Year Three Report Card: Offense

The class of 2007 represents the third full recruiting haul for Duke head coach and his staff. The first class (2005) had the star power, while the second class was probably the best overall group to be recruited. So how does the offensive class of 2007 fit in? Perfectly.

Many Blue Devil fans have heard the level of recruiting has certainly picked up for Duke in the last three classes, but a true understanding of this change is best illustrated with a depth chat composed only of players that were recruited by Roof's staff - which would mean the class of 2005-2007.

TheDevilsDen.com has compiled that list and linked it below:

Duke Recruiting Under Ted Roof

While it's clear that recruiting rankings are only a part of the equation in determining if a group of players will ultimately be successful at the collegiate level, the rating system employed by Scout.com is certainly a good reference point for making such an evaluation.

Over the past three seasons the Blue Devils have recruited at least one player to every position on the field - with several positions of need being filled by highly rated recruits.

The offensive side of the ball has long been a concern of the program, with Duke simply unable to score enough points to make themselves competitive with the majority of opponents. That should begin to change if the recruiting rankings hold true for the last three seasons.

At the quarterback position Duke will begin 2007 with three players on schoalarship led by sophomore starter Thaddeus Lewis, and back-up Zack Asack. Both players have a year of starting experience under their belts, and both were considered three star players by Scout. Asack was rated as the nation's number 35 signal caller in the class of 2005, while Lewis was considered the No. 45 quarterback in 2006. Likely redshirting with be this season's addition, Mike Cappetto - a two star prospect that is rated as the nation's #86 quarterback. Duke added another highly rated signal caller, Gene Delle Donne, in the class of 2005, but he transfered after redshirting.

Sharing the backfield will be another strong point for the Roof recruiting years as both Clifford Harris and Re-quan Boyette were rated as 3 star backs with Harris considered the No. 37 overall RB in his class. They are joined by four star fullback Brandon King - giving Roof's recruited backfield a final tally of three players - all of whom were highly coveted.

The final skill positions have also gotten a huge lift over the past three seasons with Duke not only securing highly rated players such as Marcus Jones and 2007's Josh Tresvant, but also those players who may have been mis-evaluated by the experts based on their onfield performance. Players such as Eron Riley and Raphael Chestnutt were rated as just two star players, but have out-performed those ratings since arriving in Durham. Last year's redshirt class of Sheldon Bell and Jeremy Ringfield has also drawn rave reviews.

SImilarly, the tight end position has also enjoyed an influx of talent with the addition of three star players Brett Huffman and Danny Parker, along with the nation's No. 68 overall TE in 2006, William Ball. In 2007, the Blue Devils will add former prep schooler Garrett Utt to the roster after the former quarterback turned tight end spent a season at Hargrave Military Academy in 2006.

Perhaps the biggest additions (literally) to the Duke program over the last three classes has been the relative quality of offensive linemen recruited to Durham under Roof. Before 2005, Duke had failed to secure the commitment of any lineman rated in the top 140 positional rankings in their class nationally - and nothing higher than a two star prospect. Since that time, however, Duke has landed six three star prospects including the highest rated lineman the program has landed in the age of online ratings - offensive tackle Kyle Hill - who is considered the nation's No. 47 best player at that position.

The interior line benefitted from a pair of three star additions at the center position where Marcus Lind (considered the nation's No. 60 overall OL in 2006) and 2007's Bryan Morgan (No. 21 overall center) will serve as understudies to starting senior Matt Rumsey. Meanwhile the guard position has been anchored with several huge players (320 plus pounds) and is highlighted by three star lineman Rob Drum who joins two star linemates Mitch Lederman and Ben Loebner.

When looking at the potential for Duke in the coming seasons, the Blue Devils will have the ability to start an entire line up on the offensive side of the ball that was rated as three star players coming out of high school beginning in 2008.

And while "star" ratings by national recruiting analysts are not always a great predictor of future success, it's certainly safe to say the future is looking bright in Durham.


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