Duke Signing Day Recap

Blue Devils land second straight top-50 class, fending off some top programs to do so

(Photo & graphic from Duke Sports Information)

NEEDSDuke loses two starters
on the offensive line and four from the secondary. Both positions were areas of
focus, as was the defensive line, which had a vastly improved pass rush last
season and is looking to add depth. Perhaps the biggest need for Duke isn’t a
position but to continue the upgrade in talent that David Cutcliffe has
accomplished during recent recruiting cycles. The Blue Devils are landing
four-stars that wouldn’t answer their call a few years ago and battling the
Ohio States and Notre Dames for recruits. This year, they started winning some
of those battles. EARLY ENROLLEES




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Duke only added two early enrollees this year, its lowest
number in several recruiting cycles. Quarterback Chris Katrenick will begin
learning the system in spring practice and should have plenty of time to
develop behind Daniel Jones, who started as a freshman last season. Katrenick
was added to Duke’s class after four-star quarterback Jack Sears decided to
decommit instead of facing the prospect of serving as Jones’ backup. That doesn’t
mean that Katrenick is a slouch. The three-star threw for 5,300 yards and 48
touchdowns in high school. He initially committed to Bowling Green before
flipping to Duke. The Blue Devils also brought in defensive back Marquis
Waters. The athletic three-star is expected to play safety and could get a
chance to play as a true freshman this season.OUTLOOKDuke continued its recruiting roll, landing its second straight top-50 class, which is no small feat considering where the Blue Devils were a few seasons ago. The Blue Devils added five defensive backs, five defensive linemen and four offensive linemen, keeping positions where depth is key fully stocked. Duke likes to wrap up its recruiting work early and have drama-free signing days. Assistant coach and recruiting whiz Derek Jones bragged on Twitter that the entire class had signed by 8:15 a.m. and the coaches were relaxing the rest of the day. There were some last-minute battles, however, which spiced up the days leading up to National Signing Day. Notre Dame offered a scholarship to three-star running back Deon Jackson in mid-January and pushed hard to get him to change his mind. Ohio State offered three-star receiver Damond Philyaw-Johnson the week before signing day and tried hard to get him to visit campus. Rutgers came hard for three-star defensive tackle Axel Nyembwe down the stretch, as well. Cutcliffe was able to keep all three prospects in the fold and still found time to beat out Michigan State, Pitt and Virginia Tech for three-star defensive end Victor Dimukeje.RECRUIT LISTPlayerPositionHeight, WeightHometown (School)Chris KatrenickQB6-3, 205Algonquin, Ill. (Jacobs)Marquis WatersS6-1, 190Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)Drew JordanDE6-2, 255Suwanee, Ga. (N. Gwinnett)Jake MarwedeTE6-5, 240Wilmette, Ill. (Loyola)Jacob RimmerT6-7, 290Milan, Tenn. (Milan)Patrick LeittenT6-7, 270Brentwood, Tenn. (Ravenwood)Damani NealS5-10, 190Potomac, Md. (Bulls)Will TaylorC6-3, 280Loganville, Ga. (Grayson)Michael Carter IIS5-10, 175Douglasville, Ga. (S. Paulding)Josh BlackwellDB5-11, 180Buford, Ga. (Buford)Deon JacksonRB6-0, 210Atlanta, Ga. (Pace)Marvin Hubbard IIIRB5-9, 185Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek)Victor DimukejeDT6-2, 265Baltimore, Md. (Latin)Lummie Young IVS6-1, 200Anderson, S.C. (Westside)Leonard JohnsonCB6-1, 185Hayden, Ala. (Hayden)Damond Philyaw-JohnsonWR6-1, 180Pensacola, Fla. (W. Florida Tech)Ben FryeDE6-3, 255Dublin, Ohio (Coffman)Rakavius ChambersC6-3, 320Opelika, Ala. (Opelika)Noah GrayTE6-4, 230Leominster, Md. (Leominster)Chris Rumph IILB6-3, 215Gainesville, Fla. (Buchholz)Derrick TangeloDT6-2, 290Potomac, Md. (Bulls)Axel NyembweDT6-2, 310Bethesda, Md. (Avalon)