“Our season is going well at the moment,” said Lemont (Ill.) Township High standout Flynn Nagel. “We are undefeated, and after a few slow starts on offense, we’ve gotten our timing down and things are rolling.”
Currently Nagel reports 33 catches for 521 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s also returned a pair of punts for scores and has even thrown a TD pass. In short, the player recruiting by a number of schools for his versatility is being, well…versatile. And from his point of view, Nagel has improved since last season.
“I worked really hard this offseason on my strength, footwork, and overall speed. I also worked to make my hands better at the line of scrimmage so that I can be a more physical player in getting into space. Away from that I really studied the game, and I feel that I’ve become a smarter player than I was.”
The continued evolution of his game will be a welcomed addition for a Duke passing attack that is full of versatile, speedy options.
“I talked with Coach Faris and Coach Latina about all of that every one or two weeks, and I talk with Coach Cutcliffe as well. Since I committed, the conversations are more about catching up with one another, but we do talk football as well.”
The football conversations with his future coaches shed some light on how the Blue Devils project Nagel at the college level, and the player feels that the aerial attack will only be enhanced with former WR Scottie Montgomery calling the plays.
“He’s a former receiver, and he coached the receivers for the Steelers,” Nagel said of his future coordinator. “He’s definitely shown that he likes getting the ball to his receivers and allowing them to make a play. It’s exciting. They see me as a guy who can move all over the field similar to how they use Crowder. I would probably work out of the slot first, but then I could be on the outside depending on the match ups.”
In order for Nagel to factor into the rotation next season the 5-foot-10 and 180 pound receiver knows he’ll need to arrive in Durham in the best shape of his life. But, his coaches do not want him getting much bigger.
“They told me they don’t need me to get much bigger at all. They want me to stay fast, quick, and athletic, which is what my workout schedule is geared to. I can probably add five or 10 more pounds to allow me to deal with the physical demands of the college game, but it’d have to be good weight. The coaches have told me they want to put me to work early.”
Armed with his marching orders, Nagel admits the relationship with Duke has changed since his commitment with the recruiting sales pitch being replaced by a sense of obligation to his future teammates and program.
“Absolutely I feel like I am accountable to them now. The coaches offered me a great opportunity to play high level football and get one of the best educations around. I feel that I have to hold up my end of the bargain there. I have to work hard and go in and do my part.”
Nagel chose Duke over Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Purdue, and Northern Illinois back in June, and most of those programs have continued to check in with the nation’s No. 45 wide receiver in hopes of finding some day light.
“They all keep in touch just to let me know they are going to be here for me until the end. They’ve sent various offer letters and other mailings, but they frequency has backed down out of respect. I’ve told everyone that I’m not changing my mind, it’s set on Duke.”
Nagel is rated as a three star prospect by Scout.com and is considered the nation’s No. 45 wide receiver prospect.