McNeill provides inside look at visit weekend

The Blue Devils hosted a number of commits this past weekend including in-state offensive lineman, Trip McNeill. The three star prospect sat down with TDD to recap the weekend and provide our readers an inside look at the expectations of him and the rest of his class.

Ever since he committed back in March, Trip McNeill has made a habit of making the 90 minute journey from Mocksville to Durham to visit Duke. He was on campus for every home game in 2013, but this official visit provided a different look for him.

"We got a chance to stay at the Washington Duke, which was really nice. The main thing about this visit was the ability to be on campus and around the players and coaches for an extended amount of time. I had been there so much that I had met everyone, but this gave me a chance to really get to know and be around the people who I'm going to spend the next several years of my life with."

McNeill was hosted by rising junior guard Cody Robinson and had a chance to sit with Robinson and the other linemen as position coach John Latina conducted a film study session.

"That was really detailed. One thing with Coach Latina is how he sets up the meetings. He has the starters in the first row, the second string in the second row, and so on. He also has the center sitting in the middle of the row with the guard on each side and then the tackles on the outside. It's done that way, he said, so that calls made on the field will be the same as we make in the room."

In addition to the film session, the class of recruits was able to sit down and listen to the expectations of the program from head coach David Cutcliffe.

"One thing he put out there was not to refer to Duke as an SEC program, because we're not. But we are bringing in guys who are SEC level players and with the coaching you get at Duke, we're going to win and do big things at Duke."

"Another thing he said was how they coined the term ‘We Are Duke'. That's not just a catchphrase to us. We are not going to be like other programs. We're going to win, and we're going to do it the right way. We're going to win on the field and in the classroom as well."

Speaking of the classroom expectations, and expectations in general, McNeill said the coaches and players emphasized the demands of Blue Devil student athletes. Those demands were illustrated when McNeill was able to sit down with an engineering professor.

"My parents and I were really impressed with that. He talked to us about how simple it is to make it work as a student athlete. He outlined how they build the classes and how they work together with the academic support staff and tutors to minimize conflicts with classes, and where there are conflicts everyone sits down to minimize it."

Going forward McNeill says he is looking forward to Signing Day 2014 so that he can begin preparing to enroll in the summer.

"They are going to send me the weight training program shortly after I sign. The players told me the best way to prepare is to get in shape and stay in shape. That's what my trainer and I are going to work on between now and then. I want to make sure I'm ready when I get there and don't have to deal with that adjustment."

McNeill says his school will be hosting a Signing Day ceremony before he sends in his letter of intent.


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