Tag Archives: Ryan Hall

Duke Football Garnering National Attention

To find news about Duke Football on rivals.com, it usually takes a few clicks to navigate to the school’s individual page. And then, you usually have to convince the website that, no, you’re not here for basketball news. And then, buried deep in the website where good news has rarely been found in the past several years, you find the stories on Duke Football.

Well, no longer.

Look! There, on the very front page of rivals.com, amongst the top stories from around the country, reads the headline, ‘Duke has pretty good week.’

Okay, perhaps this is a non-story for premier programs like the Ohio States, USC’s and LSU’s of the world, but for the Blue Devils? Hell, I’m sure they’ll take it.

But that’s not all. They’re even featured in a USA Today recruiting blog, “Michigan State, Duke surprise in football recruiting.”  

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Football Closes Summer Recruiting, Focuses on Season Ahead

David Cutcliffe’s coaching staff finished up a successful recruiting campaign this summer, reeling in six solid recruits for the 2009 freshman class. The biggest catches by far are four-star defensive tackle John Drew, three-star quarterback Sean Schroeder and three-star tight end Ryan Hall.

According to rivals.com, the Blue Devils have extended 84 total offers to this point. Twenty-two of those have accepted offers at other schools, leaving 54 high schoolers still waiting to make their decision. Of course, Duke could make many more offers between now and February’s national signing deadline, but it’s still an interesting thing to look at, considering the coaches are now fully committing themselves to this season.

The team was required to stay for both summer sessions this year — the first session had been optional under former head coach Ted Roof — and the players have been engaging in workout sessions with the strength and conditioning coaches and holding their own small practices among themselves. The Blue Devils begin official practices the first week of August and take to the field just a few short weeks later against D. I-AA opponent James Madison.

On offense, some of the most notable recruits still considering Duke are four-star dual-threat quarterback Jordan Reed, who also holds offers from the likes of Florida, Tennessee and Oregon, and fifth-ranked all-purpose back Eric Stephens, who combines a speedy 4.5 40-yard dash with a brutish 300-pound bench press.

Defensively, Duke is hoping to best some of the nation’s most prestigious programs in its effort to recruit four-star outside linebacker Jon Bostic. With offers from eleven other schools including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, and USC, Bostic is ranked the fifth-best player at his position. The odds seem stacked against the Blue Devils, but perhaps academics and the promise of playing earlier in his career could be factors that sway this big-time player to call Durham his future home away from home. In the secondary, Duke is also waiting to hear from three three-star cornerbacks and two three-star safeties, any combination of which would certainly help bolster the Blue Devils’ passing defense.

Check back as the season approaches for updates in progress and depth-chart changes.

–by Matthew Iles

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Cutcliffe Picks Up Third Recruit in As Many Days

With tight ends Jack Farrell and Ryan Hall, athlete Corey Gattis and four-star defensive lineman John Drew already verbally committed to Duke’s class of 2009, the Blue Devils picked up their fifth recruit and third in as many days Sunday with the addition of quarterback Sean Schroeder.

Interestingly, Schroeder was the fourth person to accept Duke’s scholarship offer less than a week after receiving it.

“It was an easy decision for me,” Schroeder told Rivals.com Sunday. “Duke is one of the top academic institutions in the country and they have some of the most top-notch coaches in the entire country. I couldn’t think of any other school that could offer this great of an opportunity and the full package like Duke can.

“When I was speaking with my high school coach, he asked me if there was one school that if they offered would it make me hesitant to go to Duke. We couldn’t think of a single place, so there was no reason for me not to go ahead and commit.”

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound California native is listed as a three-star pro-style quarterback. Technically, that makes him the second quarterback of the class, joining dual-threat QB Corey Gattis from Durham. But Gattis also worked out as a wide receiver at Duke’s camp this weekend, so it’s yet to be seen where the Blue Devils’ coaching staff will decide to put him.

As far as the overall quarterback situation is concerned, Duke should be set for a while now. Starter Thaddeus Lewis is entering his junior year, and so is his capable backup Zack Asack. Mike Capetto redshirted last year, so both him and incoming true freshman Sean Renfree will undoubtedly compete for playing time down the road. Renfree was Cutcliffe’s first truly special recruit, snapping the gunslinger up before the February signing deadline in just his first month on the job.

This means there will be at least five quarterbacks on the depth chart for the 2009 season, not including Gattis or converted linebacker Marcus Jones, who opened the 2006 season as the team’s starting quarterback.

Schroeder also had offers from San Diego State, Oregon State and Stanford, but he said the fact that Cutcliffe and his staff are in the upper-echelon of college coaches, it made his decision a “slam dunk.” He said he’s also excited to start recruiting other players and begin changing the school’s reputation.

“Duke has always been known as a basketball school,” Schroeder told Rivals.com. “That’s not going to change, but there is room for it to become a football school, too. Coach Cut brings an energy and excitement to Duke and I don’t see any reason why we can’t make Duke a basketball and football school.”

Stay tuned for more recruiting news throughout the summer.

–by Matthew Iles

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Cutcliffe Nabs First Big-Name 2009 Recruits

After de-committing from Georgia Tech early last week, four-star defensive lineman John Drew opened up his college search again. But not for long.

In Durham three days later to attend a one-day football camp at Duke, he met with Duke head coach David Cutcliffe Friday night and told him he was committing to the Blue Devils.

“Duke was high on my list, and I knew I wanted to look into the school more, but I didn’t know yet that I was going to choose them,” he told Rivals.com Saturday. “But I knew Friday night prior to the camp today. I just decided to go ahead and commit when I met with Coach Cutcliffe. I just had a feeling when I got there that Duke was where I needed to be. I realized that last night.”

In addition to his opinion of Duke’s football program, Drew said the excellent academics and his brother’s enrollment at N.C. Central next fall were the other big draws for him. The 6-foot-1, 303-pound Georgia native is ranked the No. 19 defensive lineman in the country and is also on Rivals.com list of the top 250 players in the nation. Drew is the first four-star recruit for Cutcliffe, and the first at Duke since fullback Brandon King in the class of 2006.

Drew also told Rivals.com that he would start doing a little recruiting himself now, starting with players he knows around his Georgia home such as LeRon Furr (three-star inside linebacker) and Kyle Griswold (running back).

“I really do think we can turn things around at Duke,” he told Rivals.com. “All we need to do is get a couple more people and [Cutcliffe’s] first full recruiting class can be a special group.”

Drew makes Cutcliffe’s fourth recruit for the class of 2009, alongside Ryan Hall (three-star tight end), Jack Farrell (tight end), and Corey Gattis—a dual-threat quarterback who also lined up at wide receiver during Duke’s camp this week.

–by Matthew Iles

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