Commit Profile: Zavier Carmichael

As the class of 2014 signs their national letters of intent, we run down each signee's recruiting process and look back at what it took for the Blue Devils to earn his commitment. Next up is Alabama linebacker Zavier Carmichael

Name: Zavier Carmichael

School: St. Pauls Episcopal School (Mobile, AL)

Ht/Wt/40: 6-foot-0 / 210lbs / 4.66

Projected Position: Linebacker

Recruiting Recap: Carmichael committed to Duke way back in June of 2012 over offers from UAB and South Alabama. He also continued to hear from schools such as Auburn and Stanford.

Quotable: Since committing to Duke in 2012, Carmichael has gone through periods where he thought about 'looking around', but those days are long past. He's been firmly committed for a while, and talks to his future coaches quite often.

"I talk with the staff by Twitter or Facebook almost every week. I've talked to Coach Cutcliffe, Coach Collins, and Coach Knowles recently via phone. One of the things Coach Cutcliffe has talked with me about is how he looks to find guys who are leaders on and off the field. He's told me he loves my on field abilities as well. He pointed out my physicality, open-field tackling, and speed. Aside from what he wants from guys on the field, Coach said he was a player with a good personality. Someone he's not having to run behind to check up on things like grades."

"My best memory in general is talking to all the different coaches. It's great when a coach tells you they want you to play for them. The variety of colleges I talked to surprised me. All schools had their advantages. I chose Duke over others because to me, Duke was a family. Duke has an upcoming football program and I want to be a part of it. I have a high chance of starting early in my career, which is great. Duke also has a great education program which is important to me. I have many plans in life and going to Duke will only put me that much closer to achieving them."

NOTE: Carmichael currently measures out at six-feet and 210 pounds, and has a personal best 40 time of 4.66. He has a one-rep bench press max of 350 pounds, a squat max of 505 pounds, and a power clean best of 300 pounds. Those numbers have gone up over the course of the last year as he's reported putting in extra work to help his high school team as a senior captain

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Self Evaluation: "I would like to improve my speed this year. I want to be able to make plays all over the field. Also, I want to work on my abilities in coverage. I feel like I'm good at it, but I want to be great…hopefully I'll be closer to that by the end of the season."

Improving his speed is one thing, but some analysts likely underestimate Carmichael as a linebacker because he lacks prototypical size. Still, he believes he has what it takes to surprise and out-perform his ranking at the collegiate level.

"My biggest strength is my physical approach to the game. I might not be the biggest person on the field, but I will be the guy who plays the hardest. Some things you just can't teach a player, like when it's game time. If you don't have the kind instinct already, then when things go badly you will always be an extra step behind. When we're out there I love to blitz. Coaches use me to cause havoc for the opponents, especially when we've got them in a third and long situation."

"Right now I mainly play outside linebacker for my high school team, but I have also spent time at middle linebacker and fullback," said Carmichael. "When I get to Duke, they are looking for me to play the rover position. It's like a safety/linebacker hybrid." Evaluation: Though he's a bit small for the prototypical linebacker template, Carmichael is incredibly productive thanks to high level athleticism and a nose for the ball. He changes directions and speeds very well and will be able to thrive in Duke's system thanks to side to side speed. As he noted, don't be surprised to see him move to safety.

Projected 2014 Season Status: Depending on where he ends up position wise, Carmichael could certainly push for a spot on the two deep - especially in the defensive backfield.


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