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FB Forecast: DE Taariq Shabazz

Continuing the player by player preview of the 2015 Duke Blue Devils with a look at a defensive end who has battled injury since arriving on campus. Now healthy, what can we expect from Taariq Shabazz?

Taariq Shabazz

Position:

DE

Height/Weight:

6-foot-3 / 225 pounds

High School:

Kennesaw (GA) / Kennesaw Mountain

Year:

Redshirt Freshman

*****

2014 Review

After enrolling Shabazz was a dark horse candidate to avoid a redshirt season.  However, those early prognostications were dashed when he suffered a knee injury in the beginning portions of 2014’s preseason camp.  

*****

2015 Preview

That knee surgery caused him to miss not only the 2014 season, but also the 2015 spring season when it came to contact drills.  He recovered before the first summer session and began the 2015 camp as the third string defensive end on the left side behind starter Kyler Brown and Deion Williams.

*****

TDD Projection

The potential showcased before the knee injury is still there, but there’s reportedly been some rust accumulation as well.  We’d expect Shabazz to remain on the depth chart and the sideline this year as he knocks off the rust and continues to settle into the college game.  With Brown and Williams both gone after this season, opportunity will knock in a big way when Shabazz participates in live contact Spring Ball.  

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How he ended up in Durham

Shabazz chose Duke in July over offers from Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Southern Miss, and Central Florida.

He carried a 3.4 GPA in the classroom, bench presses 375 pounds, he squats 465 pounds, and power cleans 335 pounds.

"Academics were my top priority. Then, you know, it was about finding the school that fit me the best. I'd like to play defensive end in a 4-3, but I'm open to playing linebacker even though I haven't played it before."

*****

High School Highlights

Two-year letterman at Kennesaw Mountain under Andy Scott ... played in just four games as a senior due to injury, compiling 25 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks ... had 59 tackles including 16 tackles for loss and five sacks as a junior. [info from this last section gathered from GoDuke.com]


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