Duke Hoping Scales Don't Tip With 'Shack

Just a few short weeks ago it seemed as though the Blue Devils were on the verge of picking up a commitment from one of Georgia's best outside linebackers. Now, with a visit to South Carolina on tap it seems as though the man who last coached Duke to a bowl game is about to swoop in and grab one of the top recruits on the board. Or is he? TDD spoke with this talented prospect this week to get an update.

"Right now I'm looking forward to taking my visit to South Carolina and comparing them to what I've seen at Duke and Vanderbilt," said Riverdale (Ga.) linebacker Vandaral Shackleford. "There have been rumors that I was committed to both schools at one time or another, but I haven't committed anywhere just yet."

Those rumors stemmed from interviews the three star prospect gave after visiting Duke in December when he said a commitment would be forthcoming and that he was not going to attend Vanderbilt.

"The coaches are great and the players were terrific. They took me in like a brother and that really made me feel like I was part of everything," said Shackleford of his visit to Durham. "Mike Brown was my host and I'm really glad that Coach Spencer picked him to host me. We talked about everything – football, life, everything. He was a great host and I feel really comfortable playing beside him for the next few years."

However before he could complete his commitment, he sat down with his football coach who advised against a commitment to Duke before checking out South Carolina. Since that time Shackleford has developed a strong relationship with the Gamecock coaching staff.

"I've gotten to know Coach Nix and he's a great guy. He's told me that they are losing some players and I'll have a chance to come in early and play. Plus the chance to play for Coach Spurrier is something you have to consider. From a football perspective it's a very good situation for me."

Over the past few weeks ‘Shack has been linked to several rumors that had him ending his process before the visit to Columbia, making the trip a formality.

"I haven't committed to South Carolina. I could commit if the visit goes well, but I'll probably come home and compare them to Duke. I should know something soon after the visit and then it'll be done."

This isn't just a football situation for Scout.com's No. 64 rated linebacker – something he's maintained for the entirety of his process.

"I'm interested to see how South Carolina stacks up on the academic side of things. My mom doesn't care if I play football in college. She wants me to get the best education I can possibly get – and that is clearly Duke. It's one of those things I have to weigh if an education at USC with good football is as good as a great education at Duke with football that is improving."

Vandaral checks in at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds with a 4.63 time in the forty yard dash. He is rated as a three star prospect by Scout.com

He has offers from Duke, South Carolina, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Miami of Ohio, and Wake Forest.


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