They say that good things come in threes. The Blue Devils hope that saying holds true for offensive linemen. In their two most recent recruiting classes, Duke has dipped into the state of Texas for three talented offfensive line prospects in Tanner Stone, Austin Davis, and now Sterling Korona. At 6’7″ and 250 pounds, Korona is a big recruit for Coach Latina and the Blue Devils, both literally and figuratively. After choosing Duke over Kansas, Houston, SMU, Washington State, North Texas, Tulsa, and UTSA, the skilled rising senior explained his decision for BDN.
BDN: What led to your decision to commit to Duke?
Ultimately it was a combination of many things. Coach Cutcliffe, Coach Latina and Coach Roper are fantastic people. I think that Duke is going to do some great things in the upcoming years and I want to be a part of that. Duke University is one of the greatest Universities in the world and it just seemed like the best fit for me and my family. It was an extremely tough decision. During the recruiting process I was exposed to some of the greatest coaches in college football. It was like a dream. I could have chosen several of the schools that offered me and it would have been a good decision, I tried not to think of it as what program was better. I believe Duke is the best place for me.
BDN: How did you inform the coaches and what was their reaction?
I called Coach Cutcliffe and he was in a coaches meeting. I told him my intentions of playing at Duke and he put me on speaker phone and all the coaches welcomed me. There was some cheering and it made me feel like I had made the right decision.
BDN: What type of player do you hope to be at Duke?
I intend to keep my mouth shut, keep my head down and work my tail off! haha… Seriously I have some good skills and a good foundation, but I have a lot of things to improve. I am going to become a student of the game and I am looking forward to working with Coach Latina. I hope to be a good representative of Duke University. I want to contribute to the team and become an impact player.
BDN: What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
Work, Lift, Eat, Work, Lift, Eat and Work. I am going to focus on being the best player I can be for Ronald Reagan HS and Coach David Wetzel. I also plan on staying close to Coach Latina and Coach Roper. No big plans, other than work.
BDN: Are there any other schools that you would listen to if they called? Do you have any other visits planned?
When you’re hot, you’re hot. David Cutcliffe and co. are on a roll on the recruiting trail, securing four verbal commitments over the past 24 hours. With spring practice long over and this fall’s freshmen making their way onto campus, and with camp season now behind us, the Blue Devils have a much clearer picture of their recruiting board, their needs, and the remaining available scholarships. So it comes as no surprise that Duke’s recruiting has heated up.
But the first of the commitments was a bit of a surprise, as Mikey Ramsay, a 6’3″ 260 pounder out of the Walker School in Marietta, GA, signed on. A lightly-recruited prospect, Ramsay has starred on both sides of the ball, but likely projects at defensive tackle in college. He earned 1st team All-Region honors for his strong junior campaign, which included 37 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries. Highlights
Sterling Korona is a big Texan that BDN was first to introduce to Duke fans early this spring. At 6’7″ and 250 pounds, the star offensive tackle from Ronald Reagan HS saw his stock soar this spring, as he picked up offers from Kansas, North Texas, Southern Methodist, UTSA, Washington State, and Tulsa. He called Duke a “special place” after his visit earlier this year, and ultimately made his pledge to Duke after touring campuses nationwide this summer. Highlights
The 2013 offensive line class received another big boost on Monday afternoon, as Gabe Brandner added his pledge to join Austin Davis and Korona in Durham. At 6’6″ and 250 pounds out of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, SC, Brandner brings more great size to the Duke o-line of the future. He chose the Blue Devils over offers from Appalachian State, Air Force, and Clemson.
Last, but certainly not least, the Blue Devils added a commitment from California ATH Darren Andrews. At 5’10” and 160 pounds, the rising senior out of La Puente’s Bishop Amat impressed on both sides of the ball at a recent Duke camp. As a Blue Devil, Andrews is likely to get a long look at receiver, where he is able to use his elite speed to separate from defenders. The Blue Devils ultimately beat out Hawaii for his commitment.
Welcome to #dukegang, Mike, Sterling, Gabe, and Darren!