Tag Archives: Justin Meredith

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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Top TE Justin Meredith said "Duke has probably done the best job recruiting me"

Top TE Justin Meredith says Clemson, Duke, UNC have stood out among ACC schools

Top TE Justin Meredith said "Duke has probably done the best job recruiting me"

Tight end is a position that Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Middleton hope to develop into a consistent strength within the Duke offense. In the past few seasons, Duke has featured a dynamic group of tight ends, including Brett Huffman, Brandon King, and Cooper Helfet. The Blue Devils will add freshman David Reeves to the depth chart this fall, and are looking at several prospects in the class of 2012. Along with verbal commit Erich Schneider, Duke is evaluating a group of versatile tight end prospects such as Justin Meredith. Meredith is Kearns is a 6’5” 224 pound prospect from Anderson, South Carolina. The athletic junior has already received an offer from Duke, and holds offers from top programs including Auburn, LSU, and Notre Dame, though Clemson may be the school to beat. Highlights of Justin’s junior season can be viewed here.

 

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

I think the biggest thing that separates me from other people is that I’m able to do several things pretty well, not just one thing.  I’m able to, in my high school, they split me out wide almost like a receiver.  I’m able to do those things.  They’re able to put me on the line and use my strength and my size and block the ends and the LBs and whatever it is.  And at the same time, they also motion me in the back field and use me as a lead blocker, almost like a fullback type of thing.  So there’s a lot of things I do pretty well, and it makes me diverse and useful in offenses.

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

The main thing that I’m working on right now is my strength.  I’ve always been a pretty strong guy, especially in my upper body, but I’m starting to realize that really upper body’s just for looks, and the main thing I’ve been working on this year is putting some size and some thickness and some strength in my legs.  And I’ve been working out with our strength trainer four days a week before school about 6:00 and really just working on that.

BDN: What are some of your goals for your senior year?

For my team, well, to … we want to go undefeated in the regular season and then we want – I think we have the team to do that – and go win the State Championship and Region Championship.  Personal goals:  I really haven’t thought too much about it, but I’d like to be somewhere around 30 to 40 catches with … I’d like to try, my goal is to try to break 1,000 yards and have somewhere around 10 touchdowns.

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

The number 1 thing I’m looking for is a place where not only can I be a part of the football team but I can see myself being there for four to five and being a student and just a place that I can see myself living and being a part of the overall program, not just the football program.  And the second biggest thing would probably be is a player-to-coach relationship.  I’ve figured it out that once I go to college, I’m gonna be around my position coach and my offensive coordinator and my head coach, gonna be around them more than I’m around anybody else.  So I’d like to have a good relationship with them and all of them to like me, and I want to like them.

BDN: You mentioned your versatility as one of your strengths, and different programs use the tight end position differently. Is there a specific offensive system that you think you are looking for or where you might fit in best?

Yeah, that’s one thing that I’ve noticed.  There’s been a couple schools like LSU and some other ones that want me to kind of stay in that 220 to 230 range and be a big receiver pretty much.  And then there’s some schools that I’ve talked to – I can’t really think – I guess one or two that I’ve talked to – I can’t really think of who they are exactly.  But they want me to gain a bunch of weight and be in that 270 or 280 range and pretty much be a glorified tackle.  And there’s a couple schools like Clemson, Notre Dame, Tennessee, some other ones like that that want me to be in that 250 range, 250 to 260, and be a prototypical complete tight end.  And that’s really what I’m looking for because honestly that’s the players that – that’s the tight ends that get drafted, the tight ends that can be everything.

BDN: Who are the schools that you have heard the most from and which schools were the first to contact you?

Yeah, Clemson, I’ve been in contact with them a bunch so mainly because I live 15 minutes away from the campus.  And North Carolina and Duke, Duke has recruited me very heavily and also North Carolina.  And also Tennessee and LSU have and Auburn has started to here in about the last two weeks started recruiting, and I’ll actually be down there next weekend.

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

Junior Days that I’ve been on this spring, I’ve been to Tennessee, Clemson and Florida, and I’m gonna go down to Auburn next weekend.  And during the actual season, I pretty much went everywhere within about a five-hour radius.  I went to Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Duke, Tennessee, Alabama and those places.\

BDN: Have any schools stood out to you at this point in the process?

Yeah and there’s a couple schools that stand out.  And it’s still early on in the process, so I might have some other schools that come through, but the ones that really stand out to me right now, they probably have to be, you know, Clemson’s done a very good job.  Duke has probably done the best job.  North Carolina, Tennessee has done a good job.  I mean, some other schools like Auburn and LSU and schools like that, I really haven’t had the opportunity yet because I haven’t been to their schools, so I’m hoping that there’s … it’s still early on.  And we have a little under a year until signing day, so I’m still hoping some of these relationships continue to build.

BDN: Do you have any plans for additional visits this spring or summer?

Yeah, this year I’m going down into the Carolinas for football camps this summer, I’m going to Eastern Carolina, NC State, North Carolina, Duke, and I think we’re going to Cincinnati too.

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

Just that football is one part of this process, and there’s other parts too also like academics and stuff, and I’m trying to be an overall good person, a good football player, a good person, a good kid in school and stuff like that.  So that’s helped me out so far with some of these colleges, and that’s just one thing that I’d like people to know is that I’m trying to be good in all aspects of my life.

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

Thanks, you too.