Top NC Receiver The Gem of 2005 For Duke?

While some of the other in-state powers have already gotten a jump on Duke when it comes to recruiting one of the state's top collegiate prospects, the Blue Devils may have secured one of the front running positions this week by hiring Charlotte Independence coach Tom Knotts. Read on for the complete story.

With offers in had from some of the region's best programs including North Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina State, and serious early interest from Michigan, UCLA, and Virginia it would seem that Duke may have missed the boat when it came to recruiting 6-foot-2, 180 pound standout wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.

However, you can expect that to change this week when the official announcement of former Independence head coach Tom Knotts' hiring as a member of the Duke coaching staff is made. That hiring is expected to give Duke a good chance with Massaquoi as Knotts has coached him for the past three seasons, all of which ended with the Patriots storming to the NCHSA state championship.

Over the weekend the talented junior was all but identified as the Duke staff's top recruiting priority in the class of 2005.

This distinction comes on the heels of a junior season in which Massaquoi caught 87 passes for 1,518 yards and 22 touchdowns in Independence's run to a fourth consecutive title. While those numbers are incredibly impressive, they are mainly par for the course for the talented wide out who added those totals to sophomore stats of 90 catches for 1,365 yards and 21 scores.

Atlantic Region guru Miller Safrit of was asked to provide a scouting report on Massaquoi after seeing him in action over the past two seasons:

He's a smooth route-runner with very good speed," Safrit told TDD. "He's been known to drop the ball, but is getting much better at that phase -- A game-breaking player, and elite prospect."

Safrit also offered his opinions on what the hiring of Knotts will mean to his former star's recruitment:

"Massaquoi and Knotts appear to have a good relationship on the surface, and they know each other's abilities. Massaquoi almost certainly would want to play in an open offense with space to work, and he is a high priority already for Duke."

Over the weekend the Blue Devils reaffirmed their scholarship offer to him.

Despite the rash of early interest, with more pouring in every day, Massaquoi isn't going to rush into anything it seems. In fact he's taking a look at what's important for him moving forward with his recruiting process.

"Right now I'm just open. I don't have any favorites at this point. I am looking around at a number of factors. Academics, athletics, location, and environment are going to be very important.

Some more impressive stats on his resume include a 40 time around four and a half seconds, and a 35-inch vertical jump. In the classroom Massaquoi says he wants to major in either engineering or architecture, and sports a 4.25 grade point average and an 1100 on his SAT.

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