Tag Archives: Wake Forest

Bilal Marshall was the first 2012 QB with a Duke offer and remains a top target

Duke is a finalist for elusive dual-threat QB Bilal Marshall

Bilal Marshall was the first 2012 QB with a Duke offer and remains a top target

Yesterday, BDN featured an interview with new Duke QB target Thomas Sirk, more of a traditional pro-style quarterback prospect with a 6’5” frame. Historically, Head Coach David Cutcliffe has had great success with quarterbacks from this mold, with Peyton and Eli Manning serving as exhibits A and B. Given recent trends in the game of college football and the success Duke had in 2010 with freshman Brandon Connette, the Duke staff would love to add a dual-threat quarterback to the class of 2012. Recent players like Cam Newton at Auburn and Darron Thomas at Oregon have been elite program-changers, and the Blue Devils have targeted a dual-threat prospect from Florida in hopes of similar success. At 6’3” and 170 pounds, Bilal Marshall, has an agile frame and a natural athleticism that makes him the elusive playmaker Duke needs. Duke was among the first to offer Marshall early in 2011, and have remained aggressive in their pursuit of the Dade Christian star throughout the spring and summer. After a dozen scholarship offers, Marshall has landed on four top schools, and the Blue Devils have made the cut. BDN first spoke with Bilal back in February, and recently caught up with the talented athlete after his trip to Durham. [private]

 

BDN: I know your recruitment has really picked up since we last spoke; how many offers are you up to now?

Right now I’m at 12 offers from several schools such as Wake Forest, Duke, Kansas, Purdue, Boston College, Tulane, Northwestern, FIU, Rutgers, and a couple more I can’t think of right now.

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

This past weekend I was just at Wake Forest and Duke.

BDN: How did those visits go for you?

It went great, I got a great feel for the city and the coaches. It was a great thing.

BDN: What other visits do you have planned?

Towards the end of July, I’m going to be taking a trip to Purdue and Kansas to see what I can find out there.

BDN: Where would you say you are in your recruiting process?

I’m pretty much towards the end, I’ve narrowed it down to those four schools right now.

BDN: So you’ve narrowed it down to Wake Forest, Duke, Purdue, and Kansas? And are all four schools recruiting you as a quarterback?

Yes. And yes.

BDN: In addition to your visits in July, what else do you have planned for the summer?

Just footwork, that’s basically it, just getting stronger each day and working on my feet.

BDN: What are your plans for narrowing things down and making your decision?

Yes, I’m going to take my officials in the fall to get a football game aspect of it, to see how the atmosphere is during the game, what it’s like if I were to play football at those schools and then after that I’ll make my decision.

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

Alright, I appreciate it.

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TE Dan Beilinson hopes to make his decision soon between three finalists

Duke a finalist for Cary TE Dan Beilinson

TE Dan Beilinson hopes to make his decision soon between three finalists

With the impending graduation of Cooper Helfet and Danny Parker, Duke will be looking to reload at the tight end position in the class of 2012. After an early verbal commitment from Florida prospect Erich Schneider, the Blue Devils have remained focused on a local prospect to fill their remaining spot at tight end. Dan Beilinson is a 6’5” 220 pound tight end from Cary, North Carolina. As a junior, Beilinson caught 37 passes for over 500 yards, helping Panther Creek HS to a conference title and the state regional playoffs. One of the top tight end prospects in the state, his performance earned him 1st Team Tri-Nine All-Conference, among many other accolades. Highlights from Dan’s junior year can be viewed here. With eight scholarship offers in hand and interest from several other schools, Beilinson has narrowed his college choices to three finalists. [private]

 

BDN: Where are you in your recruiting process?

I’d say I’ve basically narrowed the schools down basically to NC State, Duke, and Wake Forest, and I’m just trying to figure out which of those schools is the best fit for me. I’m not really looking at this point for anything else, I’m just trying to decide between those three schools.

BDN: Have you had a chance to visit your finalists recently?

Yes, last weekend I actually visited all three of them.

BDN: You’ve obviously had a chance to visit these schools a few times now; what are the specific things you have been evaluating on your more recent visits?

I’m just trying to see the best relationship with a coach that I can establish, how they coach and how that relates to me. Just try to see what they’re doing and just try to evaluate based on that.

BDN: It sounds like the relationship you are developing with the coaches is important; which coaches are you closest with?

