GA OL On Top Of The Board

By now it's crystal clear that the Blue Devils are going to concentrate heavily on the offensive line when it comes to recruiting in the class of 2007. For the second straight season Duke will be looking for not only long term options, but prospects who can step in and crack the two-deep immediately. One such prospect is Duluth (Ga.) standout Andrew Higgins.

"I haven't received any formal written offers yet, but I am hearing from a lot of schools on a daily basis," says Duluth High's high major offensive tackle, Andrew Higgins. "I can't remember all the schools, but off the top of my head it's Auburn, Virginia Tech, Duke, Stanford, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan State, Louisville, Navy, Air Force, Mississippi State, Central Florida, Southern Miss, and Vanderbilt. There are a few more, but I can't remember them."

With such a long list of interested suitors, Higgins has already begun to whittle his list down to a more manageable group.

"I guess you could say my top five are Duke, Virginia Tech, Stanford, North Carolina, and Vanderbilt. I'm open to everyone, but those are my top choices at this point."

A diverse grouping to be sure, and Andrew has a distinct impression of each program.

"I attended a practice at North Carolina and it was really impressive. I liked the coaches and the up tempo attitude they use on the field. It was a very aggressive and hard practice. It was the same kind of thing at Virginia Tech. The atmosphere on the practice field and around the team was infectious."

"I haven't had a chance to visit Stanford yet, but I know the academics are top notch and they are recruiting me hard."

"The smarter schools, like Duke, Stanford, and Vanderbilt offer me top of the line academics and a chance to really help build a quality product on the field. On the flip side schools like Virginia Tech and North Carolina have good program prestige, so it's pretty much two different approaches with those two groups."

During his spring visits, Higgins also had a chance to visit Durham to meet the coaching staff, tour the campus, and see the inner workings of the effort to turn Duke football around. The time it took was well spent according to Andrew.

"The campus is just beautiful at Duke and I already know that a degree from there will set me up for life no matter what happens with football. Right now I hear the most from Coach Spencer. He's been very straight forward with me about everything, and I really like that about him. We text message all the time."

And what is Spencer being "straight forward" with him on?

"He's told me that Duke is planning on bringing in four or five offensive linemen in this class including three who can play either guard or center for them. That's how they see me. He's also told me what kind of player they are looking for, and it seems like I am it. They like how tenacious I am on the field and have told me that I have good footwork and technique. Coming from them it means a lot, because I've been to their practices and I know these guys know what they are talking about."

It's not surprising that the Blue Devil staff is working hard on Higgins so early. At 6-foot-3 and 284 pounds, he's been clocked in with a 5.2 in the forty yard dash, but it's the weight room numbers that likely have the Duke staff interested.

"On the bench press I can do 33 reps of 185 pounds and 22 reps of 225 pounds. My one rep max is 345 pounds. I'm still working hard to improve those numbers though."

Higgins says he will camp with four or five schools this summer, but has yet to set his schedule.

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