Duke Signs 24 Recruits

Duke University head football coach Ted Roof and his staff announced on Wednesday that 24 high school student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the Blue Devil program.

The class includes six defensive backs, six offensive linemen, four wide receivers, three linebackers, three running backs, one athlete and one tight end. Ten states are represented in the group with a class-high 10 from Georgia, three from Texas, two from California, Florida and North Carolina and one each from Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

The four-man wide receiving corps includes Chancellor Young, an All-America selection by Prep Star magazine and the 39th-top receiver in the nation according to TheInsiders.com. Young, the son of former USC and NFL standout Charles Young, was chosen to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio last month. Jomar Wright helped Byrnes High School to back-to-back state championships in South Carolina and set a state single-season record with 103 receptions in 2003, while Corey Thompson was a first team all-state pick in Georgia by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after catching 48 passes for 725 yards and seven touchdowns and scoring five more touchdowns on kick returns. Ryan Wood, who helped Buford (Ga.) High School win 45 straight games and three consecutive state titles, rounds out the group.

The class features six offensive linemen including Izzy Bauta, the younger brother of current Blue Devil Lavrdim Bauta and the 47th-best offensive guard in the country according to Rivals.com, Fred Roland, a first team all-state choice in Georgia, and Jonathan Terry, the top offensive lineman in North Carolina by SuperPrep. In addition, Cameron Goldberg (All-state choice in Maryland in 2003), Matt Rumsey (All-state pick in Georgia in 2003; member of state championship team at Marist) and Rob Schirmann (helped Anderson [Ohio] High School to 19-3 record over final two seasons) join the class. Tight end Patrick Bailey helped Alamo Heights to a 13-2 ledger and state playoff berth in Texas in 2003 after catching 26 passes for three touchdowns.

Three running backs - Tim Ball, Justin Boyle and Ronnie Drummer - join the program. Ball was a three-time first team all-district back at Hebron (Texas) High School and rushed for 3,368 career yards. Boyle rushed for a school single-season record 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2003 while helping Harrison (Ga.) High School to a 9-3 ledger and state playoff berth. Drummer established a school and county single-season standard with 1,783 rushing yards as a senior while North Salinas (Calif.) High School went 7-5 and reached the state playoffs.

The group also includes six defensive backs - four cornerbacks and a pair of safeties. The cornerbacks are Adrian Aye-Darko (87 tackles & 4 interceptions in 2003), Daniel Charbonnet (89 tackles & 5 interceptions in 2003 as The Woodlands reached the Texas 5A state finals), Evalio Harrell (led Florida in interceptions with 9 in 2002; prepped at Mercersburg [Pa.] Academy in 2003) and Jabari Marshall (set school record with 9 interceptions in 2003). Harrell enrolled at Duke last month. Chris Davis, a teammate of Rumsey's on Marist's state championship squad, and Andreas Platt, a teammate of Terry's who helped Ragsdale High School to consecutive playoff appearances, project as safeties.

Duke's linebacking unit will get a boost from Charles Robinson, Zach Smith and Alfred Williams. Robinson served as team captain and recorded 105 tackles and three interceptions in his final campaign at Riverview (Fla.) High School. Smith earned all-state honors after totaling 105 tackles and helping Buford to Georgia's state crown while Williams led Westlake (Ga.) High School with 127 tackles and six sacks as the defense allowed just 9.3 points per game in the regular season.

Rodney Ezzard will join the Duke program as an athlete after playing quarterback and defensive back at Chamblee (Ga.) High School. In 2003, Ezzard passed for 930 yards and eight touchdowns while recording 80 tackles and four interceptions on defense as Chamblee posted its first winning season since 1988.

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