Three-star OT recaps his visit to Durham

The offensive line is on of the priority positions for the class of 2016 and Duke has made several strong moves on the recruiting trail. One player the Blue Devils are prioritizing is this three star offensive tackle from Charlotte.

s on the recruiting trail. One player the Blue Devils are prioritizing is this three star offensive tackle from Charlotte. There’s no shortage of interest for Charlotte (N.C.) Ardrey Kell offensive lineman Taleni Suhren who has offers from offers from Boston College, Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wake Forest among others. In addition, he’s getting serious looks from Clemson as well.

With so many local, or at least close programs recruiting him, Suhren has been making visits as his schedule allows. Among those trips was a visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the Duke-North Carolina basketball game in February.

“That was a great visit,” said Suhren of the trip to Durham. “They had provided me with a list of dates that they could host us, and when I saw that day and game I took it. It was a bit crazy with all of the weather, and on the way my mom wanted to turn around, but I told her we were closer to Durham than Charlotte, so we should continue.”

After arriving in Durham, Suhren had a chance to sit down briefly with the coaches and discuss Duke’s recruitment of him.

“I got there around an hour or so early, so it was a shorter trip. I did get a one on one visit with Coach Latina to see what he thinks of me, which was good. We watched a little bit of film…they run a similar offense to my high school team.”

In addition to providing some commonality with film, the Duke coach seems to have made an impression with the program’s approach to its offensive linemen.

“They are different in how and what they are talking about. An example is with duck walking. Taking those two inch steps in practice. Coach Latina doesn’t really like it because, as he said, when you look at game film you don’t see guys doing that. He believes you should do drills that reinforce what you do every day and in the games. I like that approach and it made sense.”

In addition to the offensive line coach, Suhren has had a chance to meet with Duke’s most famous lineman, Laken Tomlinson.

“He’s a really great player, and he’s probably the top guard in the draft. I spent around an hour and a half with him, and I really like him a lot. He’s a guy who knows his plan whether football works out or not. If football doesn’t work for him, he’s already two years into a medical program, so he’s set after he’s done playing.”

Tomlinson also related his decision to attend Duke, which wasn’t a popular choice at the time amongst high major prospects.

“He was a top prospect at his position, and he stunned a lot of people by choosing Duke. He was one of the first ones to make that choice and it worked out because now Duke is pulling in all kinds of highly rated guys, which is exciting.”

Which brought the conversation back around to the Blue Devils’ pursuit of Suhren and potential plans for the three star prospect.

“They’ve definitely been recruiting me and they’ve set the foundation with me. Now that they’ve gotten guys to the NFL and now that they are pulling in a lot of highly ranked players, there’s a sense of validation. They are pitching the combination of academics and athletics, knowing that academics are big for me since football can’t take you all the way.”

On the field Suhren says he’s pretty self-aware when it comes to what he brings on the field, but he’s taking constructive feedback at every turn.

“I think one of my major strengths is my overall strength. I think I have a very nasty first punch, and I think I’m a smart lineman - one who watches film and applies what I see. With my weaknesses, I need to get better with my footwork and change of direction, and I’m working on that. I need to be able to deal with big and fast defensive ends who come off the edge.”

Shred reports he is currently 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds. He is rated as a three star prospect by Scout.com.

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