At NC State, Coach Archer would be the recruiter for my area so I’ve got to know him pretty well. And then the former tight end coach, Coach Bridge, I know him very well and I’m establishing with the new tight end coach, Coach Horton, so I’m developing a relationship there. At Duke, mainly I know Coach Middleton and Coach Cutcliffe very well, and some of the other coaches I’ve established contact with. And then at Wake Forest, Coach Russ and Coach Tereshinski have been the two main people that I’ve talked to.

BDN: What stood out to you about each of your three finalists?

They’re all very good educational schools. If I choose to got to [NC] State or Duke, I’d probably do engineering and then if I go to Wake Forest, I’d probably do more of a science field. So in all aspects the education is really good and that’s really appealing to me. And then in football, all the programs are either rising or already good, so that adds more to the effect.

BDN: When do you expect to make your final decision?

I hope, in my head it just kind of happens, but it could be soon, or it could go past the season, I really don’t know, but it might be soon, I’m not sure.

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

Alright, thank you very much.

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Booker HS WR Ricky Jones plans to visit Duke this summer

Speedy Florida WR Ricky Jones Jr. says “Duke is very strong” in his recruitment

Booker HS WR Ricky Jones plans to visit Duke this summer

The Duke coaching staff is looking to add dynamic athletes to the class of 2012 and have been scouting the country in search of potential impact players for the program. In recent years, the Blue Devils have had success with pulling players from the state of Florida, headlined by the dynamic receiving duo of Donovan Varner and Conner Vernon. In the class of 2012, Duke is already off to a great start in Florida, securing commitments from TE Erich Schneider and SAF Dwayne Norman. Ricky Jones is a 5’10” 175 pound prospect from Sarasota, Florida. The speedy slot receiver is already up to over half a dozen scholarship offers, including the Blue Devils. Jones is developing a strong relationship with the Duke coaching staff and plans to visit Durham this summer with his teammate, DB Ezra Robinson. Highlights of Jones’ 12-touchdown junior year can be viewed here.

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

Some of my strengths I believe, my after the ball ability. After I catch the ball, I feel like I’m a playmaker. I have a great burst off the line of scrimmage. I’m a slot player, a slot receiver, so I’ve got great quickness and great speed.

BDN: What are some of the things you have been working on as you prepare for your senior year?

I’ve really been working on my lateral speed and stuff like that, and working on my route running.

BDN: What are your goals for your senior year?

I believe, senior year, I just want to get better and better, beat all the rest of my years and go out strong.

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

First I’m looking at the offenses and what type of offense they have. And another real strong point is academic-wise, where will it take me if football doesn’t work out? Looking at the graduation rate and stuff like that.

BDN: Is there an academic field you’re interested in studying?

Not right now, I’m still seeing what I want to do after, but I just want to see like what my major would be there if I do have it.

BDN: Which schools have you had the most contact with so far?

Wake Forest is pretty strong, Duke is very strong also.

BDN: Have you had a chance to take any visits yet?

I have plans to visit, I might be going up to North Carolina to visit with Ezra Robinson, he has family up that way so we plan on visiting a lot of schools up that way.

BDN: Is North Carolina an area you’re interested in going to school, or would you prefer to be closer to home?

I have no problem with being away from home, but not too far, I don’t want to go really, really far. I have no problem with moving away from Florida, though.

BDN: Have any schools stood out to you at this point in the process, either from your visits or your relationships with the coaches?

Not really, I’m still evaluating every school and see what would be the best fit for me right now, I’ve still got almost a whole year to go.

BDN: Do you have an idea for how you would like to narrow things down and make your decision?

I believe I might be breaking it down after the summer, dropping the list from like 25 to like 15 probably, dropping down closer and closer, but I don’t have a date yet.

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

Thanks.

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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.


 

WR Max McCaffrey is Duke's 5th verbal commit in the class of 2012

Colorado WR Max McCaffrey Commits to Duke

WR Max McCaffrey is Duke's 5th verbal commit in the class of 2012

Head Coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils have added their 5th verbal commitment to the class of 2012 today from the state of Colorado. Max McCaffrey informed the Duke coaching staff of his decision on Wednesday afternoon. McCaffrey is a 6’3” 190 pound wide receiver prospect from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. As a receiver and defensive back, Max helped lead Valor Christian to back-to-back 4A State Championship in his sophomore and junior seasons. The athletic junior, who also plays basketball and track, had received scholarship offers from Arizona State, Connecticut, and Wake Forest. Max is the son of former NFL WR Ed McCaffrey and the nephew of former Duke men’s basketball player Billy McCaffrey.

Check back with BDN for more on the newest Blue Devil.