Tag Archives: Ole Miss

Georgia DT Jay Woods already holds 15 scholarship offers

Georgia star DT Jay Woods plans to visit Duke

Georgia DT Jay Woods already holds 15 scholarship offers

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe has stated publicly that the quickest way to improve a football team is to find a dominant defensive tackle to man the inside of a defense. Out on the recruiting trail, the Blue Devils have found just that type of player in big Georgia DT Jay Woods. Woods is a 6’3″ 275 pound prospect from Jackson HS. As a junior, Woods starred on both sides of the ball, earning a selection in the AT&T Risingseniors.com Georgia Junior Bowl. In addition to his on-field accomplishments, Woods also gets it done in the classroom, boasting a 3.9 GPA and memberships in the National Honor Society and Health Occupation Students of America. His combination of talents might make him an ideal fit in Duke blue, but the Blue Devils have plenty of competition for the Georgia star, who already holds 15 scholarship offers. BDN caught up with Jay for an update on his recruiting process. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

My strength as a player is that I feel like I have a good pass rush on the quarterback and I’m a downhill, get off the line kind of player.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

Things I’m working on – my body weight and everything. My weaknesses I feel I need to improve on is against the double teams and the run block.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

The major thing is the education, this is my first priority, I tell all the coaches, wherever I’m going I have to have a good education.

BDN: That’s great that you’re emphasizing your education; is there a particular field you want to study?

Yes, my major is pharmacy and my minor is physical therapy.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and interest from schools now?

I have 15 offers right now. The schools that are recruiting me the hardest is in between Georgia Tech and Ole Miss, even though all colleges contact me, I feel like they send me email every day of the week.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit or do you have plans to take any visits later this spring or summer?

Right now the schools that I’ve visited are Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, South Florida, and I’m planning on visiting the colleges that have offered me like Missouri, Duke, Vandy, Ole Miss, and I’m trying to get out to USC for like an official visit.

BDN: Living in the Southeast, are there any schools or conferences that you are particularly interested in, or followed closely growing up?

Right now I’m open to trying to go anywhere. Growing up, I loved Georgia and everything, but right now I’m open to everywhere. All the colleges that have offered me, I want to go through the process and see the pros and cons of each school.

BDN: Are there any schools that have stood out to you at this point, either on your visits or your conversations with coaches?

Right at this point, no sir, all the schools are neutral in my mind. I don’t have a favorite. I don’t have a top 5. I’m thinking of making my top 5 during the summer and picking a school during my football season.

BDN: You have several ACC schools that are interested in you and you’ve had a chance to visit Georgia Tech already. Can you talk a little bit about your interest in the ACC schools that have offered you, like Georgia Tech, Duke, and Virginia?

The ACC is close by, it’s close to home and everything, it’s not that far it’s just down the East Coast and everything. Each team that’s recruiting me from the ACC, I love the defense they run. Each team I looked at their defense that they run and I think that they would fit me. Duke, Virginia, Georgia Tech, and there’s more that I can’t remember right now. But, the ACC is a big possibility, I feel like they have some of the top schools in the country going into next year, that’s how I feel right now.

BDN: You mentioned you hope to have a top 5 over the summer; where would you say you are in the recruiting process right now and what is the timeline for making your final decision?

Right now in my recruiting process I’m talking to coaches, making my visits to schools and everything. In summertime, mid-summer, I’m going to come up with my top 5 and then in the season I’ll take my official visits to schools and by the end of the season, or signing day, I’ll make my decision.

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

Thank you.

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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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WR Drae Bowles could become a program-changer for the Blue Devils, on and off the field

Elite WR Drae Bowles is one of Duke’s top recruiting targets

Duke hopes that WR Drae Bowles will become a program-changer, on and off the field

Under Head Coach David Cutcliffe, the Blue Devil offense has featured some of the best receivers in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the country. This fall, Duke fans hope to watch All-ACC candidates Donovan Varner and Conner Vernon help lead the Blue Devils to a bowl game. With the impending graduation of senior Donovan Varner, however, Duke is looking for an elite wide receiver in the class of 2012, and are in the mix for a top prospect from the state of Tennessee. Drae Bowles is a 6’1” 200 pound receiver prospect from Jackson Christian HS. After an impressive junior season that included 14 touchdown catches on offense and an All-State selection at linebacker, Bowles has received countless accolades from coaches and scouts alike. With over 20 scholarship offers, the top wide receiver will have his pick of schools, and the Blue Devils hope he chooses to become an impact player for their program.

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

Definitely my hands, coaches tell me I have great hands as a physical receiver.

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

Just working on getting better at all aspects of the game of football.

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

The most important things is a place that feels like home. A place where I have a good relationship with the coaches and I feel comfortable. And also a place where I feel like I can contribute early. Those are probably the most important things for me.

BDN: Which schools have been recruiting you the hardest, or have you had the most contact with?

