Duke announces 20-player signing class

Duke rarely signs the highest-rated recruits in football. Coach

David Cutcliffe believes he’s bringing in the right ones.

The Blue Devils announced their 20-man recruiting class

Wednesday, and on paper it looks like a typical Duke class. It’s

full of players the recruiting services rate as two- or three-star

prospects.

Cutcliffe said he would call this ”a class of playmakers” and

he believes they’re the players that can help the Blue Devils take

yet another step forward.

The veteran coach said his method for evaluating players works

because ”so far, we’ve been right most of the time, if you watch

our squad.”

Duke ended a 17-year bowl drought last season and wants to

establish itself as a program that plays in the postseason more

often than not.

This year’s class is heavy on speed and skill, with two

quarterbacks and 14 backs listed. Duke customarily lists all

players who aren’t quarterbacks or specialists as either backs or

linemen, then tags them with specific positions once they arrive on

campus and begin practice.

”There are a lot of athletes in this class that can show up one

day playing a number of different positions,” Cutcliffe said.

The positions of need include cornerback and receiver. Duke’s

secondary was decimated by injuries last season and the Blue Devils

must replace two key receivers – including the leading wideout in

Atlantic Coast Conference history. Conner Vernon finished his

college career with 283 catches for 3,749 yards.

Five of the defensive backs Duke signed received three stars

from Scout.com, headed by cornerbacks Johnell Barnes of Fort Myers,

Fla.; Evrett Edwards of Woodbridge, Va.; and Deondre Singleton of

Lawrenceville, Ga.

The highest-rated receiver in the class is Miami native Terrence

Alls, a three-star prospect who averaged 17 yards per catch in high

school.

Duke also signed two quarterbacks, with dual-threat

Jacksonville, Fla., native Parker Boehme the highest rated at three

stars by Scout.com. Boehme

Boehme, Edwards, cornerback Dequavais Mann and linebacker

Dominic McDonald have already enrolled in school and will take part

in spring practice when it begins March 4.