NCF On The Trail: Duke Blue Devils

ESPN 300: Five who could flip 

October, 22, 2014
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The Class of 2015 has seen more than 35 prospects in the ESPN 300 flip or decommit during the cycle. As many as 30 more prospects in the ESPN 300 could flip between now and national signing day. With that possibility in mind, here are five to keep tabs on less than four months away from national signing day.

The Duke Blue Devils are riding high on the recruiting trail. Not only does Duke have a Top 40 recruiting class in 2015 currently committed, but has the early look of a 2016 class that will follow suit. When ESPN Jr300 No. 32 Scott Bracey committed July 25, it was a first sign that the Blue Devils have arrived on the national recruiting stage. With No. 238 Elijah Deveaux committing Oct. 10, it’s a second sign that David Cutcliffe and staff can go toe-to-toe with any program in the state of North Carolina early, which has not always been the case.


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Help is on the way: ACC 

October, 8, 2014
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Each year on the recruiting trail, schools are met with needs that need to be addressed to shore up depth issues both immediately and down the line. With four months until national signing day for the class of 2015, many teams have addressed and met needs.


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UA jersey tour: TE Tyler Petite

September, 30, 2014
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Football has always taken a back seat to other sports at Moraga (California) Campolindo High School when it comes to famous alumni. Matt Biondi leads the way for men's swimming, and five former baseball players, along with announcer Matt Vasgersian, made their way to the major leagues. While the football program hassent kicker Giorgio Tavecchio and punter Jackson Rice to California and Oregon, respectively, it's about to get a significant boost from ESPN 300 tight end Tyler Petite, the No. 132 prospect in the country.

Petite will be the first highly recruited position player from Campolindo. He was honored for that Tuesday afternoon, when Petite was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey in a ceremony sponsored by American Family.

"It's crazy," Petite said of the attention heaped upon him Tuesday. "I don't really have a manual on how to take it all in or handle it. It's surreal almost. I'd watch the Under Armour Game on TV and always thought it would be so cool if I could play in that."

Petite said there were a lot more people than he expected who showed up for the ceremony, though he probably shouldn't be too surprised considering the family atmosphere that's been established with his football team. It was one of the things that led him to commit to Duke this past summer.

"This is one of those places -- it's a little hard to explain if you don't go to Campo," Petite said. "Our team is to tight-knit. It's like Duke in how we aren't expected to be the best team in the area, but we're starting to build that rep. We have four losses in four years and we're playing some top-tier teams. That's what Duke is doing. They're playing with incredible teams and winning games."

Petite said he still speaks with USC coaches -- one of his two finalists, along with Duke -- but added that at this point, he is still "100 percent" committed to the Blue Devils.

Five questions with Tyler Petite

What one player are you looking forward to competing with or against at the game?

"Honestly, I'm just ready to go up against some of the top players in the country, but I want to see what these quarterbacks have. There's a lot of hype around [Josh] Rosen and [Blake] Barnett and I want to go out there and play with them. I want to show everybody what I have and play with the top dogs.

What was your earliest football memory?

"My first memory in football was my first play. Back in third grade -- we played flag football back in the day -- I was playing quarterback and faked a hand off on a bootleg and went 60 yards for a touchdown. That feeling you get running by everybody. I was watching college football later that day and I started thinking about how much I would love to play college football."

If you could take on any pro player in their sport who would it be?

"I would love to go up against LeBron in the NBA. I would get totally murdered, but it would be crazy to see that guy fly around."

Why do you wear your number?

"Right now I wear No. 8. There's a tradition at our school with that number. Two of the best quarterbacks to come through here wore it and Vince Graziano, who was here my freshman year when our team went to State. He played tight end too and is a guy with a mind set that I want to follow.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

"I'm kind of rocking a beard right now so I look like I'm about 28 years old. But really I'm like a little kid, always ready to have fun."

A rival recruiter believes Kevin Sumlin’s not-so-subtle message to former Texas A&M pledge DaMarkus Lodge could come back to haunt the Aggies. Plus, one of Florida’s top defensive commitments appears to be looking around.


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Georgia has offered boxing great Evander Holyfield’s son a scholarship, and the Dawgs seem ready to deliver the knockout. Plus, Kansas State hosts Auburn in one of the biggest games ever in Manhattan, but there won’t be a lot of recruits in the stands.