Well I don’t have any favorites right now, but probably Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Duke, Ole Miss, and Maryland are recruiting me the hardest right now.

BDN: You mentioned the importance of your relationship with the coaching staff; which coaches do you feel like you have a strong relationship with so far?

Which coaches…probably the schools I mentioned. I have a good relationship with a lot of the coaches right now.

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

I’m planning to take at least three visits in July, but I haven’t been able to visit any schools this month.

BDN: You mentioned Duke as one of the schools that is recruiting you the hardest; can you talk a little bit about what you like about Duke?

Well Duke is definitely a school I am considering. It obviously is a great school academically and that appeals to me, but I also like their coaches. Coach Cutcliffe seems like a real honest, genuine man and I also really like Coach Loebner and Coach Lubick. I really like their coaches.

BDN: Do you think that Duke is a place where you could contribute early in their offense?

Definitely.

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

I really haven’t thought about it yet, I don’t know, I’m just going to take it one at a time.

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

I appreciate it, thank you very much sir.

 

 

 

Demopolis OL Steven Foster wants to learn more about Duke

Alabama OL Steven Foster interested in learning more about Duke

Demopolis OL Steven Foster wants to learn more about Duke

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 BDN is profiling some of the top 2012 offensive line prospects. With Head Coach David Cutcliffe and the Duke staff’s ties to the state of Alabama, the Blue Devils have successfully recruited players like Johnny Williams and David Reeves in recent years, and hope to continue that trend in 2012. Steven Foster is a 6’3” 280 pound offensive line prospect from Demopolis, Alabama and helped Demopolis to a state title in 2009. The big lineman is interested in learning more about the Blue Devils.

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

I’m pretty big, I’ve got good size. I’m 6’4” 295. Most people don’t know football, but I’m pretty intelligent on the football field. I’m quick, I’ve got good feet and good hands. I’m strong in the weight room, and that carries over to the football field.

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

Trying to get stronger, working on speed and quickness.

BDN: What are your goals for your senior year?

Win a state championship, and of course go undefeated. That’s about it.

BDN: What coaches have stopped by or been in contact with you this spring?

Yes sir, we had a lot come by the school this year. We had Duke, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Mississippi State, UAB, Troy, Jacksonville State, Western Kentucky, I think that’s about it.

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

South Alabama, Duke. I’ve talked to Miami a little bit, South Florida, I’ve talked to them a lot. I talk to Memphis about every other week.

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

I went to some Junior Days. I went to Southern Miss, Mississippi State, South Alabama, and I plan on going to a couple camps. I’m actually at a camp right now at Southern Miss. I plan on going here and tomorrow to Mississippi State. Next weekend I’m going to Auburn, the weekend after that I’m going to Alabama. I think that will wrap up for June and then in July I’m probably going to UAB and Ole Miss.

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

Yes sir, South Alabama, I like them a lot. And I’m starting to gain interest in Duke too. I’ve been talking to them more and more, talking to the coaches on Facebook and calling them.

BDN: What stands out to you about South Alabama and Duke so far?

They have a great group of coaches, it’s a family type atmosphere and they like winning. I’ve played against some of the [South Alabama] coaches when they were in high school.

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

After I take all my visits first.

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

Yes sir, thank you.

 

 

Brookwood RB Nick Tompkins has a long list of offers, including Duke

Duke offers elite RB Nick Tompkins

Brookwood RB Nick Tompkins has a long list of offers, including Duke

After the emergence of young stars Desmond Scott, Josh Snead, and Juwan Thompson in 2010, the Blue Devils are looking for their next great back in the class of 2012. The Duke staff has been aggressive in recruiting elite running backs, including an offer to Georgia standout Nick Tompkins. Tompkins is a 5’10” 175 pound running back from Snellville, GA. After leading Brookwood to a 2010 state championship with 1,890 yards and 22 touchdowns, the speedy junior took home several postseason honors, including Offensive Player of the Year. Tompkins has stayed busy this spring with recruiting visits as offers continue to pour in for the elite athlete. Highlights from his junior year 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?

My strengths, well, I have a lot of speed, I’m a speed back. I run low to the ground, I have very good vision and once I break through the line, I never get brought down. Even though I’m like 175, I still break tackles, I rarely go down on first contact, I’m a hard runner too.

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

Just trying to get a little big bigger, get a little bit stronger. That’s really about it. Working on some route running because a lot of schools want to be able to use me in the slot also, they want to be able to use me as an all-purpose back.

BDN: What are some of your goals for yourself and your team in your senior season?

You know, try to win another state championship, go back-to-back, that’s all I would say.

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

First and foremost the coaches, especially the coaches that I’ll be spending the most time with there. I want them to be good people, honest, you know just nice to be around. And also I look at the players, I also like to look at the up and coming class, the 2011 class, talk to some of those guys because those are the guys you’re going to be playing with. I also look at academics, I want to major in business so I’m looking for a school that has a good business school. I also look at the campus life and I’m looking for a place that could feel like home to me.

