Tag Archives: Vanderbilt

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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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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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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Duke and Wake Forest made a strong impression on Glenbard West TE Nathan Marcus

Duke makes a strong impression on Illinois TE Nathan Marcus

Duke and Wake Forest made a strong impression on Glenbard West TE Nathan Marcus

The Blue Devils have had a lot of success throwing the ball under Coach Cutcliffe and his spread offense over the past few seasons, including at the tight end position. With the graduation of Cooper Helfet, Duke hopes that their young tight ends Issac Blakeney and David Reeves will be able to help fill the void this fall, but the coaching staff continues to look towards the future on the recruiting trail.

One tight end prospect has recently caught the attention of the Blue Devil coaches, and was extended a verbal scholarship offer on a visit to Durham last weekend. Nathan Marcus is a 6’5″ 220 pound tight end from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After leading Glenbard West to a 10-1 record as a junior and receiving All-Conference and Academic All-State honors, Marcus has seen his recruitment take off this spring, collecting scholarship offers from Boston College, Duke, Indiana, Northwestern, Toledo, and Wake Forest, along with interest from several other schools, including Illinois and Vanderbilt. The Blue Devils hosted Marcus on an unofficial visit this past weekend, and hope he’ll become the next big pass-catching tight end in their spread offense. [private]

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

I’m mostly a wide receiver-type tight end. I like to get out in space and catch the ball, but I’ve also been used as a tackle for the youth football team, so I’m comfortable on the line and split out.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason and what do you hope to accomplish this fall?

Winning a state title, obviously. But personally, I’d like to see the ball more in the air and catch it and work on my blocking, trying to become a more well-rounded tight end.

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

Definitely being able to compete football-wise, and then off the field, academically, because once the football ends, I’d like to be able to have a good job and have a degree from a very good school.

BDN: Which schools have you been hearing the most from and where do you stand with offers?

Who has been contacting me most would be like Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Illinois, those are like the main three, and also Boston College. Now, once I’ve visited Duke and Wake Forest, they’ve both offered me and I’m pretty liked with them too.

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

I went to Duke and Wake Forest and now I’m at Vanderbilt right now. I really liked both Duke and Wake [Forest], they’re pretty similar. I’m not really sure if I’m going to see any more [schools], because they’re both pretty high up there and I’m probably going to make my decision sometime soon, maybe late summer or early fall, I’ll decide what school I’m going to commit to.

BDN: What was it that stood out to you about Duke and Wake Forest?

They’re both pretty high-powered offensive programs, so you’ve got to like that as a tight end, and they both pass the ball pretty well, so you’ve got to like that as a tight end that likes to catch the ball. I really liked their academics, and it’s kind of good to get away from Chicago and the snowy weather.

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

Thank you, it was nice meeting you.

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Dade Christian's Ryan Janvion has narrowed his college choices down to Duke, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest

Duke is a finalist for star Miami student-athlete Ryan Janvion

Dade Christian's Ryan Janvion has narrowed his college choices down to Duke, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest

The strength of the new Duke defense relies on a group of dynamic athletes at the safety position to slow opposing offenses. Duke’s safeties are led by seniors Matt Daniels and Lee Butler, which means that the Blue Devils will have to reload at the position in 2012. The Duke coaching staff has secured a verbal commitment from Jacksonville safety Dwayne Norman and hopes another athletic Florida safety will join him in the Blue Devils’ class of 2012. Ryan Janvion, a 5’11” 175 pound athlete from Miami, recently took a visit to Durham and came away impressed. A four-year starter for Dade Christian HS, Janvion has played all over the field in his high school career, but is focused on playing strong safety at the college level. A star on the field and in the classroom (4.0 GPA), Ryan has narrowed his college choices down to Duke, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest. As the prototypical elite student-athlete Duke targets, the Blue Devil coaching staff is hopeful that Ryan will fill one of their few remaining available scholarships in the class of 2012. [private]

 

BDN: Can you tell us a little bit about your high school career and your strengths on the field?

