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BDN Premium Football Friday the 13th

It's time for Football Friday the 13th!

Things are picking up at BDN Premium with exclusive interviews from the AAU circuit, Duke basketball team news, and Duke football recruiting. In addition to those perks, you also get Football Friday, so without further ado... Football Friday the 13th!  [private]


Blue Devil Nation sends their condolences to the Alabama Crimson Tide and the family of OL Aaron Douglas, who passed away on Thursday in Florida. Needless to say, it has been a difficult offseason in Tuscaloosa, and our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the April storms and the tragic passing of this young man.

NFL lockout continues

With the NFL Draft now behind us, dozens of college seniors have been forced to put their future on hold while the NFL labor dispute continues. In past years, undrafted free agents typically receive contract offers or camp invites in the days immediately after the draft. This year, due to the lockout, undrafted players have been unable to contact teams, leaving their futures uncertain. This is a difficult time for Duke’s group of seniors who are hoping to make good on their NFL dreams. Abraham Kromah recently tweeted some of his frustration: “Notice it's only the vets with money and job security saying they are enjoying this lockout.” It’s in everyone’s best interest for the owners and players to reach an agreement; a cancelled or shortened season would be a huge mistake. For the sake of Duke’s seniors and others who are left with uncertain futures, we hope the two sides come together sooner rather than later.

First 3 kickoff times announced

There's nothing like the atmosphere of a home opener under the lights in Wallace Wade Stadium.

The Blue Devils will open their season on Saturday, September 3rd with a 7PM kickoff against Richmond. Duke fans remember all too well the last time Duke and Richmond met under the lights in Wallace Wade Stadium, and a similar outcome would be a huge blow to the 2011 season. Under Coach Cutcliffe, Duke has hosted four straight night game home openers, with great crowds at the first three as part of Duke’s Annual Employee Appreciation Night. One of the defining moments early in the Cutcliffe era was the lightning-delayed home opener against James Madison, where much of the crowd of 32,561 waited out the storms to witness the program’s first win under Coach Cutcliffe. The Blue Devils will need that kind of support and enthusiasm in Wallace Wade Stadium this year as they take on another tough home schedule, highlighted by the September 10th game against Andrew Luck and Stanford, which is slated to kickoff at 3:30 PM and will be televised on ESPNU. After an early season conference road loss to Wake Forest in 2010, Duke will need to reverse their fortunes with a tough early season matchup with Boston College in Chestnut Hill on September 17, which will kickoff at 12:30 PM on the ACC Network.

September 3            Richmond                        7:00 PM            espn3.com

September 10          Stanford                           3:30 PM            ESPNU

September 17          @ Boston College          12:30 PM            ACC


Recruiting moving along

Stanford has thrown their hat into the ring for DE Torey Agee

The Blue Devils have secured two commitments early this recruiting season in TE Erich Schneider and DE Allen Jackson. For comparison, by the end of May in 2010, Duke had already received 5 verbal commitments and by the end of May in 2009, Duke had already received 4 verbal commitments. In both previous years, the majority of commitments were made in June and July, and the Blue Devils hope that will be the case again this year. The staff has been on the recruiting trail hard this spring, checking in with current recruits and scouting potential new prospects. With many high schools now in the middle of spring football practices, prospects are given an opportunity to showcase their offseason improvement to coaches in hopes of earning new scholarship offers. After spring practices wrap up, the next opportunity to impress college coaches will be the summer camp circuit. Duke will host its one-day camps on June 11th and 18th this year, with the David Cutcliffe QB College on June 16th and 17th.

It will be interesting to see how this recruiting season unravels, with written scholarship offers not sent out until August. Also, coming off a 3-win season, the Blue Devils have a lot to prove to prospective recruits, who want to play for a winning program. With a relatively small number of available scholarships this year, the Duke staff has been a little more selective than in previous years, focusing their efforts on several high-level prospects. All of these factors will come into play as Duke puts together the class of 2011. The Blue Devils are close to having the facilities, staff, and education to compete with any program in the country, but still need to improve in wins, fan support, and NFL alumni.

Just a few updates on the recruiting front:

DL Matt Godin committed to Michigan on Thursday. He visited Duke earlier this year and the Blue Devils were initially high on his list. Unfortunately, Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin ended up offering the Michigan native, and it became nearly impossible for any school to lure him out of his home state.

TE Evan Baylis committed to Oregon recently. After originally planning to make his decision over the summer, he decided the offer from the Ducks was too good to pass up.

DE Torey Agee received an offer from Stanford this week. Duke and South Alabama were the first to offer the Opelika, AL native, who plans to visit Durham this summer. With Stanford now in the mix, this recruitment has immediately become more competitive. Duke and Stanford are battling for a few prospects already (Dontonio Jordan, Albert Reid), so it will be interesting to see if the Cardinal can continue their success in the post-Harbaugh era.


Next week

Prospect interviews will start up again next week. Please feel free to chime in on the message board on any prospects you’d like to hear from. We’ll start to check back in with several of the prospects we spoke with earlier this year to see how their spring has gone and where they are in their recruiting process. Here’s to a great week! WE ARE DUKE.


TE Evan Baylis has a Duke offer, along with several west coast schools

Duke has offered top TE Evan Baylis

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 has offered top TE Evan Baylis. Baylis is a 6’6” 225 pound prospect from Aurora, Colorado. 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?

I guess I’d have to say my footwork and feet for how tall I am. And my aggressiveness, maybe.

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

Putting on some weight, I’ve actually gained 20 pounds and just adding some strength and speed.

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

I want to go as far as we can in the playoffs, maybe win state if we can. For myself, I want to try and get All-State, I got honorable mention last year.

