jones is a 5’10” 175 pound prospect from Sarasota, Florida. The speedy slot receiver is already up to over half a dozen scholarship offers, including the Blue Devils. Jones is developing a strong relationship with the Duke coaching staff and plans to visit Durham this summer with his teammate, DB Ezra Robinson. Highlights of Jones’ 12-touchdown junior year can be viewed here.

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

Some of my strengths I believe, my after the ball ability. After I catch the ball, I feel like I’m a playmaker. I have a great burst off the line of scrimmage. I’m a slot player, a slot receiver, so I’ve got great quickness and great speed.

BDN: What are some of the things you have been working on as you prepare for your senior year?

I’ve really been working on my lateral speed and stuff like that, and working on my route running.

BDN: What are your goals for your senior year?

I believe, senior year, I just want to get better and better, beat all the rest of my years and go out strong.

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

First I’m looking at the offenses and what type of offense they have. And another real strong point is academic-wise, where will it take me if football doesn’t work out? Looking at the graduation rate and stuff like that.

BDN: Is there an academic field you’re interested in studying?

Not right now, I’m still seeing what I want to do after, but I just want to see like what my major would be there if I do have it.

BDN: Which schools have you had the most contact with so far?

Wake Forest is pretty strong, Duke is very strong also.

BDN: Have you had a chance to take any visits yet?

I have plans to visit, I might be going up to North Carolina to visit with Ezra Robinson, he has family up that way so we plan on visiting a lot of schools up that way.

BDN: Is North Carolina an area you’re interested in going to school, or would you prefer to be closer to home?

I have no problem with being away from home, but not too far, I don’t want to go really, really far. I have no problem with moving away from Florida, though.

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

Not really, I’m still evaluating every school and see what would be the best fit for me right now, I’ve still got almost a whole year to go.

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

I believe I might be breaking it down after the summer, dropping the list from like 25 to like 15 probably, dropping down closer and closer, but I don’t have a date yet.

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

Thanks.

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