Tag Archives: Wake Forest

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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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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CB Evrett Edwards took his official visit this weekend and will enroll with Quay Mann and Parker Boehme in January.

Woodbridge (VA) DB Evrett Edwards picks up an offer on his visit to Duke

DB Evrett Edwards is the type of star student-athlete Coach Cutcliffe wants at Duke

During Coach Cutcliffe’s revitalization of Duke football, he has maintained the program’s reputation for featuring the top student-athletes in the ACC. A year ago, the program led the ACC with 19 Academic All-Conference selections, more than three times any other ACC program. The goal is to match that success in the classroom with the results on the field, and ultimately, that effort starts on the recruiting trail. This weekend, Coach Cutcliffe extended a scholarship offer to a top student-athlete from Virginia, who he hopes can help the Blue Devils continue to build their success both in the classroom and on the field.

Evrett Edwards is a 5’11″ 175 pound cornerback prospect from Woodbridge HS in Woodbridge, VA. Though he didn’t start playing football until 8th grade, Edwards was a quick study, learning from his uncle, Benny Guilbeaux, a former safety at Notre Dame. By his junior year in 2011, Edwards earned 1st Team All-District honors, totaling 38 tackles, 6 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 blocked field goals, and 1 blocked punt. The speedy prospect has seen his recruitment take off in recent weeks, and he now holds 6 scholarship offers from Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Ohio, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. BDN caught up with Evrett shortly after his unofficial visit to Duke on March 17. [private]

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

My understanding for the game. I’ve been told that I have a very high football IQ. I use that to my advantage. I study a lot of film, I study so much film to the point where I know if they run a certain play, I know what their whole drive will consist of. My footwork, I play soccer, so at my position footwork is a big deal. My quickness and my speed, I run a 4.42 [second] 40 [yard dash] and 3.91 [second] 20-yard shuttle.

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

First of all, better myself. Second of all, better the people around me, and through that, obtain a state championship.

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

I’m looking for a school that will last with me for 40 years. I understand that football is going to be finished at some point, and whenever football is done with me and I’m done with football, I need a degree from a school that is going to mean something in the business world. So, a 40-year, not a 4-year school.

BDN: Is business something you want to study in college?

International Business.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and visits now?

I have 6 offers, most recent came from Duke yesterday. Earlier this week, on Tuesday, I got one from Wake Forest. On Friday, last week, was West Virginia. Thursday last week was Boston College and Wednesday last week was Ohio. Two or three weeks ago, my first offer came from Illinois.

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

I’ve visited Duke and UVA thus far. I’m really trying to plan a visit to West Virginia and then April 13th I’m going to Northwestern, they’re interested and talking about a possible offer. On the 14th I’m going to the University of Illinois.

BDN: Can you talk a little bit about your visits to UVA and Duke and what stood out to you about those schools?

Virginia, I talked to Coach Poindexter and he invited me to their Junior Day so we went down and visited, sat down and went over some film with Coach West, nothing serious. Duke, I’ve been in contact with Coach Roper for quite some time now, I went to spring practice, liked what I saw, had a chance to see the position coaches, watched film with them in a meeting, and then at the end of the day, Coach Cutcliffe called me into his office along with my parents. He told me he wanted to extend me an offer and thought that I would be a perfect fit for this school with my upbringing from my parents and how it’s hard to find true student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the field, and he really liked that about me.

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

I had been saying November/December, but now, after the way things have been going the past couple of weeks, I really don’t have a timeframe. I’ve prayed about it with my parents and when I get that feeling, I’m going to make the phone call and drive or fly to whatever school and talk to the coach.

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

Alright, thank you.

