Tag Archives: South Carolina

Duke would love to add top pass-rusher Jaylen Miller to their class of 2013

Gaffney DE Jaylen Miller plans to hit the road this summer

Duke would love to add top pass-rusher Jaylen Miller to their class of 2013

Duke is looking to build their defensive line on the recruiting trail, and have targeted a number of top prospects across the country. One of the first prospects to receive a scholarship offer from the Blue Devils is DE Jaylen Miller, a 6’2″ 263 pound prospect from Gaffney, South Carolina. One of the top pass-rushers in the class of 2013, Miller is attracting interest from a number of ACC and SEC schools, and plans to hit the road hard this summer to evaluate his many suitors. BDN caught up with Jaylen earlier this week to get an update on his offseason and his recruitment. [private]

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

I would say some of my strengths are pass-rushing. My pass-rushing has to be the best strength that I do have, and my quickness.

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

For my senior year, I’ve got to work on my motor. I’ve got to stay 100% every play, that’s a problem that I’ve been having. I can’t take any plays off. My senior year, I want to have no regrets. My senior year, I want to be able to say I left it all out on the field.

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

The most important thing I would say is the feeling I get. I mean, the education and everything, the football program, but the feeling I get, the atmosphere about the school. That’s somewhere I’ve got to spend four years of my life, in college, so I’ve got to be comfortable going there for four years, so the feeling that I get when I go to the school, the campus, the people, and everything around it, that will play a major role in it.

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

I’ve been in contact with plenty of schools, but I’ve got offers from Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina, and I got one from Florida just yesterday. I think some schools locally around here have offered me, I have one from Alabama State, I have one from Wofford and Furman.

BDN: Which schools are you planning to visit this spring or summer?

This summer I’m going to visit as many schools as possible, just to make sure I get the right idea about the school. That’s basically my plan for the summer, to make sure I get the right idea about the school. I don’t want to misjudge a school or anything like that. I’m going to try and get to some camps also this summer.

BDN: It’s still early in the process, but are there any schools that have stood out to you at this point, either on a visit or your relationship with the coaching staff?

I’ve been to Clemson a few times, like Junior Day. I went to South Carolina’s Junior Day and North Carolina’s Junior Day. I know most of the coaches pretty well, except for [South] Carolina, I don’t know their coaches very well. As far as Clemson, I know the coaches very well and North Carolina, I know the coaches pretty well.

BDN: Do you have a timeline in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

Right after the end of my senior football season, I don’t know if I’m going to narrow it down then, or what. It all depends on who offers and the feeling that I get. They say you’ll know what school is best for you when the time comes.

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

Okay, I appreciate it.

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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.

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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.


 

Valor Christian's Alex Kozan is one of the top OL prospects in the class of 2012

Valor Christian OL Alex Kozan has a plan

Valor Christian's Alex Kozan is one of the top OL prospects in the class of 2012

In their three-plus years in Durham, Head Coach David Cutcliffe and Offensive Line Coach Matt Luke have built the Duke offensive line into what is expected to be a position of strength in 2011. The past two recruiting classes have brought in a very good group of young offensive linemen, and the Blue Devils hope to continue that trend with the class of 2012. Alex Kozan, a 6’4” 295 pound prospect from Valor Christian in Colorado, is one of the most highly recruited offensive linemen in the country, and the Blue Devils are among the long list of schools he is considering.

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

As a player, I’m smart, I never forget my assignments, I’ve got good quick feet that allows me to stay in good position. Explosiveness off the ball, hand contact, hip movement, that kind of stuff, that’d be my strength.

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

Pretty much everything, you know, you just work on technique, you’ve always got to work on technique when you’ve been off the game for six months, so you just work on pass technique, run technique, that kind of stuff.

BDN: Coming off back-to-back state championships, is a three-peat your goal for your senior year?

Definitely, you know we’ve got a strong senior class, we’ve got probably 25 seniors this year. A lot of us have been with the program since our freshman year, our first varsity year when we went 4-6 that year and then won two back-to-back championships, so we’re just trying to get it done for a three-peat this year.

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

Five things. Number one, business program, that’s going to be my major in college, so a good business program. Number two would be coaching staff that I get along with and is going to develop me as a player, send guys to the NFL and send guys to be All-Conference players. Number three is going to be the strength and conditioning program of the team, does it have a good strength and conditioning program? Will they develop me physically, get me bigger, faster, stronger? Number four is whether it’s a place where I can compete, both as a player to start earlier and where I can compete as a team for conference championships, BCS bowl games and national titles. Number five is that I have a strong faith in God, so a place where I can grow that faith and they’re going to be supportive of that.

