How’s the summer been going?
It’s been going good, kinda sad that its almost over. I had a great summer though with getting to visit different schools and all the football stuff going on.
How does it feel being verbally committed to Duke?
It feels good knowing I don’t have to go into my senior year worrying about where I’m going to go to school and not having that added on stress to the season. I think I made a great decision.
What led you to decide that this summer was the right time for you to commit?
Well, I was definitely planning on doing it before school. I had gone and visited everywhere that I wanted to go check out and I narrowed down what I liked and didn’t like about each school and my feeling with Duke was like, “why wait?” I had been to Duke like three times before that last visit, so when I went they had camp going on and afterwords Coach Cut took the time to talk with me and my family. They showed just that they wanted me the most. They spent a good amount of time with my family and they checked up on me a lot. They were just real with us.
Did you feel like on those four visits that you learned a little bit more about Duke each time in different ways?
Yeah because my first visit was for more of a camp, so we didn’t get to see everything then. Then they offered me during my sophomore year and I went during the season for a game, and the atmosphere was great. Then I also got to see the academic side of things that second visit, so each time I visited I learned something new and saw new things. This last visit I got to go around the entire campus and see all of that which was great because they have a beautiful campus.
How much of a change in feelings did you notice on your part about Duke as you went through the various visits with them?
I always felt strongly about them because they were one of my first offers. So each time I visited the feelings got stronger and stronger and the feeling that I got that I was home each time I was there got stronger and stronger.
What for you were the most memorable things that either the Duke coaches or players said to you during your recruiting process?
I liked when they would always say that I should make a 40 year decision, not just a 4 year decision. I always thought about that every time I went up there and to other schools. It reminded me that it’s not just about the now with this decision, it’s about the future too, it’s about the rest of your life too.
How did they present the scholarship offer to you?
I just called them one day after school and I remember that Coach Guerreri wanted me to call him. So I just called him after school and he told me about the camp and what they liked about me and my film and then he said we’re offering you a scholarship. They were my first offer. I was really shocked and excited, hard work paid off was how I felt and I knew I had a lot more work to do.
How did your family feel as the process unfolded with Duke?
My mom definitely was all about Duke from that first visit on, and then my dad kinda got on board after awhile especially once he saw how much I liked the school. Then my sisters, everybody loved it up there. They really sold my family as well as me.
How did your evaluation of Duke evolve from a potential school to a real option?
I think it started probably in June, middle to end of June and then it just happened after that. I just knew it was the place for me.
Which coaches were your primary recruiters?
I talked to Coach Derek Jones some, but not as much. Basically my primary recruiter was Coach Guerreri. He was the one who extended the offer to me, I built a good relationship with him and once they could start dm’ing us and texting us, he would hit me up almost every day with different facts about the school and just letting me know that they wanted me. Coach Guerreri is a great person, he cares about the game but he cares about you even more as a person.
You verballed after they had already received verbal commitments from several other secondary players in your class. Have they discussed how they view you specifically potentially fitting in as a player there?
They said I could play safety or corner or nickel, any of those really because of my versatility from what they told me. They said I have the speed to do down into the slot on nickel and I’m physical enough to play corner or safety. If it’s safety, they’ve always kinda compared me to DeVon (Edwards).
What are your thoughts on how they do things as a defense and how they play their secondary guys?
I like how they play a lot of DBs, so if you want it bad enough and you prove yourself you have a shot when you get there to play, so that’s what I like is the opportunity to earn playing time early.
Was that a major factor in your decision?
Kind of, but I also really fell in love with the school itself and with the coaches, but the coaches might not be there forever so you want to like the school too. It’s a really beautiful school with a lot to do there, and the academics are the best, when you come out with a Duke degree there’s a lot of people who start with high salaries which is great.
Are you potentially in line to graduate high school early and get to Duke early?
Yeah I could graduate early but I’m not planning to because I’m going to play my last season of baseball in high school. We’ve talked about me potentially trying out for baseball at Duke, the football coaches Tgoing to do, I guess I’ll have to see and think about it some more.
Have you gotten to know any of your future classmates yet?
Oh yeah, we all have a big group chat with all the commits in there. We’re all pretty cool in the chat, like I’m really cool with Damani (Neal), Marvin (Hubbard) and Drew (Jordan). All of the other commits are real cool. We talk about regular stuff like how we got a good class and how we’re trying to win a championship and we talk about what’s going on in our lives and fun stuff.
Are you helping in the recruiting process yet?
No not yet. Marvin Hubbard was talking with me a lot about coming before I decided.
In closing, any message you want to send to your future fans?
We’re going to do our best as a 2017 class, we think we’re a really good class and we want to be a part of bringing a championship to Duke.