Top Kicker Picks Up Duke Offer

With an eye towards improving the overall firepower on the offensive side of the ball, the Blue Devils have begun adding prospects that are considered a step up from recruiting classes of the past. Recently coaches Roof and Kelly were in Florida to offer another big timer, this time in the form of one of the nation's top kickers.

"Coach Kelly was here to watch us in spring practice," says St. Thomas Aquinas High School standout kicker Joe Surgan. "He apparently liked what he saw and so he went back to North Carolina. Last week Coach Roof called and offered me a scholarship on the phone and the letter arrived at home today."

It would be hard to find a reason the Blue Devils wouldn't be interested in bolstering their kicking game with Surgan. After all the 6-foot-4, 220 pounder was named 2nd team Florida All-State Placekicker, 1st Team All-Broward County Placekicker, and Miami Herald, 1st Team All-Broward County - Sun Sentinel after hitting on 24-of-25 extra points, and 7-of-10 field goals including a long of 48 yards.

If that's not impressive enough, Surgan routinely prevented any returns on kickoffs, putting 70% of his kicks through the end zone for a touchback. It's something that his special teams coach is used to.

"During spring he hit from 53, 57, 61, and 63 in the spring on four consecutive kicks in live special teams play," said Conrad. "We had to have him kick off from the 30 for us to practice our return game, because every kick from the 40 and 35 was in the endzone or out of it."

The Blue Devils' offer is Surgan's second, along with Auburn. He's also got serious interest from Florida, Penn State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Central Florida, South Florida, Iowa State, Harvard, and Pittsburgh.

With all this early interest Surgan says he's beginning to look at his recruiting process with an eye on a fall decision.

"I'm going to camp at the University of Florida and will be stopping by Duke on an unofficial visit sometime soon. I'm mainly looking for a school that will provide top notch academics off the field, and a good program on it."

And does Duke fit those criteria?

"Duke's educational opportunities are second to none and their program is up and coming. I really believe that. They have told me that I can come in and have a chance to play early in my career and that's also important to me. They seem to be a very good match at this point."

Aside from his on the field exploits, Surgan maintains a 3.6 GPA in the classroom and has already surpassed the 1100 mark on his SAT.

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