Suder: "They Were Really Happy"

The Blue Devil coaching staff has some clear goals when it comes to rounding out the class of 2005. Most of them center around landing big athletic linemen who can help on both sides of the ball. Earlier this week TDD broke the story of the latest commitment, Joe Suder. Later we had a chance to speak with Suder on his commitment.

"I think the coaches were really happy," said Reno, NV lineman Joe Suder. "I was ready to be a Blue Devil and it was a nice end to a long process for both sides."

Indeed it was as the 6-foot-7, 330 pounder is another piece in a puzzle that must be solved soon for Duke to have a chance to be competitive in the new look ACC. Throughout this season the Devils have been beaten on both sides of the ball in the trenches, leading to a 1-7 record. According to Suder, the coaches believe he is the first step in correcting that problem.

"They started talking to me last May about my decision and kept telling me they were ready for me to come in and be a Blue Devil. They really made me feel like I'd be a priority and a big asset to the program. Duke made it clear they wanted me, and that meant a lot."

Given his size and speed, Suder could realistically play either defensive or offensive tackle during his career in Durham.

"I've usually played defense, but when we were up big the coaches would let me play on the offensive side to make holes and hit people. I like playing on defense, but I'll do what ever they need me to do."

With interest from Washington, Stanford, and other west coast schools, it was one pitch that provided Duke with a final verbal commitment.

"Coach Yanowski was talking to me and he said a scholarship offer from Duke was worth over a quarter of a million dollars. I couldn't believe it, and it's hard to turn that kind of thing down."

So with size and speed, why wasn't Suder a national level target for many high major schools? There are probably two reasons. The first is that he's rehabbing an MCL injury, though he is expected to be able to have a chance to play when he gets to Duke, though slow rehab will lead to redshirting. The second is that Suder just started playing football a few years ago.

"When I got to high school someone told me I should try to play, so I gave it a shot. I didn't really know too much about the game, but I've learned a lot and feel like I can learn more."

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