Dawkins Eyeing Big Recruiting Weekend

With so many recruiting happenings scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, many Blue Devil fans may have forgotten that Coach K and company already have one player signed on in 2010. With two of his potential classmates visiting Durham next weekend, Virginia scoring guard Andre Dawkins couldn't resist making the trip as well.

"I'm going to be down at Duke on the 13th with Mason [Plumlee], Tyler [Thornton], and Josh [Hairston]," said Andre Dawkins. "I'll probably also be going to the Blue-White game and a few home games depending on my schedule."

With two potential and two committed future players on campus, Dawkins says he's going to be linking up with Plumlee (who will be taking his official visit) to make it a trio of future Blue Devils in 2010.

"I know Josh and Tyler and I've been working on them with the recruiting process. I talk to them to see which way they are leaning and how close a decision may be. I don't try to pressure them - just kind of let them know that we'd love to have them at Duke. The class we are building in 2010 is going to be one of the top ones the staff has had according to Coach K. He thinks it'll be really special with the talent they are going to bring in. That's saying a lot when you look at the kind of players they've had over the years."

As the first commitment from the current crop of rising juniors, Dawkins says he's experienced the highs and lows of being part of the Blue Devil family starting in high school and moving into the summer.

"If you have a bad game you hear it. People talk about you going to the ACC where every team has a few players who can play at the next level. This summer I played with the older team in my AAU program and didn't play a lot, but playing up made me a better player. Still, I heard people saying I didn't deserve a shot to play at Duke, but that just makes me work harder. Coach [Krzyzewski] tells me to hear everything and let it motivate me."

The relationship between Dawkins and Krzyzewski was cemented after the five star prospect committed in late June and continues to be the cornerstone of his decision to end his recruiting process so early.

"When I was growing up I really loved watching Duke play. In seventh grade my dad asked me where I would like to play in college and I told him Duke. He just looked at me like I was crazy. He supported me, but that was a really high goal and we knew I had to keep working hard. When I took a visit down there this summer I loved it. I loved Cameron and the new practice facility was like nothing I'd ever seen. But the real thing was the way I got along with the coaches. Coach K is very sincere and he loves his players. He loves making kids better players and better people. When we were driving home I told my parents I knew it was Duke."

Shortly after getting the news that Dawkins was joining the program, Krzyzewski and his staff headed to Las Vegas and then China to start their Gold Medal quest. After several weeks of watching Team USA, Dawkins got an inside look at the team from Coach K.

"He called from the team breakfast before the Gold Medal game. You could tell he was really excited and all the players seemed to be pretty excited as well. It was really cool seeing my future coach on TV getting 12 NBA players to play as a cohesive unit and to play defense on the biggest stage possible. Not many people can say they are going to play for someone like that."

But before he moves on to play for Krzyzewski, the nation's sixth best shooting guard prospect in the class of 2010 says his future coach has some instructions for him.

"He told me to go out and focus on my high school seasons. That's the team I play for right now and he wants me to do the best I can for them. I want to get two state titles before I leave - in high school that's the prize you play for and last year we lost a tough one in the Final Four. This year we think we can do better. I think if I can play my game and continue to give a full effort every time out I can be successful and it'll silence the critics."

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