Tag Archives: UCLA

Duke and Arizona are the first to offer Norco RB Joseph Ajeigbe

Duke among the first to offer Norco RB Joseph Ajeigbe

Duke and Arizona are the first to offer Norco RB Joseph Ajeigbe

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe has built a reputation of producing NFL quarterbacks throughout his career. In truth, his offenses have produced nearly as many NFL running backs, including players like Jamal Lewis, Deuce McAllister and Arian Foster. This fall, the Blue Devils should feature one of their deepest backfields in recent years, headlined by senior Desmond Scott along with last year’s leading rusher Juwan Thompson and speedy redshirt-sophomore Josh Snead. They will be joined by two outstanding freshmen in Jela Duncan and Shaquille Powell. Duke’s running backs are utilized in all areas of their offense – rushing, receiving, and blocking.

Looking ahead to the class of 2013, the Blue Devils are looking to add to their running back stable, and were among the first to offer a scholarship to Joseph Ajeigbe. Ajeigbe is a 5’9″ 195 pound prospect from Norco High School in California, the same program that has produced incoming Duke safety Corbin McCarthy. In addition to McCarthy, the Norco program is known for producing hard-nosed running backs, including former Stanford star Toby Gerhart and current Stanford sophomore Kelsey Young. As a junior, Ajeigbe took over the starting running back job and flourished, finishing with 20 touchdowns and 1,673 yards rushing.

The powerful rising senior spoke with BDN about his recruitment and his interest in Duke. [private]

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

Some of my strengths are probably my speed through the hole, and my strength, and I run with a lot of power. Maybe some areas that I need to improve on would be my break-away speed, but other than that, I have pretty good vision and pretty good balance.

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

I just want to be able to pull away from defenders in the secondary, just have that speed to be able to make big plays. I have good speed now, but I just want to get to that next level so I can be ready for college football, because everybody’s fast in college football so I just want to try and get to that next level. My senior year, just break a lot of records down here that are set by Toby Gerhart. I’ve been running on those overspeed treadmills, we have those incline treadmills and everything, so I’ve been running those and working with the running back coach running hills and stuff, just trying to get to that next level of speed to get ready for college.

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

First and foremost for me is probably education, looking at what the school can offer me other than athletics. In case football doesn’t work out and I don’t end up in the NFL, I need something that I Can fall back on. Education is really important to me. Then I’ll be looking at the football program, how good the football program is, what I can contribute to the football program, if I can go in there and help them out, if I can fit in the offense, the coaching staff, if I feel comfortable with the coaching staff, that’s a lot of the things to take into consideration when considering a school.

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

I got offered by Arizona, that was my first offer, University of Arizona, and then a couple days after that, Duke offered me. Now, yesterday, or two days ago, I was talking to Coach Jerry Brown from Northwestern, We had like an hour-long conversation on the phone, they sound pretty interested, I think they’re going to offer me pretty soon. Around here, I’ve been talking to UCLA a lot, earlier I was hearing a lot from USC, I’m hearing from Boise State, Tennessee has been sending me a lot of letters and everything, talking to my coach. And then Cal – I’ve heard a lot from Berkeley, I’m pretty interested in Berkeley.

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

UCLA and USC, they’ve been in contact with me a lot, so I went out to USC’s Junior Day, I think it was in February. I went out there and got to meet all the coaches and everything, and I like USC. A couple weeks ago, I went over to UCLA’s Junior Day, got to check that out, got to meet running backs coach Steve Broussard, we went over the offense and everything, he said he was interested in me as a player and said the next couple weeks they’d be in contact about maybe an offer or something. Other than that, I haven’t really been out to check out any other schools. I plan, probably in the summer, get on the East Coast and check out the schools that have been recruiting me like Duke, maybe get over to Tennessee, and then check out Northwestern.

BDN: You’ve obviously got schools all over the country that are recruiting you. How much of a factor will location be when you make your decision?