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Early Offer: OU's big chance to impress 

September, 11, 2014
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Oklahoma is the place to be this weekend as the Sooners are bringing in a number of elite recruits for what is shaping up to be the biggest recruiting weekend by any program so far, and despite losing last week to Virginia Tech it looks like Ohio State is still in good shape with prospects.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

September, 9, 2014
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Despite the weak slate of SEC football games over the weekend there was still a lot of news in the world of recruiting. From commitments, to big offers, to decision dates to sick one-handed interceptions, this weekend was full of news. Here’s a closer look at the latest happening from around the SEC.


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#SceneAndHeard Lunch Break: Sept. 3 

September, 3, 2014
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ESPN 300 Hines to cut list today

ESPN 300 No. 149 Nyheim Hines will announce his Top 7 at 7 ET tonight. While he's not technically cutting schools from consideration, programs that don't make the Top 7 are essentially out of contention at this point. Among those that are near locks to make the seven are NC State and Duke with North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio State also good bets. Also in serious contention are Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, Virginia Tech and Virginia. The major factor in the speedster's recruitment is his twin sister, Nyah. Nyah has been offered by NC State as a hurdler. Duke was considered the favorite last spring, but things are certainly pointing to the Wolfpack as the current team to beat with the track offer resting with Nyah.


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ACC recruits who fill biggest needs 

August, 12, 2014
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RecruitingNation takes a look at the 2015 recruits who most fill the needs of each of the ACC schools.


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In every class there are must-get recruits for schools. They can be a top uncommitted prospect or even a pledge who is essential to keep in the fold.

Here are the picks for the teams in the ACC, with the prospect's overall ranking.


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Early Offer: 2016 targets come off board
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: It’s been said recruits are committing sooner than ever before and the recent run of pledges in the 2016 class proves to some that an early signing period is needed now more than ever. Plus, if you want to know how competitive it is to recruit in the Southeast, just check out the up-and-down two weeks the Florida Gators have had on the recruiting trail.

It’s never too early
Signing day for the Class of 2016 isn’t for another 555 days, but that hasn’t stopped a high number of ESPN Junior 300 prospects from making early decisions. In the last eight days alone, seven of the best players in next year’s class committed, and overall 47 of the top 300 prospects have made their decisions.

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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: ESPN.com conducted a survey of the top 300 2015 football recruits, and throughout the week it's been exploring the results. This includes a look at how recruits are open to playing with gay teammates and how they would support unionization, stipends and an expanded College Football Playoff.

So which schools scored with recruits for the best food, top facilities, greatest campus atmosphere and coolest uniforms?


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Duke football can no longer be overlooked on the football field.

Or on the recruiting trail.

The Blue Devils have capitalized on their Coastal Division championship with an impressive commitment list for the class of 2015 so far. The latest coup? ESPN 300 tight end Tyler Petite chose Duke over USC on Wednesday.

 

Petite is now the second ESPN 300 commitment the Blue Devils have secured. Duke has never signed more than one ESPN 300 player in any given class.

Perhaps most impressive of all? Duke is getting pledges from players who are spurning more prestigious football programs. Not only did Petite pick Duke over USC; ESPN 300 receiver Keyston Fuller chose the Blue Devils over offers from Auburn, Clemson and hometown Georgia to name three.

Just last month, Duke also picked up a commitment from three-star offensive lineman Reno Rosene, who had offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Duke has worked the California recruiting trail hard under David Cutcliffe, but the Blue Devils also have reaped the benefits of staying closer to home, too.

As ESPN Recruiting Nation reporter Jeremy Crabtree points out Insider, Duke has made particular headway inside the state of Georgia for this class, with six commitments to date. He writes:
Keep an eye on three-star receiver T.J. Rahming's stock, too. He has a big upside and could shoot up the rankings with a solid senior season. One ACC coach called him “the biggest sleeper in the state of Georgia.”

Cutcliffe has never had a class finish in the top 50 of the ESPN recruiting rankings, but he has been reaping the rewards of his team's on-field success. Back in February, the Blue Devils signed four four-star players -- including one in the ESPN 300 -- the best group of talent they have signed to date.

That earned the Blue Devils a No. 51 ranking from ESPN, its highest ever. Now consider: Duke has made back-to-back bowl games and its first ACC championship game without top-rated recruiting classes.

What will Cutcliffe be able to do with all the talent he is now assembling?
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The Blue Devils stay hot on the trail with the addition of ESPN 300 TE Tyler Petite, who has the potential to be a versatile weapon in the passing game.


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