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

I’m looking at the tradition of the school, how well I get along with the coaches and the coaching staff, the campus, and how they use the tight ends in their offense.

BDN: Do you have a preference for a specific type of offense?

No, not really.

BDN: Which schools have you been in contact with the longest or most often?

Probably CU, Boise State, Michigan, Oregon, and Stanford.

BDN: Have you had a chance to visit any schools this spring?

I’ve been able to get out to CU, CSU, Boise State, Michigan, Oregon, and Stanford.

BDN: Do you have any other visits planned for this spring or summer?

None are planned, but I’m definitely going to try and see some other colleges, I’m not quite sure yet.

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

I definitely am going to want to make it before my senior year, probably sometime in the summer.

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

On all my visits, I’ve gotten along with the coaches really well with everything they’ve shown me is great. They’re all good choices and the coaches are all really nice, so it’s tough to choose.

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

Alright, thank you.


Top athlete Oshay Dunmore has offers from Duke, Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington

When Head Coach David Cutcliffe came to Durham, he vowed that he would transform the Blue Devils into a faster and more athletic team. In his first few recruiting classes, he has added several high-level athletes, including Isaac Blakeney in 2010 and Jamison Crowder in 2011. The coaching staff is looking to continue that trend in the class of 2012, and recently extended an offer to one of the top athletes in the country. Oshay Dunmore is an All-State quarterback from Newport, Oregon, who totaled over 3,200 yards and 33 touchdowns as a junior. In addition to his prowess on the gridiron, Dunmore stars in basketball and competes in the decathlon, where he ranks among the top in the country. Highlights from his standout junior year in football can be viewed here.

Note: Oshay Dunmore has since committed to Oregon.

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

Well, I play football, track, and basketball. In football, I was a spread offense quarterback, so I did a lot of read-option type plays and we ran a spread so I got to run a lot. My game’s still – a lot of coaches have kind of compared me to Cam Newton, maybe not exactly on that level, but that was my style. I have a lot more running, my passing game is a little bit of my weak side right now, so that’s coming along, I have a lot of camps coming up. I’m a pretty good runner, pretty agile, and I like the stiff arm, I’m about 6’2” 200 pounds so my height, length, and size gives me some advantages on the field. And for track I kind of do everything. I do decathlons and this weekend I had my first decathlon of the year and it placed me #1 in the country right now. I scored a 6290 and it was alright, it was pretty bad weather but it was a good mark to get out there for the beginning of the season.

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

Just some of my foot quickness and just speed and acceleration, getting stronger every day, working hard in the weight room. I’m just doing whatever I can to sharpen my game on the whole. But passing is one of the big things, not necessarily like – I have pretty good confidence and everything, it’s just more of my consistency with my throwing. I was pretty inconsistent this year, but that’s something that we’ve got a lot of camps lined up for. Just foot speed, strength, and just getting better as a whole football player.

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

I want to try and go 30-30, 30 rushing TDs and 30 passing TDs. That’s a big goal. There’s a lot of goals I have set for track to get all my numbers up there, but for football I want to get 30 rushing touchdowns and 30 passing.

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

I want to do track and football at the collegiate level, so anywhere that I’m able to do that is a big thing for me. I kind of like the big school atmosphere because I spent a lot of my life in the city, I grew up in Seattle for most of my life and then we spent 3 years over in Chicago, so I kind of like the big city, big environment with lots of diversity. I like kind of warm climate, a little bit of rain is alright, but yeah the major thing is letting me do track and football at a college.


BDN: Who are the schools that you have heard the most from?

Oregon was the first one to contact me with an offer and then the next day Oregon State offered me. Then later on during the week the University of Washington contacted me. Then at the beginning of the next week Duke offered me. Those are the schools that we’ve been in contact with a lot. We’ve talked to UCLA a little bit, Cal, and Princeton. Those are the big schools that have been in contact with me. I’ve sent some film to Texas, Alabama, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Florida. Alabama gave us a little bit of feedback, but I don’t think the staff has really gotten a chance to watch it, but they let me know they got it, I’m just waiting on feedback from them now.

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

I’ve been able to go down to the University of Oregon and Oregon State, just because they’re here in my home state and so they’re not very far away, an hour, hour and a half max drive to go down there. I’ve been to a few games and talked to the coaching staff quite a bit for both schools, so those are the only ones I’ve been to.

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

No, there’s not a lot. Just some passing league camps and a Nike combine I’m going to do. I think I’m going to go down to the Oregon camp they have there this summer, and then the majority of my summer will be taken up by track.

BDN: You mentioned interest in Duke as well as some other ACC and East Coast schools. Do you have any plans to visit any East Coast schools or are you mainly focusing on West Coast programs?

Yeah, I’d love to go over to the East Coast, but financially I don’t think I’ll be able to just fly myself out there, so if any schools were interested enough, I would like to take my official visits out there. I’m definitely interested in going out there, I just won’t be able to do it by myself.

BDN: You’ve obviously been busy with basketball and track, but do you have an idea for when you would like to make your final decision or how you would like to narrow things down?

I definitely want to take some visits, just to see some different environments, see what I like and make sure I’m making the right choice, it’s going to be the next 4-5 years that I’m going to be at this college. I want to take a few visits just to get some different looks at different places and see what I like best, where I’ll fit in the best, how I like the coaches and who’s going to be there to really support me in the long run. I think after I take a few visits I’ll make my decision, probably in the middle of my season next year for football.

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

I’m a hard worker and I’ll fit in where they need me to fit in.

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

Alright, cool, thank you.