I’m definitely being recruited most heavily as a strong safety. Colleges feel like I can be the best threat at that position because I can be involved in both the run and the pass game. My high school career has been great, I’ve been a four-year starter at Dade Christian, I started as a freshman. I actually started my 8th grade year during the spring, and that really helped me to get to the point where I am now because I was starting to define where I was going and I got used to playing the game of football early and that gave me an advantage over a lot of people. The game started slowing down for me each and every year and I’m at a point now where I just want to dominate on the field and be an unstoppable force and a game-changer.

BDN: What are some of the things you’re working on as you head into your senior season?

I’m definitely hitting the weights hard, trying to put on as much muscle mass as I can, well not so much that as just getting the strength portion in, continuing to get stronger. Since I know where I will be playing as a college player, I’ve started working on position-specific drills to improve my footwork, making sure my backpedal is right, my plant foot, different things that a safety would use on a gamefield. My hips, making sure my hips are flexible allowing them to turn and stop and do all the things to be able to cover good receivers, that’s what I’ve basically been doing. And also just working on speed because speed kills, you never want to neglect your speed. That’s probably one of, if not the, most important parts of the game, especially playing in the ACC football league.

BDN: Where do you stand with your recruiting process in regards to schools and scholarship offers?

I have a lot of offers, but the thing that made it really easy in my case, so to speak, was the academic standpoint. I definitely am one of those guys who is very serious about my academics, I’m a 4.0 student and I have straight A’s and I’m at the top of my class, so academics is really important to me. I definitely was only really looking at the schools that have the academic part to it as well, so that just kind of narrowed schools down for me just like that. And then I was able to narrow it down to my top 3 schools which were Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Duke, and that’s who I just visited this past week, I just got back today.

BDN: That’s a perfect segue into my next question about your visits, but before you talk about that, can you talk about what stood out to you about each of your three finalists?

They have great programs. They offer me a great opportunity to play early as well. Wake has been a special one, they were my first offer and they’ve been on me since my sophomore year. I’ve gotten to know my recruiting coordinator very well. I also have a teammate who plays at Wake Forest who was a great help to me my freshman year. His name is Daniel Mack and he was the one who really just carried me through high school football my freshman year. It was really new to me and I was one of the youngest players on the field, so me and him definitely have a great relationship.

BDN: That’s great to have a mentor like that. Can you talk a little about your visits, what you got to see and what stood out to you?

Well my first visit was to Duke. Duke’s campus is beautiful. The coaches actually had left on a retreat so when I saw the campus I didn’t get to see any of the coaches, but they actually came down just to see me the next day. I got to meet Coach Cutcliffe again, and my recruiting coordinator, Coach Lubick, and my position coach, Coach Knowles, my safety coach. Coach Cutcliffe is….wow, he’s amazing. He’s so wise and he knows what he’s doing. He’s a great head coach and he’s definitely going to do big things with that program. I had a great talk to him, I talked to him for over two hours and he really feels like I can be a part of something big at Duke.

BDN: I’m guessing you drove over to Wake Forest after Duke?

The next day I went to Wake. I had a sit down, the same talk with Coach Grobe. They’re both…I honestly really can’t pick a head coach between Coach Grobe and Coach Cutcliffe, they’re both tremendous guys, they’re very wise, they know what they’re doing and they know how to win. That’s definitely going to be a tough decision on my part. I’d have to look at the whole spectrum. Wake also has given me a great opportunity to play early. Two of their main guys at safety are graduating this year coming up, so that gives me an opportunity to step up and play early. Their campus is definitely beautiful. They were the first campus that I ever saw, I got to go up there and visit my sophomore year when I went to a camp, so this was my second time going and I was able to bring my dad and stuff. That was a really good visit to.

BDN: That’s a long drive from Winston-Salem to Nashville, so I’m hoping you flew. What did you think of Vanderbilt?

Yeah definitely, we flew. I didn’t expect to see what I saw at Vanderbilt. Their campus is really just in the middle of Nashville and it’s not closed off in any way. There’s main streets running right through their campus, and not just one, multiple streets. It was cool they were taking me on the golf cart and I was like “man, there’s no gates or anything like that.” The buildings are nice, I met the coaches, I have a great relationship with my recruiting coordinator over there as well, Coach McGriff. I met the head coach and he showed me his background and stuff like that and he’s looking to do big things at Vanderbilt, and we’ll see how that goes.