You know, I kind of want to keep all my options open, but I guess I would say location does play a pretty big part in it, UCLA and USC do catch my interest a lot, but I’m kind of open to anything at this point, so I’d be willing to go almost anywhere, but the closest schools, UCLA and USC, kind of do have my preference.

BDN: I know you have a teammate that will be heading to North Carolina to play at Duke this fall. How familiar are you with the program and what are your thoughts on Duke?

Yeah, Corbin [McCarthy]’s committed to Duke, so a couple months after that Duke started showing me some interest. I started looking into Duke as a football program, because I already know, well everybody knows that Duke is a good educational school, so I started looking at their football program. They’re doing some good thing in their conference and they’re trying to build a new program. I think it’s really cool to be a part of a growing program. The coaches, I’ve talked to Coach Lubick and Coach Loebner, they both seem pretty cool, they seem really interested to me as a player, and academics seem really big to them. Duke seems like a good program and I’ll have to look into that.

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

I kind of want to keep my options as open as possible, see how many scholarships I can get and keep considering and looking into schools that offer me. I might want to make a decision by sometime close to the beginning or the middle of my senior season just so I can know where I will be going by the end of my season. But for now I just want to kind of keep my options open.

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

Thank you, you too.

[/private]

Oaks Christian star LB Cameron Judge is on Duke's radar in the class of 2013

Athletic Oaks Christian LB Cameron Judge is on Duke’s radar

Oaks Christian star LB Cameron Judge is on Duke's radar in the class of 2013

The Blue Devils are hoping to see one former Oaks Christian star light up the scoreboard in Wallace Wade Stadium this fall in receiver Blair Holliday. The Duke coaching staff is hoping that a current Oaks Christian star will light up Blue Devil opponents in the future. Cameron Judge is a 6’2″ 210 pound linebacker prospect from Westlake Village, California. As a junior, Judge totaled 112 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles, earning 1st Team All-Ventura County honors. Though it’s early in his recruitment, the impressive athlete is hearing from a lot of schools, and the Blue Devils are giving him a long look. BDN caught up with Cameron last week for an update on his recruiting process. [private]

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

My athleticism, being a linebacker, it’s one of my strengths. Not many linebackers, I think, have my athleticism. I have a 39 inch vertical and I ran a 4.4 [second] hand-time 40 [yard-dash] yesterday. I feel like my athleticism is a big advantage for me.

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

I’m trying to put on some more size, gaining some more weight, I want to be like 220-225 [pounds] by the season start.

BDN: You play for a strong program at Oaks Christian; what are some of your goals for your senior year?

We’re moving into the PAC-5 this year for playoffs, it’s a big statement year for the entire school, so we just want to do our thing and try and win CIF in this new playoff division.

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

Academics is pretty important to me, so that’s definitely near the top of my list. And then also, like the environment, I want to be able to call the place home every day and feel happy there, amongst the players, coaches, and just the environment of the school in general.

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

I’ve been hearing from quite a bit of schools, I talk to Texas A&M quite a bit, Vanderbilt, Utah, UCLA, Oregon State, I hear quite a lot from those schools.

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

UCLA is actually the only one so far.

BDN: Do you have any plans to visit any other schools this spring or summer?

I haven’t planned any yet, but I want to get out and see some schools over the summer.

BDN: Being on the West Coast, you’ve got a lot of PAC-12 and other West Coast schools interested in you. Is location going to be an important factor in your college decision?

Not really, no, I’d be open to going anywhere at this point.

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

Yeah, I want to have a commitment made before the start of my senior season, but if I don’t have a decision made by then, I don’t want to rush it.

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

Thanks.

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Valor Christian DE Michael Mann committed to Duke over the weekend.

