Duke Working For Big Georgia QB

As the Duke coaching staff continues to work towards building a solid contender in the ACC, the need to continue to import talented players from all over the country grows. That's why the Blue Devil coaching staff is putting in the time with several high major prospects. Perhaps one of the biggest names on the board is 6-foot-7 Buford (Ga.) quarterback Justin Roper, who sat down with TDD to discuss his recruitment to date.

"I've got offers from Maryland, Georgia Tech, Duke, Tulane, Oregon, and Louisville," said Buford High standout Justin Roper. "Illinois and Tennessee both wanted to see me in action this season before they make a decision on offering or not."

It's easy to justify that much high major interest in Roper, who is rated as a three star quarterback by Scout.com. Blessed with superb height and a strong arm, Roper has impressed college coaches with his ability to make any number of throws – all with a tight spiral and good velocity.

"Being this tall has its advantages," said Roper. "I can see field better than most players. I've played AAU basketball over the last six years as a guard, so that's helped my footwork tremendously as well."

That footwork and throwing ability was on display at Duke earlier this season when Roper, along with Buford teammate and recent Duke commit Matt Pridemore, showed up and wowed those in attendance with is his abilities. Most notably impressed were the Duke coaches who quickly worked to show Roper as much love as possible in the recruiting process.

"They told me that I'm their number one quarterback option. I really like Duke. I've got friends up there (Pridemore, freshman receiver Ryan Wood, and sophomore linebacker Zach Smith), and Coach O'Brien, the offensive coordinator, likes to throw the ball around a lot, which is what I'm looking for. He and the rest of the coaching staff are all great."

And will having his friends so centralized play a role in some way when it comes down to decision time?

"I think it'll be a factor," said Roper. "If I went to Duke, I think I'd room with Matt."

When he wasn't on the football field at the one-day event, Roper had a chance to tour the campus on his own, including the Yoh football facility, something that made a good impression.

"It's a very nice facility. I mean it's something like $23 million – it's just very nice, and the campus is beautiful."

While the Blue Devils made a very good impression with Roper, this one is going to be a battle as he is in no rush to jump to a decision.

"I'd like to take all my visits, but I'm not sure if that will happen. We've got a bye week in the middle of the season so that'll help with visits. I know that I want to go to Georgia Tech, Duke, and I hear it's just unreal at Tennessee, so I definitely want to visit there."

And while on these visits, what will Roper be looking for in a school?

"I want to go somewhere that throws the ball a lot. I also want to see how the coaches help you progress and improve over the course of your career. And I want to see what kind of community and relationship the coaches have with the players – just the overall atmosphere of the team."

And while all that is important, most players are also looking at how fast they can get on the field. Roper is no different, although he's willing to budge here and there.

"I want to find a happy medium when it comes to playing time and possibly redshirting. I mean I don't want to go to a Division II program where I can play all four years, but I also don't want to go to a huge program where I don't get on the field until my senior year. If I need to take a redshirt season to add weight and then can get on the field for three or four seasons afterwards, I think that would be ideal."

While he searches for the ideal next step in his career, Roper is also looking forward to his senior season at Buford.

"We look like we're going to be really good this year. We've got three really good receivers. They are all 6'3 and run around 4.6 forties, so we're going to throw it a lot more than we did in the past. We also have a huge offensive line, which I'm very happy about."


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