Devils Still Lead For Georgia DE Prospect

Independence Day isn't the only potential cause for fireworks around the Blue Devil football program this year. After securing several commitments in the last two weeks, one of the top overall players on Duke's recruiting wishlist appears to be very close to adding his name to the list.

"It's getting to the point of making it happen," said Tyrone-Sandy Creek, (Ga.) defensive end Brandon Putnam of a possible commitment to the Blue Devils. "Right now there are a few things I need to sort out though, so I'm still going through all the positives and negatives of every school."

Some of those other programs include Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Memphis, and Arkansas. All of which have offered. However, no matter what the other programs bring to the table, Putnam still considers Duke the leader of the recruiting pack.

"It's just that you can't beat the combination of academics and football. You have one of the best schools in the country and you have Coach Cutcliffe who isn't promising me that we'd be successful, he's guaranteeing it. I believe him, and I've developed a personal relationship with him that's playing a big factor in my recruitment."

But Putnam's respect and admiration for the new Blue Devil head coach also comes with a price. In short, he's very concerned that while Cutcliffe has the ability to turn the ACC's perpetual bottom dwelling program into a competitive group that could fight for a post season bid, the cost of such improvement would strip Duke of it's prized head coach.

"These days coaches change schools a lot. With Duke you have a situation where if the coaches turn them into a winner, you are going to have everyone in the country looking to offer the coaches a job. As a player, you want to know that no matter what, your coaches will be there for your entire career. That's something I want to talk to them about and get some clarification on."

Provided that concern can be alleviated, it appears as though the Blue Devils are in the home stretch to land the landed Georgia prospect in the next month or so.

"I'm going to have the [recruiting process] behind me before I start my season for sure. We start practice at the end of the month, so I guess that's my limit."

As a junior, Putnam helped Sandy Creek to the second round of the playoffs. From the defensive end position he totaled 62 tackles (nine for a loss), five sacks, three pass deflections, and one fumble recovery.

At the combine in Atlanta, Ga. he measured out at 6'3 and 231 pounds. He has a personal best forty time of 4.7 seconds and has a 25 inch vertical jump.

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