Duke Among Early Leaders For Florida ATH

With an emphasis on shoring up the defense in 2012, the Blue Devils have extended an offer to this Jacksonville (Fla.) athlete. But can the Duke coaching staff overcome the love showed by several of the power programs in the Southeast?

"At this point I have a standing offer from Duke," said Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian School standout Dwayne Norman. "Right now I would have to say that my favorite school is the University of Florida. I am also hearing from Miami, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina."

At 6-foot-2, and 190 pounds with a 4.57 forty time, Norman is certainly one to watch at either the wide receiver or safety position. He's equally good in the classroom, where a 4.0 grade point average has helped attract a number of college coaches. Especially the Blue Devils.

"The Duke coaches and I speak at least once or twice per week. I also talk to the South Carolina coaches regularly. Duke offered me a scholarship after I came up for Junior Day. I have stayed in contact with them since that time and I've taken some visits up to the school."

Specifically, Norman has made the trip from Jacksonville to Durham twice so far since attending Junior Day.

"Each time I was up there, the coaches and the school at large made a great impression and I had a wonderful trip. I enjoyed myself while I was on campus and felt at home each time I was there. Something I didn't really expect was to feel at home in North Carolina, but when I got around all the players and the coaches it was hard not to get that feeling. Also, when you see the plans they have and are working on, there are going to be some really big things happening at Duke in the next few years."

Such as?

"My recruiting coach and I have a great relationship. Actually I have a great relationship with all the Duke coaches. Their biggest strength in recruiting me has been staying in contact and keeping Duke on my mind with the letters, and emails. The coaches have really talked about the new football facility they are building which will be on the same level as their basketball facility, which is among the best in the world. They are now starting to get high caliber players to come in as well. It is how big time programs start."

And while the Blue Devils have done a great job at pitching Norman to this point, there are other schools occupying the top levels of this recruitment. Though Norman is quick to note that it is very early and he isn't in a rush.

"Right now the top programs for me would be Duke, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech. My family and I have made the decision to take everything in very slowly and to see where things go. I'm approaching all the schools with an open mind. This is something that a high school athlete will only go through once, so I'm trying to see everything I can while enjoying the process."

This summer Norman will make the usual rounds to various summer camps with a specific set of personal goals serving as the driving force.

"For me the camps are about showing the various coaches what I can do and what kind of skills I can bring to the table for that school. My goal is to prove to everyone that I could be the next big time college safety to come out of Jacksonville. This summer I will really focus on achieving my goals and improving my coverage skills as a safety."

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