Defensive Superlatives: Class of 2007

Every year Duke fans want to know exactly what the Blue Devil coaching staff has brought in. After nearly a year of covering the recruiting class of 2007, TheDevilsDen.com offers our list of Signing Day Superlatives for the newest group of Blue Devils on the defensive side of the ball.

Best Defensive Prospect: Randez James
Listed with a 4.39 time in the forty yard dash, James is the latest Texan to earn a scholarship offer from Duke. A natural cornerback who developed a reputation as a big play threat both in the secondary and on kick off returns. Depending on the depth chart, James could challenge for a spot in the opening day two-deep roster. He chose Duke over offers from Arizona, Purdue, and Tulsa.

Honorable Mention: DE/LBs Adam Banks and Eriks Reks

Most Intriguing Offensive Talent: Tony Jackson
Making the switch from running back to corner will be challenging, especially when you're one of the best running backs in your school's history. Tony Jackson spent most of his senior year putting up numbers that you'd find from playing Madden on the easiest level. Still, the Blue Devils pitched and eventually sold the New York native on coming to Durham as the team's top defensive back commitment. Blessed with tremendous physical talents, the speed at which Jackson picks up the new position's responsibilities will be the ultimately factor on how quickly he finds his way onto the field at Wallace Wade on Saturdays.

Honorable Mention: OLB Justin Wilkerson

Biggest Defensive Recruiting Miss: Lorenzo Edwards (Florida)
Eventually this Floridan was named as a five star prospect and the nation's top overall weakside linebacker. The Blue Devils eventually made his final list of five schools, but were eliminated before the end of November. Had Duke been able to secure Edwards' commitment, the 6-foot-2, 225 pound backer would have become an immediate threat as a freshman starter at outside linebacker, not to mention challenging Vince Oghobaase as the program's biggest recruiting commitment.

Honorable Mention: DT Nick Wood (Washington)

Best Recruited Offensive Position: Linebacker
The overall recruit star rankings may not be there, but the four players Duke earned commitments from should all factor into the Blue Devil program in a big way. Both Adam Banks and Justin Wilkerson are big players who are legitamitely gifted runners - both in speed and agility. Middle linebacker Damian Thornton's film shows a player than can react and hit opponents who dare go across the middle of the field with reckless abandon. Meanwhile Eriks Reks has drawns favorable comparisons to a young Pat Bailey. The argument could be made for the cornerback position where Duke landed two of the top 50 prospects in the country, but the fact remains that the Blue Devils simply had to get a large number of linebackers in this class.

Honorable Mention: Cornerbacks

Most Likely To Play In 2007: Matt Pridemore
With the lack of depth in the Duke secondary, and having enrolled in January to begin off season conditioning, Pridemore is the best bet to find his way to the two-deep in 2007. An extremely gifted athlete, the Georgia native elected to wait until January of 2007 to enroll after suffering an injury during his senior season at Buford High School in the fall of 2005.

Honorable Mention: Randez James


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