BDN: You’ve obviously narrowed things down to three great schools, so how do you plan to narrow things down and make a decision from here?

Well I’m looking to make a decision soon, like before school starts. I already took my unofficial visits to my top 3 schools so now it’s basically just coming here and first of all getting some rest, because I’m exhausted, so I can think straight and then I’ll take it over with my parents and my family and see what school is the best for me. Every time I went up there on my visits they would go through all this stuff and they would remind me that this is one of the most important decisions in your life. It’s not just the next four years, it’s actually the next forty years, because it’s what you’re going to do after school that matters so you want to get a good education and not regret your choice. You have to be selfish in this decision. You can’t think about disappointing somebody or trying to impress somebody. You have to look out for yourself in this decision because at the end of the day it’s about you. It’s about where you want to go to college. That’s where I’m at right now.

BDN: I know you’re exhausted and I really appreciate you taking a few minutes to speak with us. Thanks a lot, Ryan, and best of luck to you.

Definitely, no problem.

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Braddock HS OL Robert Conyers recently visited Duke

Blue Devils looking to add coveted Florida OL Robert Conyers

Braddock HS OL Robert Conyers recently visited Duke

The Duke Football class of 2012 is up to 14 verbal commitments now, and with only a handful of scholarships remaining, the Blue Devils’ coaching staff is looking to add a few impact players. One such prospect is a highly-coveted offensive lineman from the talent-rich state of Florida. Duke recently hosted 6’5” 275 pound junior Robert Conyers on an unofficial visit in Durham. Conyers is one of the top remaining uncommitted offensive linemen in the class of 2012, with 20 scholarship offers from programs throughout the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, and SEC. As a junior, Conyers helped lead Braddock HS to an 8-2 overall record and the state playoffs. His performance earned 1st Team All-County and 2nd Team All-State honors. Duke Offensive Line Coach Matt Luke is developing a talented group of linemen in Durham, and a potential star like Conyers would be a great late addition to Duke’s class of 2012. [private]

BDN: Can you tell us a little bit about your high school career and your strengths on the field?

Well, I only started playing offensive line at the end of my sophomore year. I went to a bunch of camps, and this past year I made the All-County Team and the 2nd Team All-State. Some of my strengths are just my footwork and my aggression.

BDN: You mentioned that you’ve been able to attend a few camps this year; what are some of the things you’re working on as you head into your senior season?

Just my strength and my pad level.

BDN: I know you have a pretty long offer list, so I won’t ask you to name all of the schools that are interested in you, but where do you currently stand with scholarship offers?

I have about 20 scholarship offers right now. And some of the bigger ones are Michigan State, Duke, USF, Wake Forest, Illinois, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, UCF, and a couple other ones.

BDN: That’s an impressive total. Where would you say you are in your recruiting process right now?

Right now I’m looking to narrow it down. I’m going to visit Michigan State and Illinois and then I’ll have like a top 5 probably after I make that trip.

BDN: Obviously, it will be tough to narrow things down to five schools, but what are the most important things that you are looking for as you evaluate a program?

Just the school’s atmosphere, the coaching staff, and the way I feel when I’m around them and around the other players that are playing there currently.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit so far and have any stood out to you?

I’ve visited Wake Forest, Duke, Vanderbilt, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Miami…I visited UCF, USF, and some of the schools that are standing out to me are USF, Wake Forest, Duke, just because of their coaching staffs and the total package of the school.

BDN: You mentioned that you’d like to have a top 5 after these next couple of visits. What are your plans for narrowing things down and making a decision from there?

Probably going to take like 2 or 3 official visits, but most likely the middle of my season is when I’m going to make my decision.

BDN: Are there any schools that you think you definitely want to take an official visit to at this point?

I’m still kind of narrowing all that down.

BDN: Is there anything else you want college football fans to know about you?

That I’m only 16.

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

Alright, thanks.

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