Needham Is A Blue Devil

The drive to add to the offensive line continued Tuesday morning as John Needham committed to the Duke program. The big Northeast prospect picked the Blue Devils early Monday morning after making rounds at various camps.

The Blue Devils have landed their second offensive lineman in as many days as Melrose (Mass.) High lineman John Needham committed to Duke late Monday night.

Recruited by assistant coach Jerry Azzinaro, Needham becomes the seventh commitment from the class of 2007, and eight overall (Matt Pridemore).

Needham chose Duke over an offer from UMass, and interest from Boston College.

"I've also got offers from most of the Ivy League, but when you look at it – Duke is basically an Ivy League education," Needham told TDD earlier this summer. "But you're playing in the ACC. That means you're getting one of the top five educations in the country and you're playing the nation's best competition with the Miami's, Florida States, and those kinds of schools. It really gives Duke the whole package as far as school and football. A degree from Duke pretty much guarantees you a good job after college and after football."

The 6-foot-6, 312 pound Needham visited Duke earlier this summer, and came away impressed with the direction of the Blue Devil program.

"With Duke you have to look at their roster before you pass judgment. They have a lot of young players on the roster. When you look who is playing it's a lot of their redshirt freshmen, sophomores, and even true freshmen. That's something that would be awesome – to go in anywhere and have a chance to start and play early in my career."

While Needham has been a force throughout much of his high school career, he is aware that wherever he ends up – he'll need to continue to work hard to become a more complete player.

"In high school when you're 6'7 and over 300 pounds, you are going to be a lot stronger than most of your opponents. Even so, I make myself concentrate and practice on my footwork and technique every change I get. I consider myself a leader on the field – I'm always working on always being in control and aware of what my team needs. I have to put in the time on the basics and set an example."

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