Paul Duncan Set To Visit Duke

While the most important business taking place this weekend will involve the battle for the victory bell in Wallace Wade, the Duke coaching staff will also have some off the field work on their hands as one of the potential cornerstones of the class of 2005 will be on campus for his official visit this weekend in Durham.

After over 30 official offers, Georgia lineman Paul Duncan has finally entered the home stretch for his recruiting process. After already visiting UCLA, Oklahoma, and LSU, the 6-foot-6, 295 pound Duncan will trip to Durham to watch the Blue Devils take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The visit, which will come one week before his final trip to Notre Dame, is already a huge step for the Duke coaching staff, which was among the first to identify recruit the big Georgia tackle. That loyalty has paid off as the Blue Devils have found themselves in big time high major company competing for Duncan's commitment.

"Duke was the first team to offer me, and they've stuck with me," Duncan told TDD previously. "I've got confidence that the new coaching staff is going to get things turned around and make the changes they need to make there."

Those things, according to Duncan, include bringing in top flight prospects and building a solid foundation of talented players. Something that is appealing, and flattering to the big guy.

"They say they need to really bring in some high caliber players, and I could be a cornerstone in the turnaround. If I commit then it could start the dominoes falling, since more highly rated players wouldn't worry about committing to Duke as much. That's flattering, and it would be really nice to be able to say that I was there and played a part in their turnaround."

While his other four finalists are certainly major programs and huge schools, Duncan says the appeal of Duke is not only in the classroom, but also in the size and feel of the university. Something he has picked up on with a number of unofficial visits to the Durham campus.

"I don't really care too much about going to a big school. I mean I come from a relatively small place now, and it's a nice environment that I'm comfortable with. I like the kind of closeness we have here. I think Duke has the same kind of environment."

While Duncan has certainly returned the interest of the Duke staff, he is still reportedly favoring the Fighting Irish and Tigers heading into the weekend stay in Durham.

"It's pretty close," he told "I'd say Notre Dame is probably a little bit out in front but it's close."

The hope in Durham is that a weekend showing one of the most intense rivalries, regardless of sport will help sway what could be the biggest recruiting coup in a long time for Duke. Still, a decision may still be a month away.

"I want to make my decision before Christmas. I should have it done by then."

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