Tag Archives: Duke Junior Day

Ohio TE Tanner Kearns impressed with Duke on Junior Day

Ohio TE Tanner Kearns is hearing from a lot of Big 10, SEC, and ACC schools

Tight end is a position that Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Middleton hope to develop into a consistent strength within the Duke offense. In the past few seasons, Duke has featured a dynamic group of tight ends, including Brett Huffman, Brandon King, and Cooper Helfet. The Blue Devils will add freshman David Reeves to the depth chart this fall, and are looking at several prospects in the class of 2012. Along with verbal commit Erich Schneider, Duke is looking at a group of versatile tight end prospects such as Tanner Kearns. Kearns is a 6’5” 220 pound prospect from Lexington, Ohio. The athletic junior visited Duke for Junior Day earlier this year and was impressed with the program.


BDN: Can you start off by describing your strengths for fans who haven’t had a chance to see you play?

My strengths, probably – I run good routes, and really get open, catch the ball well.

BDN: What are some of the things you’ve been working on this offseason?

I’ve been lifting aside, we lift a little bit for basketball, but I lift on top of that, just to get bigger for next year.  And I’ve been working on speed training with my track coach to get faster.

BDN: What are some of your goals for your senior year?

To go undefeated, that’d be nice, and make a run in the state tournament.

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

Education and tradition.  That’s what Duke had, they’re known for their academics, and I like that.

BDN: Who are the schools that you have heard the most from and which schools were the first to contact you?

Basically Big 10 schools, and LSU, Oregon, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kentucky, and the first school I think that contacted me was LSU and NC State.

BDN: Have you had a chance to visit any schools?

Well, this fall I went down to Cincinnati, went up to Michigan, to Ohio State, Indiana, and Notre Dame for some football games.

BDN: Have any schools stood out to you at this point in the process?

I really liked Notre Dame, and I did like Duke a lot.  Their tight end coach was a nice guy, was funny, and I really liked him.

BDN: Do you have any plans for additional visits this spring or summer?

Yeah, this year I’m going down into the Carolinas for football camps this summer, I’m going to Eastern Carolina, NC State, North Carolina, Duke, and I think we’re going to Cincinnati too.

BDN: Do you have an idea for when you would like to make your college decision?

No, I’m just leaving my options open, and I’ll roll with the punches, I guess.

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

Alright, thanks.


Duke 2012 TE commit Erich Schneider enjoys Junior Day in Durham

Duke commit Erich Schneider enjoyed his visit to Durham

While the 2012 recruiting season is just heating up, Duke got on the board early with a commitment from TE Erich Schneider. After visits to Duke last summer and fall, Erich decided that the Blue Devils were the right fit for him. Erich is a 6’6” 220 pound prospect from Jacksonville, Florida. As a junior, Erich helped lead Episcopal high school to a 5-7 overall record, falling short of the state playoffs. The tall receiving prospect was recently in Durham for Junior Day and spoke with BDN after his visit. Highlights of Erich’s junior year can be viewed here.


BDN: Can you start off by describing some of your strengths for fans who haven’t had a chance to see you play?

I think my size, definitely, and my speed for my size and my quickness.  So hopefully I’ll be able to get bigger, but still maintain my speed and my quickness.

BDN: What have you been working on this offseason?

My foot speed is basically the biggest thing, and just maintaining my speed, but I got to work on my foot speed the most.

BDN: You were recently in Durham for Junior Day. How did your visit go?

It was – okay, it was awesome.  I went to, first of all I went to the meetings with the coach, the whole team, and then I went with the tight ends and had a look at what they do in their meetings and stuff.  It was really neat, and then I was able to visit a practice, and that was awesome.  It was really fast, really fast playtime that they use, it was awesome.  So – and then I met some coaches, I met some of the players, and I basically just got to see what playing is all about, so that was really cool.

BDN: What were the biggest factors that led to your commitment to Duke?

Academics especially, and Coach Cutcliffe, definitely want to play for a coach like him.  He brought in that whole coaching staff, so that’s – I know in the future it’s gonna be a really strong program, and I love the offense that they run.  I’m really attracted to their receiving tight end, like myself.

BDN: Do you have plans to make any other visits this spring or summer?

