There are several prospects who appear to be high on the Blue Devils’ list of top 2016 prospects. One such Connecticut outside linebacker Koby Quansah who spoke with TDD about Duke’s early efforts relative to other high major programs.
If you’re searching for a word to describe West Hartford (Conn.) Kingswood Oxford linebacker Koby Quansah, a good starting point would be “versatile”. That’s because the 6-foot-1, 210 pound junior doesn’t really have a set position this season.
“I’ve played everywhere this year,” said Quansah. “On offense I play running back, fullback, and slot receiver. On defense I play linebacker and strong safety. On special teams I play gunner on point and kick-off returns, and when we return kicks I’m one of the deep men.”
And in those various positions Quansah is producing a lot of good numbers it appears.
“In five games I have racked up 85 tackles, two forced fumbles including one where I stripped the ball itand returned 52 yards for a touchdown. I also have 3.5 sacks so far. On offense I have 64 carries for 719 rushing yards for 11 touchdowns. I also have one catch for 55 yards and a touchdown.”
Those numbers - which include several highlights appearing above - have resulted in several schools making the trip to the Northeast for visits. Some of those programs have extended early offers, while others appear to be on the cusp.
“As of now the main schools are recruiting are Boston College, Duke, Ohio State, Penn State, Northwestern, Maryland, UConn, Rhode Island, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and Temple. I have offers from Boston College, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Temple. I believe Duke is close to offering, and Pitt says I’m high on their board but want to get to know me before they do.”
“I’ve taken unofficial visits to Rutgers, UConn, Boston College, Rhode Island, and camped at B.C., UConn, Penn State, Syracuse. I want to visit Maryland and Duke, and head back to Rutgers, Boston College, and Syracuse as well. Then see what other schools come into the mix before I see what’s next.”
Regarding his relationship with the Blue Devils, Quansah says he maintains regular contact with the Duke coaches as the two sides learn more about one another.
“I’ve been in contact with Coach Knowles the most, and we connect with weekly calls. His pitch has been that I’m their kinda guy so he wants me to be a part of their defense. I’d say our relationship is still trying to get to know each other a little bit, and we just ask usually how we are and whats going on. So far, we haven't gone into the more deep conversations.”
Despite the initial feeling out stages between the two sides, Quansah says Duke is projecting him as a linebacker and he knows what becoming a Blue Devil would mean for him.
“My early impression is just from what comes to mind whenever you hear the Duke name. It’s just a great educational institute that is like the Ivy League. They have mentioned the turnaround and I believe they want the right and best players they can get.”
After a strong sophomore season, Quansah says his production this year is due to an offseason spent refining his overall game and focusing on the little things.
“I feel I improved my leadership qualities and my defensive game overall. Some things I could work on still are my footwork and reacting to the offensive players quicker than I have been. I also need to make sure I stay focused on my responsibilities on the field. As for my strengths, I feel that I am very good at rallying to the ball and form fit tackling. It’s rare that I miss a tackle, and I am strong at filling the gap and shedding blocks to get to the ball carrier.”
As he moves through the recruiting stages, the talented prospect says there are several factors in his decision-making process.
“I’m looking at education first to prepare me for life after football. After that it’s their football program and the coaches. Then it’s location and to see if my family can work with that. I’m going to be seeking advice from my coaches at school to find the best situation.”
Quansah reports a personal best forty time of 4.58 seconds with a current bench press max of 315 pounds, a 410 pound squat max, and 250 pounds on the power clean. He says most every schools is recruiting him as either a strong safety or outside linebacker.