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Duke would love for Keilin Rayner to join Deion Williams at LB in the class of 2012

Duke is a finalist for 2 top uncommitted North Carolina prospects

Historically, National Signing Day has been a lackluster affair for Blue Devil fans, as Coach Cutcliffe and his staff typically work hard to secure verbal commitments during the summer and fall recruiting seasons. Last year, Duke fans were pleasantly surprised by the Signing Day commitment of Alabama TE David Reeves. This year, however, Duke Football fans will finally get to experience some authentic Signing Day drama. Duke is a finalist for two of the top uncommitted prospects in North Carolina, Jela Duncan and Keilin Rayner. [private]

 

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan will choose between Duke, ECU, and Wake Forest

RB Jela Duncan

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 190 pounds

High School: Mallard Creek

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

BDN Scouting Report:  With Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley heading to UGA, Duncan will be the top running back to remain in the state of North Carolina. After an outstanding high school season at Mallard Creek, Duncan capped off his career with 112 yards on only 7 carries in the 75th Annual Shrine Bowl. Duncan is an outstanding runner; he’s physical for his size, has great hands and good vision. There is no question that he has the tools to be successful at the college level and the ability to make an immediate impact for a program like Duke.

BDN Analysis:

Duke: Ever since he blew away the Duke coaching staff with his performance at camp last June, Duncan has been at the top of the Blue Devils’ recruiting board. Duke was the early leader, but seemed to fade slightly as other schools became involved. To those who have followed his recruitment and spoken with Jela throughout the process, it has always seemed like there’s something missing at Duke for him. The Blue Devils were fortunate to be able to take a commitment from Shaquille Powell in December, and a backfield of Powell and Duncan could become one of the ACC’s best. That being said, relative to their competition, Duke does have a crowded backfield, and Duncan will have to earn early playing time. Duke put forth their best on his official visit to Durham, and Duncan remains closest with Coach Cutcliffe, who followed up with an in-home visit last week.

ECU: Seemingly on the outside looking in for much of his recruitment, ECU has surged of late. After an official visit to in early January, Duncan seemed to find what he was looking for, and declared ECU his new leader. The Pirates offer a great social scene, immediate playing time, and perhaps most importantly, an NFL RB legacy. Football is king as ECU, and a star RB could quickly find himself crowned BMOC. With the upcoming conference realignments, ECU will face a relatively weak C-USA schedule and their national exposure may not match that of their ACC brethren. ECU, however, does not have a current RB commitment in the class of 2012.

Wake Forest: For those handicapping this recruitment, Wake Forest was a natural dark horse candidate: closest to home, recent success in the ACC, a run-heavy offense, and a solid academic reputation. It should be no surprise, then, that the Demon Deacons’ hit a home run with their recent official visit and have become a major player in Duncan’s decision. The Deacs’ already have an under-the-radar RB committed in the class of 2012 in Texan Joshua Wilhite. Still, Coach Grobe likely was able to sell Duncan on being the understudy and heir apparent to breakout star Josh Harris.

Summary: First and foremost, whichever school ends up with a commitment from Jela on National Signing day, they’re getting a good kid and a great running back. When recruiting battles get heated, players often are vilified, and that shouldn’t happen here. Duncan has been polite and conscientious throughout this process. He took his time, focused on his senior season, and then evaluated all of his options. This is not a decision he nor his family takes lightly, and in the end, he will select the school he feels offers him the best opportunity of fulfilling his dreams.

 

Duke would love for Keilin Rayner to join Deion Williams at LB in the class of 2012

Keilin Rayner

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 215 pounds

High School: North Brunswick

Hometown: Leland, North Carolina

 

BDN Scouting Report: Rayner is a prolific run-stopper from either the LB or DE position. His size and speed likely translate best as an outside linebacker at the college level, but his versatility is one of his strengths. A tackling-machine, Rayner has a great nose for the football and the strength to wrap up ball-carriers. He has the instincts and athleticism to be a playmaker in the ACC, but must improve his coverage skills to earn early playing time on defense. His tackling ability and motor make him an excellent candidate to see early action on special teams.