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

On the East Coast, for your region, I’d say North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, South Carolina, would kind of be in that area. Up more Northeast would be Pitt, Syracuse and Connecticut.

BDN: Have any schools stopped by your practices this spring?

We’ve had Syracuse, UConn, I don’t think Duke came out, Wake came out, North Carolina is supposed to come out, I don’t know if they’re still coming. Those are the schools that have come out from the East Coast.

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

I’m still looking at it. I’m going to narrow it down to 7 or 5 by July or August and I’m going to try to visit as many of those schools as I can unofficially, and then a couple of them on official visits if they’re farther away, like schools on the East Coast, to get a better feel for the program.

BDN: It sounds like you have a good idea for when you want to narrow things down; do you have an idea for when you would like to make your final decision?

I want to take a couple officials, so I’d probably say October.

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

You know, just off the field, I’m going to be a great person, a strong character for the team, I’m going to help the team off the field, I’m not a guy who will get in trouble or anything like that. On the field, I’ll give 110% and people will see that in my game.

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

Alright, thanks.

 

Ronald Geohaghan is high on in-state schools early

SC athlete Ronald Geohaghan is high on in-state schools

Ronald Geohaghan is high on in-state schools early

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 a small group of defensive backs who already have received verbal scholarship offers from the Blue Devils, and a few have also taken a visit to Durham this spring. One of the most recent prospects to pick up a verbal scholarship offer is Ronald Geohaghan, a 6’1” 190 pound prospect from Allendale, South Carolina. In addition to his football talents, Geohaghan is one of the top long jumpers in the country and has worked his way back from a meniscal tear during his sophomore year at Allendale-Fairfax HS. Highlights from his 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?

You know, some of my strengths right now, I guess, you could say crunch time leadership, and also one of my strengths is I love being the first one to the ball.  I also have my nose to the ball, also, which is the same thing as being first to the ball.  I also like to watch game tapes on all of our opponents, three or four days before we play them on Friday.  I also like to get two copies of a game of our opponent on a Sunday and then just watch throughout the week.

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

I really want to be attending some combines ‘cause the offers are kinda rolling in and just probably attend like two or three camps, to work on my techniques, just keeping a low center of gravity because I’m a tall defensive back.

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

My goal for my senior season, first off, lead my team to a state championship, and the region – well, first of all, a region championship, then the lower state to the state championship.  And also, just I’m aiming got getting over ten interceptions in.  I had one block kick where I jumped over a guy.  So this year I’m aiming to get over five block kicks on special teams, whether it’s punt or like a punt field goal.

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

First off, academics.  That’s most important anywhere that I’ll be signing and commiting, and second off, the coaching staff, and third, the players.  And just – I mean, I think it’s most important with the grades and the players and the coaching staff because these are people that I’m going to be spending the next four years of my life with, guidance.  I’m gonna have to create a chemistry so that we can win a lot of games and hopefully play a national championship.

BDN: Which schools have you been in contact with the longest, or have been hearing the most from?

Some, most of the schools that are kinda recruiting me the hardest right now that have extended offers and that haven’t are Clemson.  And a lot of them that was recruiting me the hardest right now which is an in-state school.  I get letters from them like every week from defensive staff.  Second team, I’ll have to say is [South] Carolina ‘cause that’s another in-state school battling to get me.  Third, I like to say it’s Illinois and also – I don’t really think I have a Number 4, but those are my top three that’s recruiting me the hardest right now.

BDN: You mentioned you were able to visit Duke a couple times. How have those visits gone and what other schools have you had a chance to visit so far?

I had a chance to visit Georgia Tech, Clemson, and University of South Carolina, and I’m also gonna be visiting Duke and NC State, I think at the end of this month [March].

Ronald Geohaghan is also one of the top long jumpers in the country

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?

Right now, I don’t really want to make a fast decision because I mean, Clemson was one of my favorite schools at the beginning which is sending me my first verbal offer, but I just want to take my time and see what most of the other schools have to offer, because most of the guys that commit early, most of the schools just back off them after they commit.  So I just want to take my time and enjoy the recruiting process and see what each school has to offer academically and athletically.

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

Well, my freshman year I was ranked as the Number 2 long jumper in my class of 2012, and I kinda had a ACL meniscus injury in my sophomore year early in track season so I missed a lot of track and football, which kinda made me take a step back and also the recruiters ‘cause I was sposed to be expecting some early offers, but they kinda took a step back to see how I was gonna rehab and recovery.  The recovery and rehab was very successful.  I sat out six months, and I missed the first three games of the season, and I also made third team All-State.  And I was also invited to try out for the 2011 USA World Team trials in Myrtle Beach, and if I make the top 10 in long jump, I’ll be competing in the World Youth Games in France this summer in July.

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

Alright.  You, too.