Blue Devils Working For TN Athlete

Big time athletes with elite speed and game changing ability. If a coaching staff can fill their roster with such players the odds of success are increased tremendously. With that strategy in mind the Blue Devils are in hot pursuit of one of the Volunteer state's top overall athletes.

"Right now I have offers from Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Duke, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Ole Miss, Stanford, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and a few others" says Henry County (Tenn.) High athlete Marsalis Teague. "I haven't really started moving forward with the recruiting process in terms of naming a final list or anything, but that's coming."

With such an impressive list of potential schools, the 5-foot-10, 170lbs Teague is certainly not hurting for options. Even though he's spent the last two years playing quarterback for Henry County, he projects as either a receiver or defensive back for most of the schools on his list, which is just fine with him.

"I really don't have a preference in terms of where a team wants me to play. I can play any of the skill positions and I can also be a shut-down defender. Really, the football side of things is important, but not as important as academics."

That approach to the recruiting process has given a green light to programs such as Duke, Vanderbilt, and Stanford - schools who are trying to build solid programs on top of great academics.

"With schools like that you get a chance to go in and get everything you need to set you up for life. People say that you can't go to the NFL from a program like those, but that's not true. Look at the NFL Draft this year. You had one of the top defensive backs playing at a Division II school. That's not uncommon. If you can play, and are good enough to make it, you can get to the NFL a lot of ways. So I look at it as I could also have a chance to go somewhere that's going to develop me for professional football and then for the rest of my life - especially after football."

So, does that mean the academic aspect of his decision carries the most weight? And does Teague have a checklist he's working from when making the gradual decisions on the recruiting trail?

"Academics are definitely my top priority because they are supposed to be. I've got a 4.0 grade point average and I take pride in that. After that I want to play somewhere that will have a chance to win. Not to just say they are going to win, but they actually are doing what it takes. I'm also going to look at where I can go in and hopefully play early on."

Enter the Blue Devils, who offered Teague long ago, and who continue to work hard on him.

"With Duke you have great academics, but a program that hasn't been very good. However, they have really committed to correcting that. They have a great new coaching staff that has experience at the highest levels of the game. They really have the heart and are putting in the time to win. They've told me I can be the missing piece to what they are trying to do there. I'm going to see how they changes work there."

As far as a timeframe for a decision goes, Teague says he's not looking to make any major steps until early December.

"Right now I want to listen to everyone and see how the season plays out at different places. Then I want to take some visits. I know a lot about these teams, but I want to put faces with names. I am going to focus on those programs who have really showed me they are interested in me coming in and being a part of them. I'll see how I fit in with the program and in the classroom."

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