Rucker Not Waivering With Duke

Since committing to Duke back on June 3, things have slowed down for Durham (N.C.) Jordan standout defensive end Kinney Rucker. Though there is the occasional call from other schools trying to probe the 6-foot-3 245 pounder's commitment to the Blue Devils, those calls have become few and far between as Rucker is set on a career in Durham.

"I used to get schools calling me, but they've decided to leave me alone now," says Blue Devil commit Kinney Rucker. "I guess they realized that I was solid in my commitment."

That's good news for Blue Devil fans everywhere as Rucker is considered one of the better steals in the class of 2005. Blessed with good size and speed (he runs a 4.7 forty), Rucker picked Duke over interest from Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia, and Wake Forest.

"The idea of playing for Duke and having a Duke degree when football is over was too much to pass up for me. Coach Roof and his staff are committed to turning things around and I want to be a big part of that effort. I'm working hard every day to be ready to do that next year."

And that means he's running wild on any opponents who get in his way. So far no one in North Carolina has been able to slow Rucker down from getting to opposing quarterbacks and causing general havoc in opposing backfields. Through six games the future Devil has recorded 28 tackles, including six sacks as a defensive end. Then, while lining up as a receiver, Rucker has hauled in a pair of touchdowns and five catches for just over 60 yards.

Then there is the statistic that's a bit unusual for a big defensive lineman.

"I returned a kick off 72 yards for a touchdown a few weeks ago. I've actually been returning kicks throughout the season. I think I'm averaging something like 20 yards per return."

While that's impressive, Rucker doesn't think he'll be repeating those duties at Duke.

"I've talk to Coach Roof every Wednesday, and he says I'll probably add more muscle mass before I get to Duke next fall. I could get up to around 280lbs and move over to tackle if they need me to. Right now I'm between 245 and 250 depending on what day it is."

With frequent conversations with Roof, what are Rucker's opinions of his future head coach?

"He's going to turn things around there. They are playing a lot of young guys right now, but they are headed in the right direction. I mean they played Maryland even before a few miscues and fatigue took over. Coach keeps talking about the importance of this recruiting class and how we need to all work hard to keep the turn around going. I know I'm working hard to be out there as a true freshman."

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