Focus 2006: WR Kris Durham

Recently <i></I> had a chance to catch up with one of Georgia's top prep receivers when 6-foot-5, 190lbs standout Kris Durham sat down for a chat about his early impressions of the recruiting process. Which programs are putting in the time with him? What has been most impressive to this point? And which teams have the inside track for his services? Early on in the recruiting process what has stood out about each school on your list?

Kris Durham: I like Auburn because of their coaching staff and prestige of their program. Their facilities were really nice. I also like Alabama for their long time tradition.

I've been a Georgia fan my whole life, and my dad ran track there in the early 80's, so I've heard all the great stories. I really like their program and the fact that they continue to have success with their program.

I also think Georgia Tech's program is coming along, and they have a good receiving core.

Vanderbilt has a great school and I like their coaching staff.

I love the coaches at Duke and that program is on the rise. I feel I could go in and really contribute there.

I attended camp at Clemson last summer, and I really liked their coaching staff and their campus. My uncle played football there and he carried me to a game last year...the fans and the atmosphere they create in Death Valley was very impressive.

Which programs have "gone the extra mile" with you at this point, even though it's early.

Duke, Auburn, Maryland, Georgia and Georgia Tech

You obviously had a chance to grow up near big time football conferences. Is the chance to play in one of the "power" leagues a draw for you?

Yes, definitely. The ACC & SEC are great conferences; I would love to play for either.

What is more important for you as a player -- early playing time on a team that is up and coming OR not as much PT on a team with a shot to win it all sooner than later?

I would really like to play early so I could develop my skills against great corners in the conference. I've always been a hard worker in order to earn my spot and I enjoy being in the mix of things and being a contributor. I've been fortunate enough to get a lot of playing time, so I'm not sure how I feel not getting much PT, even if it is with a team with a shot of winning it all. I think it would be a challenge that would just make me work harder than ever to prove myself.

You have visited a number of schools so far. Which ones have made impressions? Why?

Auburn - the coaches are great, I was impressed with their facilities.

Duke - The Yoh Center was astonishing. It shows that they are committed to football. Cameron Indoor was unbelievable! On Jr. Day we got to go to the Wake Forest was awesome.

Obviously heading to school is more than just football. What role will academics play in your choice? Which schools on your list do you believe will offer you the best chances at success?

Academics play a huge role. It is definitely the most important thing. When my playing days are over, I'll need a good education in order to get a good job. All the schools that I'm looking at have good academics, but Duke, Vandy and Georgia Tech are on the top of the success list.

You mentioned you visited Duke. What are your thoughts on Coach Roof and his staff.

They are just great people. I would love to play for them.

What is their main selling point(s) at this time.

The education that I would receive at Duke, they have a very high graduation rate for their student athletes. The range of majors they offer, right now I'm debating over two different directions, but they offer majors in both programs. The commitment/desire they have made to build their football program.

Which coach is your recruiting coach?

Coach Spencer

What did you think of the Duke campus and Yoh Center?

Wonderful, the place is absolutely beautiful! The Yoh Center shows how serious they are in building their program and becoming a real contender in the conference.

Can Duke turn it around? What will it take? What do they coaches tell you?

Yes, they should turn it around soon. Another great recruiting class. The coaches are really committed to the program and are working hard. They truly care about the athletes and that they believe in what they are trying to do.

Kris' father, Mike, was also able to offer his thoughts and opinions on his son's decision and the role he plays as a parent.

As a parent what are you looking for in his choice?

Mike: The school that is the best fit for Kristopher, both academically and in football. He has to be able to look at the school and say "I could be happy here, even if I didn't play football". The educational opportunities the school offers, so he will be able to have a good life after football and when college is over. A program that is built on good values and that they will continue to instill such values in Kristopher.

How have the coaches involved you in the decision process?

They do what all coaches do; they tell you how wonderful their school and football program is. They ask what my concerns are and then specifically address those concerns.

What concerns do you have?

Will he be given a fair shot when he gets to campus? Will they really take care of my son they way they say they will? How well he will adjust to the college workload and practice time. Will he be able to enroll in summer semester and take a minimum class load in order to become acclimated with the school and adjust to the different way of life before things really intensify in the fall?

What kind of support or advice do you offer Kris?

I tell him not to get too caught up in the process. It is the recruiting coach's job to make him feel that he is their top priority and they will tell him things that they think he wants to hear, he'll just have to figure out who he likes best, who's program he feels he will fit in with, if they have players he can relate to, etc. He needs to go where he will be happy and that he shouldn't worry about the physical location of the school (distance from home). Once he feels like he knows where he wants to go, he should commit. The recruiting coaches will still come and watch, they will still call, but if he feels good about a certain school/program and they make an offer, then go ahead a commit; therefore he can enjoy his senior year.

Without pressuring him either way, is there a program or program criteria you'd like him to look at?

I do not care where he goes as long as he is happy with his decision. Ultimately it is his decision, since it is his life. I encourage him to look at the whole picture...the school, the football coaches, the football program, what type of offense they run, the depth chart, how many wide receivers they have on scholarship, how many do they play, where he thinks he stacks up against them, etc. He needs to find a school that fits his criteria, not mine.

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