Valor Christian DE Michael Mann recaps his official visit for BDN Premium

With the recent decision by Terrell Jackson to re-open his recruitment, the Blue Devils find themselves looking to bulk up their defensive line in the class of 2012. With that in mind, Duke hosted Valor Christian DE Michael Mann on an official visit over the weekend. Originally committed to Arizona State, Mann opted to re-open his own recruitment after the coaching staff change in Tempe. A teammate and close friend of Duke WR commit Max McCaffrey, the Blue Devils have had Mann on their radar for awhile. The 6’4” 220 pound DE prospect is coming off his third straight Colorado HS Championship and spoke with BDN shortly after his visit to Durham. [private]

BDN: How did your official visit to Duke go?

I’m at the airport right now; I just got done with my visit. It was a fun weekend. It was a lot of fun. They did a great job of hosting it. Definitely the high points were the basketball game, getting to walk around and see the campus for the first time, and just hanging out with the coaches, they are some great guys, they’re funny, and we got along really well.

BDN: You had originally committed to Arizona State. Can you talk a little about how Duke entered your recruitment and when you first heard from them?

Definitely. I committed to Arizona State in the summer and I was all set and ready to go, but due to the coaching changes and all that stuff, it really opened up things for me. I re-opened my recruitment. It turns out that my best friend, I think you know him, Max McCaffrey, he goes to my school and he lives right next door. He committed to Duke as well. He’s a great kid and it would be really fun to come with him. But that’s how I got introduced to Coach Lubick. He was out here and was able to see me play and he liked me and that’s kind of how Duke got a hold of me.

BDN: What other schools are you considering at this point?

I took an official visit to Colorado State last weekend. It’s definitely CSU, Duke, and UCLA. I can still go to Arizona State but I don’t really want to because of the new coaching staff, they want me to gray shirt and all this weird stuff.

BDN: It’s obviously always a tough situation when there’s a coaching change. What will be the most important factors as you sit down and make your final decision?

Yeah. After being at Duke, my priority is definitely to get an education first. I’m going to college to get an education. AS much as I’d like to play in the league, I’m going to put forth my best effort, but I want to be realistic and know that I’m probably going to rely on my degree one day. That’s very important to me. I want to go into business, so I want a good business school and a good education. Next for me would be the football aspect. And last would be socially and the location. Those are the factors that will definitely come into play when I make this big decision.

BDN: Do you have an idea when you would like to make that final decision?

I’d like to make it definitely soon. Duke is going to call me, they’re going to keep in touch with me. I’m anxious to hear something from them in the next few days, it could be as early as tonight, it could be by Tuesday, to know officially what I’ve got going on with Duke.

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

I appreciate that, sir, thank you so much.
[/private]

 

Dorsey LB Jeremiah Allison has a Duke offer

Duke targets top California LB Jeremiah Allison

Dorsey LB Jeremiah Allison has a Duke offer

This spring, the Duke coaching staff has been scouting the country for the best defensive talent in the class of 2012, and they found an outstanding linebacker prospect in the state of California. Jeremiah Allison is a 6’1” 210 pound linebacker prospect from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. The Blue Devils have had recruiting success on the west coast, bringing QB Brandon Connette, TE Cooper Helfet, WR Blair Holliday, and current 2012 LB commit Deion Williams to Durham in recent years. They hope that trend continues with Allison, who has received a verbal scholarship offer from Duke, along with Boise State, Colorado State, Nevada, SMU, and UCLA. As a junior, Allison was first team all-state, all-city, and all-league, totaling 88 tackles and 24 sacks. A standout both on the field and in the classroom, Allison is the prototypical play-making defender the Blue Devils are looking for in the class of 2012.

 

BDN: Can you start out by describing your strengths as a player?

Some of my strengths are that I’m a student of the game, I always want to learn more about the game. I’m very competitive and I’m able to get to the quarterback quite well. I’m always going one hundred miles per hour, and I never dwell on a bad play, I just try to move on to the next play.

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

I’m playing outside linebacker and I’m working on a lot of coverage, that’s a big key that I’ve been working on. Of course, you know, I can get around the corner and get to the quarterback, but the main priority is covering, so I’ve been working on that a lot.