Yeah, yeah, I’m probably gonna go up for a weekend or something and go to a camp there, work with the tight-end coach, maybe he’ll – and, I don’t know, I definitely am gonna go up there this summer, but I might also take my official visit there.

BDN: Have any other schools been in contact with your recently?

I’ve attempted a little bit to contact a few schools, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt a little bit, but not really.  I’m considering, but I’m pretty solidly committed to Duke right now.

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

I guess I just want to win.  I want to help the team in any way I can, but it’s kind of cliché, but true.

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

Thank you so much.  You too.


Ohio TE Blake Thomas visits Duke for Junior Day

Notre Dame is an early favorite for TE Blake Thomas

Blake Thomas is a 6’4” 240 pound tight end from Westlake, Ohio. In his first full season as a starter at St. Ignatius in 2010, Thomas solidified himself as one of the top prospects in the state, attracting interest from several Big Ten and ACC schools. Highlights from his junior year can be viewed here. While Notre Dame is an early favorite, Blake visited Duke for Junior Day and thought he could fit in with the Blue Devil program.

BDN: Can you start off by describing the strengths and weaknesses of your game for someone who hasn’t had a chance to see you play?

My strengths – I’m pretty big, I’m a good blocker. I have good hands and I can use my body to get off guys on routes. I catch a lot of passes over the middle, too.


BDN: What are some of the goals you have for yourself and your team this fall?

Definitely for the team our goal is to go 10-0, to win a state championship this year. We’re supposed to be pretty good, we’ve got a couple good players coming back, actually most of our team is returning. Personal goals – I want to have more catches this year, preferably upwards of 35, probably over 10 touchdowns would be a goal for me. I want to work on exploding off my blocks more, my footwork is – I have good footwork in my blocks, but sometimes I don’t explode as well as I’d like.


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

Definitely I want to play for a school that wins games, that would be something big. But even bigger would be academics and the school itself. The campus, I have to like it where I am. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing football if I don’t like the school that I’m at. So pretty much the campus life, the location of the school. I have to make sure that I like that.


BDN: What schools have you recently heard from? Who was the first school to contact you?

My earliest contact was Cincinnati. Since then I’ve had a lot more. I’ve had a lot of contact with Notre Dame recently, and Boston College. Some with Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Northwestern – schools like that.


BDN: Can you talk a little about the schools you have been able to visit recently?

Duke, I’m just getting back from. Duke was awesome. The coaches were great, they seemed really interested. I really liked the school, I know it’s a top academic school and I feel I could really fit into the system there. That’s what’s attractive about Duke and I like it a lot. Before that I saw Notre Dame, I saw a game at Notre Dame and met some of the coaches there during the football season. And then before that I went to Cincinnati. Those are the three schools I’ve been able to visit so far. I’ve had other invites, but they just haven’t worked with my schedule.


BDN: Of the schools you’ve visited so far and heard from, are there any schools that have particularly impressed you?

Up until now, my top school has definitely been Notre Dame. I’ve had a lot of communication with them and I’ve seen the campus a lot. I’ve seen a game there. I’ve been really pleased with it and I like it a lot. I think once I’ve been to more schools, once I’ve seen Boston College and Northwestern – schools like that, I’ll have a better idea of the schools that I’ll really be interested in.


BDN: Do you have any plans for other visits this spring or summer?

I know I’m seeing Notre Dame February 26. Also I got invited to LSU recently but I don’t know if I’m going to go all the way down there for a Junior Day. I’m not sure if I’m going to go to any other schools for Junior Days right now. I have a couple more that I can choose from, but just with driving and stuff I’m not sure I want to go all over the place right now. I’m sure I’ll be at a couple places for spring practices, too.


BDN: It’s still very early in the process, but ideally, when would you like to make your college decision?

Well ideally I’d like to be able to put if off until after my senior year, but if I got a school like Notre Dame before my senior year, I’d probably commit so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. But kind of the plan would be to wait out, see how many I could get, how many schools I really liked that I could get offers from. But definitely if a big school like that offered me, I’d probably take it.


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

Not really, other than that. Schools that I’m looking for would be a good football school with a great campus and good academics. Stuff like that is really important. Other than that, not really.


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