Big Time OL A Top Priority

With help along the defensive line being one of the top priorities in the class of 2005, the Blue Devils have set their sites on a huge Northeast target. The top prospect in the rising senior class from Worcester (Mass.)'s St. John's High already has Duke near the top of his early list.

"Duke and Boston College are my two leaders right now," says 6-foot-3, 290 pound defensive tackle James McGillicuddy. "I'm still open to other programs, but those two have offered and they both have terrific academics and rising programs."

While the Blue Devils and Eagles have the early inside track on landing the big timer, other schools are quickly realizing how talented the big man is, and are quickly following suit with early offers.

"I've also got offers from Syracuse and Connecticut. My top five early on is Duke, Boston College, Virginia, Harvard, and Notre Dame."

Ideally McGillicuddy would like to play in a highly competitive conference for a program with the total package on and off the field. Hence the early warming towards Duke and B.C. So what does he think of the Blue Devils?

"They have a terrific staff, and I have been impressed with the ones I have met. I think the new coaching staff will turn that program around, and Duke just spent something like $15 million dollars on a new football building."

As a junior McGillicuddy logged 61 tackles, including 12 for a loss, despite missing a pair of games due to a sprained right ankle. He also managed to corral six quarterback sacks while forcing a pair of fumbles.

According to our experts, McGillicuddy projects as one of the top 100 prospects in the country. Not bad for someone who says he needs to continue to improve all over the field.

"I have great speed, quickness and agility. I'm pretty strong and I have a great motor. I just keep going. It's only my third year of football, so I have a lot to learn. I'm pretty inexperienced. I need better technique and my ultimate goal is to run a 4.8 in the forty."

Most of the schools on his list are recruiting him as a defensive lineman, though he can also play on the offensive side of the trenches. However, if he had his choice, McGillicuddy would lineup on defense at the collegiate level.

"I'm being recruited as either a defensive tackle or offensive guard, but I prefer defense because I like having a mission and taking people out. You can play with more reckless abandon on defense."

In the classroom he carries a 3.3 grade point average, while the weight room sees him able to bench press 375 pounds, while his squat max is a robust 575. He's also pretty agile, owning a 26 inch vertical jump and a 5.0 time in the forty yard dash.

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