Duke Working All Angles With Roper

Having been considered a weaker program in the past, the Duke coaching staff is no doubt using every perceivable advantage available to them on the recruiting trail. Be it educational, location, the lure of the ACC, head coach Ted Roof and company are always working to make becoming a Blue Devil more attractive. That proves true with the top quarterback on the board, whom Duke is working hard to sign.

On September 1, the first day college coaches could resume phone calls to recruits, Buford, GA quarterback Justin Roper fielded calls from several programs, including the Blue Devils, who have made the 6-foot-6, 200 pounder their top QB prospect in the class of 2006.

"When the calls started up on Thursday, I talked to the coaches from Duke and Louisville the most," said Roper. "I had a really good talk with Coach Roof and Coach O'Brien about the offense. I also talked to Coach Spencer. The main thing was them just asking how things were going for me during the season."

While the coaches from the other schools he considering also took their time in speaking with Roper, Duke has been able to recruit him indirectly in the form of teammate Matt Pridemore, who camped with Roper at Duke over the summer.

"Matt's had a pretty good year so far for us," said Roper. "He's been a 100 yard per game runner for us. As far as schools go, I think if I went to Duke I'd end up rooming with him. That would be really great for both of us I think."

Unlike his friend, Roper has yet to pick a school from his list, and maintains that Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Maryland, Oregon, South Carolina, and Tennessee are all "even" in his mind.

Still, Pridemore believes Roper may be leaning.

"I've been working on him and he's talking a lot about Duke and rooming together," said Pridemore in brief interview. "He's a guy who keeps to himself, so I think going to school with people he knows would be good for him."

On the season Roper and Pridemore have led Buford to a perfect 3-0 record with their biggest game of the season approaching on Friday against arch rival Central Gwinnett.

Roper will visit Louisville's campus next weekend and will look to schedule a Duke visit in the near future.

Meanwhile, teammate Pridemore has recovered from a mid-summer auto accident and has led the Wolves' rushing attack with nearly 120 yards per game on the ground.

"Right now I'm still rounding into shape. Once I get all the way back, I'll probably step in on the defensive side of the ball."

The Devils Den Top Stories