Diaper Dandies in Durham: Dick Vitale's grandsons reportedly commit to Duke men's tennis

Dick Vitale will have a reason other than basketball to come to Duke's campus starting in 2021.
Dick Vitale will have a reason other than basketball to come to Duke's campus starting in 2021.

ESPN college basketball commentator Dick Vitale has spent plenty of time inside Cameron Indoor Stadium over the last four decades, calling countless Duke men's basketball games.

However, in the coming years, there will be another Duke athletic facility where the longtime college basketball analyst will spend time.

According to a tweet Friday morning from Cracked Racquets’ Parsa Nemati, Vitale's grandsons Connor and Jake Krug will join Duke in 2021 as the first two Blue Devils in the Class of 2021. 

The commitment wasn’t the first time this fall that the Duke program was tied with Vitale. In the first week of November, three Blue Devils took part in the 2019 Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Tennis Tournament.

Connor Krug, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, according to his Universal Tennis Rating profile, hails from Lakewood Ranch, Fla., along with his lefty brother at the same towering height. 

Connor Krug currently sits at No. 251 in the ITF Junior rankings, highlighted by a Grade 3 singles championship in early November in Anguilla. He also advanced to the semifinals of another Grade 3 event in September in Mexico and the Round of 16 of a Grade 1 tournament in Cancun. Closing out a successful second half of 2019 this month, Connor Krug stormed through two qualifying matches as the top seed to advance to the main draw of a Grade A clay-court tournament, which is the top junior level outside of the Grand Slams. Connor Krug fell in the first round to the No. 12 seed. The rightly also currently holds a UTR rating of 12.37 and was previously ranked seventh in the Class of 2021 rankings, per TennisRecruiting.net.

Jake Krug, on the other hand, is ranked No. 367, with a UTR of 11.67. His top point-earning event also came in Anguilla, as the 17-year-old advanced to the event's semifinals. Jake Krug brought home the Grade 5 singles championship from El Salvador back in May to go along with a handful of quarterfinal finishes throughout the year. The lefty is ranked No. 26 in the Class of 2021 according to TennisRecruiting.net, with a high mark of No. 12 this summer.

The twin tandem also teams up for the majority of the doubles events they participate in. In July, the duo won a Grade 4 tournament in Jamaica. A few weeks ago, they advanced to the Round of 16 at the Grade A Anguilla event. Connor and Jake Krug are primed for a breakout 2020 junior season with the potential to make their way into the qualifying for the junior US Open at a minimum.

This past fall, five highly ranked freshmen enrolled at Duke as part of the nation’s second-ranked recruiting class. However, Duke head coach Ramsey Smith was not finished with his additions, as Luca Keist, a transfer from Charlotte, will join the team this spring.

Keist, a junior from Rothrist, Switzerland, was ranked No. 62 in the preseason ITA rankings, but took the fall season off to play in professional tournaments. Currently ranked No. 1419 in the world, he advanced to the quarterfinals of the Cancun Tennis Cup in October.

In addition, in late August, the Blue Devils received a commitment from blue-chip Class of 2020 prospect Niroop Vallabhaneni, first reported by Nemati. Vallabhaneni saw a career-high TennisRecruiting.net class ranking of No. 4 in July and a UTR of 13.41. 


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