Rated as a three star prospect and the nation's No. 72 defensive end, Shabazz chose Duke over offers from Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Southern Miss, and Central Florida. He previously outlined his criteria for a decision:
"Academics are my top priority. Then, you know, it's about finding the school that fits me the best. I'd like to play defensive end in a 4-3, but I'm open to playing linebacker even though I haven't played it before."
In his junior season, his first as a starter for the Mustangs, Shabazz wreaked havoc in opposing backfields in Georgia Class 6A and was named first team All-Cobb County.
"My junior season was pretty good," he said. "I worked hard in the off-season. I ended up with 49 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and four and a half sacks.
"This spring I felt like I made improvements in my passing rushing and my run stopping. We had an inner-squad game at the end but I playing sparingly due to a hamstring pull. I'm hoping we can get back to the playoffs after a 4-6 season and I'm just looking to have a strong finish to my high school career."
With the commitment of Taariq Shabazz, Duke now has a class consisting of 13 players from six states in the class of 2014. 10 of those players are rated as three star prospects by Scout.com, with at least two additional players pending film review and evaluation by the national recruiting team.