BDN: I know there are a lot of schools who have offered you, but which schools have you been in contact with the most often?

Maryland, Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Indiana, I recently got offered by Michigan State yesterday, so I had actually been talking to them before and then they offered yesterday. Last week I kind of started talking to Florida State, they haven’t offered but they want me to come to camp.

BDN: Have you had a chance to visit any schools, or do you have any visits planned?

I went to Georgia Tech’s spring game last weekend. The weekend before that I visited Arkansas. And I’ve visited Clemson. This next week I’ll be visiting Maryland for their spring game and then I’m planning to visit Boston College, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, Michigan State, Vanderbilt and a few other schools, so I’m going to be really busy the next few weeks and over the summer traveling.

BDN: You mentioned the coaching staff being one of the most important things you’re looking for in a school; are there any coaches that you feel you have a particularly good relationship with at this point in the process?

Well, Georgia Tech’s staff. The only three schools that I’ve visited that have offered are Arkansas, Georgia Tech, and Virginia. Of those, I feel like Georgia Tech, I have a great relationship with their coaching staff. I’ve been up there three or four times now, know my way around quite well. I’ve built a great relationship with the coaches, I’ve talked to [Head Coach] Paul Johnson and know him personally. I’d say Georgia Tech has probably been the best in that aspect. But I’ve been getting mostly written letters from a lot of these other schools that have offered and I haven’t really got to talk to them in person because I haven’t visited them yet, so I’m going to wait and see how that goes.

BDN: You’ve obviously got a lot of great opportunities in front of you and you’ll be busy over the next few weeks and months; how and when do you plan on narrowing things down to make a decision?

Probably, definitely after I visit enough schools I’ll start narrowing it down by mid to end of June. Then I’ll try, my goal is to try and commit somewhere before my football season starts but I can’t guarantee that yet.

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

Thanks, I appreciate it.

 

Duke has offered top Miami CB Larry Hope

Miami CB Larry Hope plans to visit all schools that have offered this summer

Duke has offered top Miami CB Larry Hope

While Duke worked hard to improve their defense on the field this spring, the coaching staff is also working hard to upgrade the defense with a talented group of prospects in the class of 2012. The Duke staff has targeted an elite group of defensive backs who already have received verbal scholarship offers from the Blue Devils, among several other top programs. The Blue Devils added a quality cornerback from Florida in the class of 2011 in Tim Burton, and hope to do the same in the class of 2012. One of the most recent prospects to pick up a verbal scholarship offer is Larry Hope, a 5’11” 167 pound prospect from Miami, Florida.

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

Well, I think, college coaches say they like about me is that I’m the best man-to-man coverage player that they’ve seen. I’m good for my height, I’m a very big player, strong and physical, and very fast. When it comes down to shutting down a receiver, I think I’m the guy. But I like my actions to speak for themselves.

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

I’m working on getting stronger. I’m in the weight room every single day, even on weekdays, weekends I’m outside trying to get faster. We’re trying to get faster and stronger.

BDN: What are some of your goals for yourself and your team in your senior season?

As a team, I want to come together and bond so we can have a better year than last year and hopefully make it to the playoffs. Me, I just want to do what I’ve been doing, come out there and play my role as I’ve been doing.

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

I’m looking for a family bond and someone that can help me become a better player for the next level, because that’s what everybody wants to do. But I’m looking for a family bond, someone that’s like a father figure at college, and most of the colleges that I’ve been talking to that have offered me, has been that. They call me, I call them, and we talk on a daily basis, get that family bond. They mostly are defensive back coaches, and mostly played DB at the next level, so that’s what I’m looking for.

BDN: Which schools have you in contact with the most, and which schools have extended verbal offers?

I have seven offers from Wisconsin, Buffalo, Nebraska, USF, Louisville, Duke, and Kansas. West Virginia and Miami, Florida State, and Florida, they all want to come to my spring practice – Ole Miss and North Carolina are all coming to my spring practice, sometime around the first of May or the first week in May.

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

In the summer I plan on visiting all the colleges that have offered me. When it comes to visits, so far I’ve visited Miami, Florida State, and Florida, and USF and UCF, and that’s it.

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

Well, no, all the colleges that have offered me are trying to impress me, so not yet.

BDN: Do you have an idea for how or when you would like to narrow your list of schools down and ultimately make a decision?

Me and my dad are weighing my options and just sitting back and relaxing. We’re trying to gain that bond, if I feel like I’m comfortable with a school, there’s no time limit on when I’ll decide.

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

I feel like I’m more loyal to football now. Everything revolves around football and I’m working harder than I’ve ever been working, and I like what I’ve been seeing and I’m going to keep putting more into my craft.

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

Alright, thanks a lot.