BDN Analysis:

Duke: Duke was also an early leader for Rayner, as the Blue Devils were among the first to offer the in-state defensive star. By the fall, however, it appeared that Duke has fallen back to the pack, though the staff continued to communicate with Keilin. From Duke’s perspective, Rayner is the prototypical linebacker for their 4-2-5 defensive scheme. He has the tackling ability and frame that is reminiscent of current Bengals’ LB Vincent Rey, a former Duke star. Rayner would have the ability to earn immediate playing time, while also setting himself up for life after football, something important to his family.

ECU: The Pirates are the hometown school for Rayner, and that proximity to home is always tough to beat. Rayner shared his official visit to Greenville with Duncan, and all reports are that the staff hit a home run that weekend. ECU offers the same things as above: social scene, passion for football, and immediate playing time.

Summary: Rayner has played things incredibly close to the vest over the past week, making this a tough one to call. Reports are that the Blue Devils’ are the favorite among his family, but that the official visit to ECU is still looming large in Keilin’s mind. As with Duncan, it’s important to note that Rayner will be an excellent representative of whichever program he chooses. He’s been great to interview and will be a great addition to any football program.

 

While it’s seemingly easy for fans to make these decisions, each prospect has his own priorities, pressures, likes, and dislikes. Duke has done a good job in recruiting both players and has remained in both recruitments from day 1. The Blue Devils have earned a hat on each table and we’ll all have our fingers crossed on Signing Day. The addition of either Duncan or Rayner would be a perfect ending to what appears to be one of Duke’s strongest recruiting classes in recent years. The addition of both could just be the turning point this program has been looking for.

Be sure to check in with BDN for all the latest Duke Signing Day coverage. [/private]

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan will choose between Duke, ECU, and Wake Forest

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan recaps his Duke official visit for BDN Premium

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan is Duke's top remaining priority in the class of 2012

It’s no secret that Jela Duncan has been the Duke coaching staff’s top priority in the class of 2012 for the past several months. The Mallard Creek star RB is viewed as the type of elite athlete that will help the Blue Devils’ program get to the next level. As signing day approaches, Duncan is making his final visits and has narrowed his choices to Duke, ECU, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. Coach Cutcliffe has developed a strong relationship with the elite prospect throughout his recruitment and welcomed him to Durham on an official visit this weekend. Duncan checked in with BDN shortly after returning home from his Duke official visit. [private]

BDN: How was your visit to Duke?

IT went pretty good, it went pretty good. I like it up there, I like it.

BDN: You’ve been to Durham a few times before. What were you able to see on this visit that was different?

Well I got to see more this time. They showed me the academic buildings, got to see the indoor facility since it’s been put up, and I got to sit down and meet with the coaches a little bit more than I had before.

BDN: Did you get to spend some time with the Duke players and who was your host?

Yes, I did. Jamison Crowder. That was my first time actually meeting him.

BDN: Can you talk a little about your relationship with the Duke coaches?

First off, I have a great relationship with Coach Cut. We talk on the phone probably every other day. He calls sometimes just to check up on me and see how I’m doing. My relationship with the running back coach, Coach Roper, that’s a pretty good relationship. We sat down and watched film. He showed me some of the offense that they’re running and it’s basically some of the things we run at Mallard Creek. It was pretty simple.

BDN: What other visits do you have scheduled and when do you think you’ll make your final decision?

I’ll probably make my final decision after I come back from Wake Forest next weekend.

BDN: Is that your last visit remaining?

Yes sir it is. I probably might go on an unofficial visit to UNC this week but I don’t have the date yet.

BDN: You’ve also been able to visit ECU. Do you have a ranking of schools in your head at this point?

It’s basically between ECU, Duke, and UNC and Wake Forest.

BDN: What will be the one or two things that are most important as you make your final decision?

If I feel like I’m at home. Am I comfortable? Am I going to be able to be there for four years without football, looking at life outside of football?

BDN: Thanks a lot, Jela. Best of luck.

Ok, thank you sir.

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