Duke brings in best recruiting class of Cutcliffe's tenure
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Duke is winning on game days – and now on signing day, too.
The Blue Devils announced a 21-man recruiting class Wednesday that ranks as their best in almost a decade under coach David Cutcliffe.
Scout.com rates Duke's class as a borderline Top 25 group with five four-star prospects and 16 more receiving three stars. From Cutcliffe's first class in 2008 through 2015, the Blue Devils were rated higher than 63rd only once – in 2009, when they were 52nd, and they had a total of four four-star players during that span.
That success follows the Blue Devils' run of success on the field. Duke has won 27 games during the past three seasons and has earned four straight bowl invitations, the only time in school history that's happened. They beat Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl in December for their first bowl victory since 1961.
''When you win, recruiting is lifting over here right at the same time,'' Cutcliffe said. ''All that goes hand-in-hand with winning, with upgrading facilities.''
When he was hired in December 2007 to rebuild one the worst programs in the country, Cutcliffe sketched out one plan for the first five years and another one for the next five. The team's recent success has led him to shorten that second plan into a two-to-three-year plan. ''We're ahead of where we thought we might get, to be honest with you,'' he said. ''We're sitting in a different spot than we thought we might have been.''
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: On the bubble.
Best in class: Scott Bracey, WR, Richmond, Virginia.
Best of the rest: Dylan Singleton, S, Lawrenceville, Georgia; Mark Birmingham, TE, Ashburn, Virginia; Brandon Hill, LB, Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Late addition: Chidi Okonya, DL, Riverdale, Georgia.
One that got away: Quarterback Chazz Surratt, the AP offensive player of the year in North Carolina, signed with the rival North Carolina. He had committed to Duke before switching to UNC over the summer.
How they'll fit in: Duke brought in seven linemen – four offensive, three defensive – because Cutcliffe said those are the positions ''you can't get short in.'' This class is marked by its versatility – most players play multiple positions and on both offense and defense.
For the full list: http://www.goduke.com /