Daron Rose Has Top Seven

Tampa (Fla.) offensive lineman Daron Rose (6-5, 310, 5.4) no longer considers Duke his favorite, but the Blue Devils are still solidly in the picture.

"I'd say I'm still pretty wide open to a lot of the schools out there. If I had to name seven right now they'd be Duke (first to offer), Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Auburn, Florida State and Mississippi," said Rose, from Jefferson SR High School.

"USC hasn't offered me yet, but they were at my school on Monday, and from what I hear, they're supposed to call me at the end of the month with their decision on the offer.

"Out of that seven, I've got more interest in Duke, Oklahoma and Florida.

"I like Duke because of their academics," said Rose. "That's a big thing for me. Their academics are second to none as far as Division I schools go. They've also got a great criminal justice program there, and that's what I want to major in.

"The coaching staff at Duke has also been real sincere with me about everything. The new staff they got there is great, and the program itself is definitely up-and-coming. There's a lot of upside to Duke's program right now.

"Oklahoma is a premiere program and I like how they put a lot of offensive linemen in the NFL. They play in one of the best conferences in the country. I get handwritten letters from coach (Bob) Stoops all the time.

"I really like how the coaches at Oklahoma train their players to work extra hard. They have this way of training their players that makes their program so strong, and that's what I really like about them. They've got a true passion and drive to motivate their players.

"The coaches at Oklahoma get their players to believe they can do whatever they want to accomplish on the field. I mean they've been to so many championship games, and recently, they've been to two straight national championships. That just shows the success of their program. But I've yet to go to the state of Oklahoma, and I haven't spoken with coach Stoops on the phone yet." "Florida was the first school to offer me with their old staff. But I didn't hear much from them for awhile when they were in their transition period, so that's why I consider Duke as my first offer.

"I like how Florida's program isn't too far from home…it would be great if my family could make it to my home games," he said. "And they've got a great atmosphere there. The fans are great--they're always wearing the orange and blue colors and they always stand behind their players. Plus the Swamp is a great stadium.

"The coaches and the system they run there is similar to what we do at my high school. I've been there numerous times and I see a lot of potential there," he said.

Rose has taken in JR Days at Florida, Miami, South Florida and Central Florida. He was at the Scout.com combine in Tampa on May 7.

"This summer I want to try to get out to Duke, Florida and Florida State for visits. I also would like to try to see Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi. I want to make my decision on a program after the season."

Final JR (11-4) stats: 97% blocking/64+ pancakes

3.3 GPA/920 SAT--Sept retest

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