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

Of course a championship, I want to bring a championship back to Dorsey. I want to break the sack record, which is 26. I came 6 short, well actually 2 because I had half-sacks. I want to make sure my teammates around me are able to get into colleges, so I just want to make sure we have an all-around great season.

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

Of course academics, with me being a 4.25 [GPA] student, I really stress the importance of education. The name of the player is a student-athlete, so being a student is a really big priority, and the college education is really big as well. So I’m really going to focus on education when I pick a college.

BDN: You mentioned academics as important to you; is there a particular field you are interested in studying?

Right now I’m thinking of two. Either going into law, because I love to debate and I feel that no one can beat me in a debate, or also anesthesiology. I really became fond of science so I’m thinking of going into medicine.

BDN: What schools have you had the most contact with this spring?

They’re all basically the same. They all contact me around the same amount. All the schools have really reached out to me.

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

I took two unofficial visits – I took three actually. I took one to Stanford, one to Cal, one to UCLA…and one to USC. I went to Stanford for a Nike camp, but we ended up going up the day before for their Junior Day. And I went to UC Berkeley with one of my friends for their Junior Day, and of course UCLA and USC are right in my backyard so they’re easy campuses to reach.

BDN: Do you have any plans to visit some of the schools that are farther away?

Most definitely, I do have plans to visit schools away from California just so I can get a feel for the other aspects of America.

BDN: Do you have an idea for how you want to narrow things down and make a final decision?

Right now I just want to get the season started and see how we progress as a team. If our season is running smoothly, and I don’t have a lot of things on my plate, I’ll be able to get more into the college recruiting process and sitting down and thinking about where I want to go. But if the team depends on me to help them out with anything, I’m going to really focus on the team because for us seniors, this is our last shot.

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

One thing, the people who are going to be helping me make my decision are my Coach Lonnie Pumphrey and Coach Knox and my mother and my grandmother. And I just cherish the game of football, every time I go out there I’m trying to get better and I’m always trying to uplift my teammates and do the right thing.

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

Alright, thanks.


 

Big Josh Smith chats up BDN Premium after he tossed in 36 points in his team’s BWI opener

Josh Smith - BDN Photo
Josh Smith - BDN Photo

BDN Premium caught up with Josh Smith (6-9 Kentwood HS, Covington, WA) after he tossed in 36 points in Seattle Rotary Select’s opening night win at the Boo Williams Invitational. Discuss this interview on our private message board.

Wow!  Thirty six points, game winning shot in the opener, what’s up with that?

Aw, I man (smiling) … it felt good.  I started out feeling good and kept on pushing it inside.  We had a little jet lag in the first half but we kind of woke up. [private]

Is this your first AAU Tournament on the east coast?

Not my first on the east coast, but my first time here.

So, where have you been on the east coast with concerns to AAU ball?

New York, Cincinnati.

Who is recruiting you?

Well, everybody is recruiting me right now, but I don’t have a list.

I am sure you have heard this question before, but is there any truth that it is down to UCLA and Washington for your services?

That’s not true.  I am not necessarily staying on the west coast.  If I do, I do.  I’m not totally sold on the west coast despite what people are saying.  It’s where ever I feel comfortable, east coast or west coast.

Which schools stay on you the hardest?

All the PAC-10 schools, Texas, Louisville, Carolina, Duke.

When is the last time Carolina or Duke got in touch with you?

They send me letters all the time.  They call my Dad.  Coach K and my coach are real close so …  my high school coach and they talk a lot.

When is the last time you talked with coaches from Duke or UNC?

It’s been a while.

So, you are still open to Duke or UNC?

Yeah

Three words which best describe you as a person -

Calm, determined and funny.

How did you feel after hitting that winning shot?

It felt good.  I felt kind of nervous because I was going to go up and dunk, but my knee gave way and I got the lay up.

I will elaborate more on Josh and Duke on the message board.  This is an interview to get the ball rolling. [/private]