Junior Day Recruiting Recap

In addition to the big basketball game taking place in Cameron, the Duke Football program was making headlines this weekend by hosting a slew of high major recruits as the Blue Devils look to transform 2013's success into a huge recruiting class this year. Get a full recruiting recap of the weekend here…

Offensive Players:

Zach Giella
Offensive Lineman
6-foot-6, 285 pounds

Notes: Giella visited along with two members of his high school football program. The Atlanta (Ga.) Christian School prospect has recently been offered by Mississippi State and South Carolina. Duke offered last season and joined teams such as California, Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi.

He visited Duke prior to junior day, and Saturday was his second trip in the last few months. The three star prospect will also visit Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida State (no offer), and MSU. A decision is expected in the early Fall.

Hosted by: Lucas Patrick


Nyheim Hines
Running Back
5-foot-9, 181 pounds

Notes: Hines is considered one of the two top prospect on the recruiting board at the RB position. At 5-foot-9 and 181 pounds, he's a four star prospect who rushed more than 3,100 yards as a high school junior. Hines added 500 yards receiving and scored 50 touchdowns in the ground with another eight in the air. He has all the in-state programs after him and visited North Carolina for the Duke basketball game on Thursday before coming to Duke over the weekend for junior day.

He currently boasts 12 offers, but says his decision making process will be accelerated due to a desire to enroll in January.

"I'll probably narrow my list down in August or September – maybe to five or six," Hines said. "I'm going to try to take all five official visits. And I should probably be committing in October and my plan is to enroll early."

Hines visited with his father and sister.

Hosted by: Josh Snead


Emanuel McGirt
Offensive Lineman
6-foot-5, 265 pounds

Notes: McGirt visited Duke last weekend for the first junior day and was back again this weekend. The three star lineman reports a trio of favorites of North Carolina, NC State, and South Carolina though Duke's recent interest and offer seems to have bumped the Blue Devils into contention as well.

"When they offered me, they were saying the reason it took a while is because they wanted to do it in person. That's the right way to do things because I'm a local guy."

McGirt brought his father and brother on this second round of visits.

Hosted by: Takoby Cofield


Anthony Ratliff
Quarterback
6-foot-1, 195 pounds

As one of, if not the top in-state quarterbacks on the board in 2015, Ratliff is no stranger to Duke or ACC football. The Charlotte area product has offers from Duke, North Carolina, NC State Clemson, and Mississippi State and is rated as a three star player by Scout and the nation's No. 28 signal caller. For quite a while he's named North Carolina as his favorite program, saying "They're my top school because of the coaching staff and I feel like I'm at home when I'm on campus. I also like the offense."

In addition to visiting Duke, Ratliff is or has made visits to Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, UNC, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and South Carolina. If he is able to work out travel arrangements, he'd also like to visit both Oregon and UCLA.

He has indicated that he'd like to have a decision before the summer camp session kicks off. He visited Duke with his father and his high school coach.

Hosted by: Anthony Boone


Defensive Players:

Darian Roseboro
Defensive Lineman
6-foot-4, 265 pounds

Notes: A top defensive line target in the class of 2015 and in-state for Duke, Roseboro is considered a four star prospect and the nation's No. 23 defensive end. He has a long relationship with the Blue Devil coaches and Duke is expected to battle hard for his services.

"Coach Cutcliffe is one of the best, and so is his staff," said Roseboro prior to the visit.

In order to land the Lincolnton, NC standout, Duke will have to convince him to turn down offers from a number of high majors including Auburn, Clemson, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Missouri, NC State, UNC, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Texas, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.

Roseboro visited with his mother and grandfather.

Hosted by: Cody Robinson


Jonathan Holland
Defensive Lineman
6-foot-4, 225 pounds

Notes: The Potomac, MD standout has offers from Boston College, West Virginia, Illinois, and Pittsburgh along with Duke. Holland is considered a three star prospect by Scout and projects as a defensive end. And while he's a nice looking prospect on the field, he's also a unique one away from football too.

Three years ago Holland and his older brother decided to start their own shaved ice business in order to help raise money for their baby sister's tuition. The Holland family had already put their two oldest children through private school, but didn't have the funds to send a third.

"We wanted her to be able to afford to go to private school too, so we started the shaved ice stand," Holland said. "And in five years we made more than $100,000, which was more than enough to help our sister.

"We thought it would be a manageable business for two young teenagers, and it just grew and grew from there. We contacted the Department of Agriculture, and every Friday we went to the farmer's market and set up our stand. Then on Saturdays and Sundays we'd go to large festivals like Art Scape in Baltimore, and the money just started rolling in. It's really been rewarding."

Holland visited with his parents this weekend.

Hosted by: Jonathan Jones (Woodruff)


Jalen Dalton
Defensive Lineman
6-foot-5, 220 pounds

Notes: Duke is a late arrival to the Dalton recruitment relative to the other schools on his list, and the two sides appear to be learning more about one another as the weeks move by. North Carolina and Florida State are considered the leaders early on over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.

Like Roseboro, Dalton is rated as a four star player and among the nation's 25 best defensive linemen (24th) according to Scout.com. This was the first known visit to Duke for the high major prospect, and he visited along with his high school coach (West Forsyth's Adrian Snow) and his 2016 teammate, QB Darion Slade.

Slade will visit Duke this summer for camp.

Hosted by: Dezmond Johnson


Jake Cooper
Linebacker
6-foot-2, 225 pounds

Notes: The Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood linebacker prospect's visit to Duke may have been a formality before he ends up committing to Penn State, but the Blue Devils were anxious to get him on campus this week. Still, it seems as though Cutcliffe and company have a serious uphill climb.

He visited Duke saying that he wanted to "be a man of my word, and be sincere about it" considering he had the visit planned before Penn State offered him on Signing Day.

"I don't want to cut them off," Cooper said. "They sat down with me and scheduled something, and I want to get out there and my dad wants me to do it as well, just to check things out.

"We're bringing the whole family, and we might as well make a nice trip out of it. When all is said and done, though, that Monday I'll be in Happy Valley."

Hosted by: David Helton


Keaton Anderson
Linebacker
6-foot-1, 215 pounds

Notes: Anderson has some ties to the Duke coaching staff, and that is enough for the Blue Devils to get a foot in the door for the three star prospect who is considered as the nation's No. 20 middle linebacker by Scout.

Anderson is a Tennessee legacy, but word is that Duke and Alabama may be the two schools with an inside track. He recently visited Tuscaloosa, and Duke looked to counter as much as possible with this weekend.

Anderson visited with his parents and brother. In addition to the Tide and Blue Devils he has offers from Tennessee, South Florida, and others.

Hosted by: Kelby Brown


What they did…

The game against Syracuse was the culmination of a day that began before 9:30 AM and provided the players and their parents/guests a chance to tour the campus, meet the coaches, and similar.

Before lunchtime the recruiting group had witnessed a team meeting, then an offense/defense meeting, following by positions meetings. Next up was a practice session before tours of the indoor practice facility and weight rooms. Each of these included a presentation by various staff members.

Coach Cutcliffe welcomed the recruiting caravan shortly after the weight room tours before the players broke up and met with the academic support staff and athletics director, Kevin White.

Following the meetings the players were able to meet and quiz current Blue Devil players on what it meant to be in the Duke program and the expectations contained therein. Then it was another round of tours including the locker room, training facilities, and similar.

Prior to the basketball game, the players were able to enjoy dinner and positional meetings with the various assistant coaches.



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