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