Blue Devils Closing In On Big Time LB?

With four linebackers already commmitted, many onlookers expected the Blue Devils to focus their recruiting attention on other positions. However, one South Carolina linebacker might just be too good to pass up.

Nearly two weeks ago the Duke coaching staff was on hand at Byrnes (S.C.) High School to visit standout linebacker Chad Diehl. During that meeting the coaches made a serious effort to secure a commitment from the 6-foot-2, 235 pound standout who is currently deciding between offers from Duke and Virginia Tech. And while there is still work to do, Diehl admits he can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I'm pretty close to making a commitment, but I want to take another visit," said Diehl in a Sunday night interview. "I will probably take an official visit and an unofficial visit to Duke and to my other offered schools."

Those visits are likely to be set up in the next week, which will put a deadline on other schools looking to make an offer.

"I'd say that some colleges that weren't sure before are coming to a decision [on offering a scholarship]. I am not sure if getting close, but I am talking with Wake Forest a lot more, they seem like they are going to make a decision soon. Clemson still says they are interested. I think that it is opening up the door a little bit the way we have been exposed."

Should the Duke coaching staff close the deal on this one, it would be the latest in a long line of Byrnes standouts finding their way to a career in Durham. Current Blue Devils Jomar Wright and John Talley also attended the South Carolina powerhouse.

Diehl didn't start his career at his current position. Instead he spent his first few years on the offensive line as a tackle, though he'll certainly line up as a linebacker in college, and probably a pretty good one. With his 6-foot-2, 235 pound frame, Diehl has been clocked running a 4.6 forty yard dash at the Duke one day camp this summer. And he's not only fast, he's strong -- boasting maxes of 340 pounds on the bench; 470 pounds on the squat; 315 pounds on the power clean; and 250 pounds on the seated press.

After watching Diehl perform at their camp, the Duke coaches wasted no time in extending an offer.

"I worked with Coach Sherrod a lot, and then Coach Roof took me up to his office and told me that they had already seen my tape and they were very impressed," Diehl told TDD. "He offered me a scholarship right there. It was really exciting because Duke is such a great place. The campus is just beautiful and I really liked all their coaches. It's a great environment as well and, of course, the academics speak for themselves."

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