Signing Day 2004: Izzy Bauta

Sometimes it's not the rating of the prospects you're signing, but which programs you're competing with to sign them. That was certainly the case for Duke this year as the Blue Devils went toe-to-toe with some of the nation's best programs and won the services of one of the Northeast's top linemen.

Brooklyn Prep standout Izzy Bauta chose Duke over offers from Ohio State, Maryland, Rutgers, and South Florida, giving the Blue Devils another top lineman prospect and some credibility on a national recruiting level.

Izzy also chose to join his brother red shirt freshman Lavdrim Bauta along the offensive line next year after earning big time interest during his senior season.

While at Polytech Bauta has spent time on both sides of the line of scrimmage, though he was recruited exclusively as an offensive guard at the collegiate level.

And why not?

Bauta is already putting up 315 pounds on the bench press, while squatting over 600 pounds. That strength coupled with good agility and form have made Bauta a favorite of head coach Craig Jacoby.

"He's got room to add weight to his frame, but in general he's just a really tough kid who runs really well and can block for the passing game. He also plays basketball, and has really great footwork."

Checking in at 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, Bauta says his brother went to Duke around 240 pounds, but came back between 280 and 290 pounds.

Coach Jacoby said that Izzy will probably major in business. His family owns a restaurant in Manhattan.

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