Quick Hits with Marion Dukes

Marion Dukes was considered by most experts to be one of the top three offensive linemen in the state of South Carolina last year. Today, we take a look at some interesting tidbits surrounding one of the top players to sign with Clemson in 2003.

Marion Dukes
Offensive Tackle
Pickens High School (Pickens, SC)
NR: 98 Rating: ***

THE STATS: Marion Dukes graded out at 80 percent with five pancakes and 10 knockdown blocks his senior year at Pickens High School. He was also a first team AP All-State member and a first team All-Region performer in both his junior and senior seasons. Dukes added 36 tackles and six sacks over the course of his career as a defensive lineman.

STRENGTH: Dukes is a both big and fast and has the body to compete for a spot on the two-deep depth chart his freshman year at Clemson.

WEAKNESS: Marion seemed to have problems with some of the quicker defensive linemen in the Shrine Bowl, especially N.C. State verbal commitment Mario Williams. He'll have to continue to work on his footwork and his quickness this offseason if he's going to try and make an impact this fall, but after a redshirt season, he should be ready to contribute in 2004.

WHY CLEMSON? "They want me to play tackle, which is perfect. I talked with Ron West and Coach Bowden about it and I've always just felt comfortable at Clemson. The coaches, the players, Vickery Hall, just everything makes me feel right at home there. Clemson has always been home for me, and when I was little I always wanted to be a Tiger. The team is on the verge of being a pretty good team. They almost beat Florida State last season and it just really feels like home to me. Just watching them play and going and sitting in the stands, I can see myself playing there the next four seasons, and that's why I committed to them last year."

HS COACH QUOTE: "To me his biggest strength is his pure athleticism. You are talking about a guy that has incredible footwork and is really a workhorse for our team. He has great quickness for a kid his size and he's done everything we've asked him to do in his career at Pickens High School. He even plays basketball for us so you know he can move well," said Dukes' head coach Andy Tweito.

COACH STOCKSTILL: "He stuck to his commitment and never wavered, so we are really excited to have him. A lot of time it's hard to get those kids in your own backyard because they want to get out and experience other things, but Marion wanted to come to Clemson and he's going to have the opportunity to help us out on the offensive line the next four seasons."

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