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
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
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
The highest-rated receiver in the class is Miami native Terrence
Alls, a three-star prospect who averaged 17 yards per catch in high
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.