"For starters, academics have always been one of my main priorities, and I also really liked the coaches when I met them in July. It was just the right place for me."
Koppenhaver told TDD last week that his visit to Duke was being used as a chance to see the game day atmosphere before making a decision. At that time he favored the Blue Devils, but on the way out to Durham he received another offer.
"I actually heard from Purdue on Friday night while I was at the airport waiting on my flight. Purdue is a really great school, and they have a great program, but I knew in my heart that Duke was the right place for me."
After arriving in Durham on Friday, Koppenhaver had a chance to meet the coaches and fellow recruits. He also had a chance to visit with the players. However, it was the meeting with Coach Cutcliffe that really began the process of Duke landing the commitment.
"On Saturday after Coach Cutcliffe spoke with all the recruits in a group setting, he came right over to me and asked me to come to a one on one meeting. He said he understood I wanted to see the game and the atmosphere before making my decision. Then, after the game, I met with him against and told him I wanted to accept Duke's offer. Both he and Coach Roper were really excited to have me join the Duke Family."
That family atmosphere was one of the driving forces behind the decision to attend college on the other side of the country. Of course, the east coast isn't foreign to the newest Blue Devil either.
"My sister goes to school at the University of Delaware, and my mom and dad are from the east coast. My dad actually attended the University of Virginia. Every time we've traveled out this way, I've loved it. I loved the South, and how nice the people are as well."
At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Koppenhaver projects as a hybrid TE in Duke's system.
"They want me to play a role like I do at Hart. The Duke offense really relies on the tight end being able to make catches. I feel like it's a great fit."