Devils Staying On Rayner

The Blue Devils have a position of need on the recruiting board at middle linebacker. Additionally the Duke coaching staff continues to work hard in the state of North Carolina. Given those two facts, it makes sense that in-state MLB Keilen Rayner has Cutcliffe's staff's attention.

"Right now I have offers from Duke, East Carolina, and Clemson," said Leland (N.C.) North Brunswick High standout Keilen Rayner. "I'm getting letters from schools across the country as well. I'd like to hear some from Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech though."

At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds with a 4.58 forty, Rayner is being recruited for a couple different positions depending on the school.

"I'm being recruited as a linebacker or an extra rusher from the edge. Coaches have told me they notice my size and speed along with the effort I give. I need to work out my agility, hip flexibility, and overall knowledge of the game I think."

During his junior season Rayner finished with 127 tackles, three sacks, and seven tackles for loss as North Brunswick went 5-7. Those stats resulted in a second straight First Team All-Conference nod as well as a team MVP award.

It led to a lot of interest and now the summer camp scene, where many players get a chance to workout in front of coaches, is coming up.

"With the camps I'm mainly trying to go out of state so I can get to know the coaches from the other programs. I think the opportunity to travel to the camps is a good place for me to show the interested coaches that you can contribute to the program. For me it'll also be a chance to show them that I can play different positions. I also want to spend some time taking in what the coaches say so that I can continue to work on my flexibility, agility, and overall knowledge of the game."

The Blue Devils were the first to offer Rayner a scholarship, during the Spring Game. From there the coaching staff has continued to pile on the interest.

"Duke has been the main ones for the most contact. They have been talking to me a lot and I get personal letters from them daily. They have followed up on their offer pretty good, I'd say. My recruiting coach, Coach Luke, started the process but now I talk to all of them. Specifically I talk to Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Collins a lot. They are always talking to me about the benefits of coming to Duke both on the field and on the educational side of things."

One thing Duke is overcoming in the minds of several in-state prospects is the idea that the Blue Devil program still resides in the same condition many of these recruits grew up seeing. However, Rayner says the coaching staff has put those perceptions to bed.

"It's true the program has struggled in the past, but that isn't the coaches' concern. They are a lot more concurred about their future and it shows. They are building a new indoor facility and expanding their stadium with a new commitment to winning by everyone."

Rayner says he doesn't have a timeline for a commitment and will use this summer to "look around out of state and get an idea of what those programs have to offer." After the camp circuit he says he'll narrow his list down and see where things go.

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