Weekend Recruiting Visit Roster

With the 2006 football season in the books, the Duke coaching staff is now turning its full attention to the task of adding more talent to the Blue Devils' roster. TDD runs down the roster from the first week of official visits.

This weekend the Duke coaching staff will host 10 high school standouts on campus in the first major recruiting weekend of the year. Seven of those in attendance have already committed to head coach Ted Roof's program, while three more top the recruiting wish list at their respective positions.

While on campus the players will attend the Duke - Georgetown basketball game on Saturday night at 7:00 PM EST. Before that they will tour the campus and meet with academic advisors, department heads, positional coaches, and the Duke training staff before moving forward to one on one meetings with Coach Roof.

Mike Cappetto - Committed
Quarterback 6'5, 210, 4.7,
After committing to the Blue Devils over the summer, Cappetto led Brother Rice (Mich.) on a quest to win a second consecutive state championship. Unfortunately they fell short, losing to De La Salle in the state quarterfinals 18-7. As a three year starter, Cappetto led his team to a 33-4 overall record. Cappetto earned his Duke offer after an impressive showing at the Duke one day camp in June. He is ranked as the nation's #84 quarterback. Cappetto was recruited by both Bill O'Brien and John Strollo.

Charlie Hatcher - Prospect
Defensive Tackle/End 6'3, 260, 4.8,
Hatcher visited Duke for the rivalry game against North Carolina and came away impressed. Since then he has scheduled to return this weekend with eyes on a possible commitment. "I would like to have a decision in the next two or three weeks," he began. "I am waiting to hear from Coach Dantonio at Michigan State about an offer. If they do not offer then I will go ahead and make a commitment to Duke." As a junior, Hatcher racked up 62 tackles and nine sacks earning All-Southern Ohio honors for his efforts. Hatcher is ranked as the nation's #69 defensive end and a three star prospect. His recruiting coach is John Strollo.

Danny Parker - Committed
Tight End 6'5, 225, 4.6,
Parker committed to the Blue Devils on September 19th. The three star tight end prospect was recruited by offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and projects as a pass catching tight end for Duke. He chose Duke over offers from Miami (Ohio), South Carolina, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Virginia. Parker is rated as the #44 TE in the nation according to Scout.com. Parker began his high school career on the hardwood before the recruiting efforts of the football coaching staff won out. "They (football staff) just saw me working out one day and asked me to try out for football. Once I got on the field it just felt like something I could do well. So I got in the weight room and started to add weight as quickly as I could." Parker quickly put on close to 20 pounds to reach 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds while elevating his weight room max out numbers to 315 pounds on the bench press; 475 pounds on the squat; and 245 pounds on the power clean. Despite the added weight he can still rise up, with a 33" vertical jump.

Chris Shannon - Prospect
Offensive Lineman 6'6, 300, 5.2,
Shannon has been on the Duke recruiting wishlist for many months now. He was identified at the beginning of the spring and has been recruited by assistant coach Jerry Azzinaro ever since that time. He holds offers from both Maryland and Duke, but is being monitored by schools such as Michigan, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Penn State, Stanford and Virginia, all of whom are deciding on scholarship offers after reviewing senior film. Not only can Shannon play equally well as either an offensive tackle or guard...he has also proven to be an effective long snapper.

Tony Jackson - Committed
Runningback 5'11, 180, 4.6,
As one of the top offensive threats in New York State, Tony Jackson earned a lot of press this fall as he torched defenses for more than 150 yards per game as a senior. Jackson projects as a defensive back for the Blue Devils. He was recruited by Jerry Azzinaro. "Duke initially offered me as an athlete," said Jackson. "But I got a letter that said if I were to select Duke and come in as a defensive back, then I will be the only defensive back that they bring in this year. That was really impressive to me."

Damian Thornton - Committed
Linebacker 6'3, 235, 4.8,
Thornton was the most physically impressive linebacker to show up at the Duke one day camp over the summer. With a chisled frame and big time showing in the weight room exercises, the in-state backer quickly picked up and offer from Duke and ultimately accepted in late July. Recruited by Coach Brad Sherrod and considered the #50 overall prospect in the state of North Carolina by Scout, Thornton made over 100 tackles in 2005, despite missing two games due to a concussion. He made 217 tackles in 12 games as a senior.

Adam Banks - Committed
Linebacker 6'5, 225, 4.5,
Banks is one of the fastest linebackers in the state, clocking in with a consistent 4.5 forty time at many camps and combines. Banks, who had picked up an additional offer from Furhman, had been waiting on offer decisions from NC State, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. However as the recruiting process wore on, it became apparent that the decision was easier than expected. "Wake Forest's staff had just gotten back from vacation and were meeting this week. The same was true of NC State. In the end we sat down and asked Adam where he wanted to go to school if he had a choice," said Adam's father Sam. "Duke was the answer." Banks, who was recruited by coach Brad Sherrod, collected 101 tackles including 15 for a loss earning All-Conference, and All-Western North Carolina honors as a junior. As a senior he earned more of the same honors while compliling 153 total tackles, including 27 tackles for a loss through 12 AC Reynolds games. He also recovered 4 fumbles.

John Needham - Committed
Offensive Lineman 6'7, 310, 5.6,
Recruited by assistant coach Jerry Azzinaro, Needham became the seventh commitment in the class of 2007 on July 18th. Needham is considered the #10 overall prospect in the Northeast region of the United States by Scout.com. He chose Duke over an offer from UMass, and interest from Boston College. It was no coincidence that he offered his pledge shortly after visiting Durham either. "With Duke you have to look at their roster before you pass judgment. They have a lot of young players on the roster," Needham told TDD. "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."

Justin Wilkerson - Committed
Linebacker 6'4, 225, 4.6,
Wilkerson measured out at just over 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds at last year's Shrine Bowl combine while running a 4.64 forty time at the event. Since that time he has added another inch and 15 pounds to his frame. Recruited by Bill O'Brien, Wilkerson projects as an outside linebacker for the Blue Devils, who are in need of speed at the position in a big way. Though his high school program is by no means a power in NC High School football, Wilkerson is considered one of the better sleeper prospects in the state according to Scout.com's Miller Safrit.

Randez James - Prospect
Cornerback 5'10, 180, 4.40,
James, who is being recruited by assistant coach Scott Brown, is one of the fastest prospects on the board in the class of 2007. The San Antonio area prospect has a self reported 40 time of 4.40 and is considering offers from Arizona, Tulsa, and Duke. James could project as a safety at the collegiate level. Unlike the other nine prospects, James will arrive on campus on Thursday afternoon and will leave earlier than the others.

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