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Recruiting roundup: Football

Duke will look to replace defensive talent with its 2021 recruiting class.
Duke will look to replace defensive talent with its 2021 recruiting class.

It’s been a rough few months for the Blue Devils on the recruiting trail.

Since May 1, there have been 133 commitments by players who’ve received offers from Duke. Just nine of those ended with a “D” atop their cap.

Of course that’s quite bad relative to the rest of the ACC. But relative to the Blue Devils’ recent recruiting, a currently-47th-ranked class is well within expectations. That’s not enough to repeat the Daniel Jones era any time soon, but don’t expect the team’s talent level to start falling off a cliff.

Duke’s 2021 class, which sits slightly ahead of Wake Forest and App State for third-best in North Carolina, added those nine recruits over the summer to bring its class to 17 total commitments. Cameron Bergeron, a three-star corner out of Albany, GA, headlines the recent group, eight of whom are at preventer positions.

Bergeron ranks 55th nationwide among corners and turned down a couple dozen significant offers to come to Durham. He’ll be joined in the secondary by Arlington, Texas safety Placide Djungu-Sungu and Alpharetta, Georgia corner Dylan Merrell, who rank similarly to Bergeron at their respective positions, and Charlotte-area corner Brandon Johnson. Among schools interested in some of these four were Tennessee, App State, Washington and Yale. What program that says more about is up to you.

Charlotte native/Phoenix transplant edge Trey Brown, dual-threat quarterback Riley Leonard, running back Trent Davis and offensive linemen Almarion Crim and Justin Pickett, from Alabama and Indiana, respectively, round out the recent signings.

For a Duke team about to watch its best defensive talent depart, this is some sorely-needed reinforcement. Chris Rumph II, Victor Dimukeje, Michael Carter II, and Marquis Waters are all graduating this spring, and unless they all exercise their additional eligibility, the Blue Devils will need to replace the best parts of a pretty good defense.

The Blue Devils are adding both good talent and good people. Djungu-Sungu is incredibly perspective  and uses his part-time job to become more emotionally centered. Brown, son of pro-bowl lineman Ray Brown, apparently reminds Duke coaches of Chris Rumph. Leonard is a star in both football and basketball and a mild-mannered leader. Pickett is a complete leader and team player, coming from a hyper-athletic family.

There still remain several prospects uncommitted in the class of 2021, but regardless of whether the Blue Devils can add more desperately-needed talent, they have a valuable class of talent on its way.


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