Duke Recruiting Heavily In-State

Before head coach David Cutcliffe took over the program, local prospects in and around North Carolina seemed to regard the Blue Devil football program as an afterthought when it came to recruiting. Now, after his first full class is signed, it would appear as though Cutcliffe is determined to sell his program to in-state talent.

Of the 27 players who have signed with Duke this year, one third of them come from in-state high school programs including the class's top overall prize, Durham (N.C.) Hillside running back Desmond Scott. Building on this apparent trend, the Blue Devils have also mined their neighbor to the South, plucking and additional five players from South Carolina.

Of course and program in the Southeast will make a conscience effort to recruit heavily in traditional power states such as Florida and Georgia - which produced four players each in 2009. But for Duke to continue to grow the program, the coaching staff simply must continue to mine local talent.

"Putting an emphasis on the Carolinas helped Duke get in early with a lot of players," said Scout.com Carolina Scouting Director Miller Safrit. "With the season the coaches had in their first year, I think that the local players were able to pay more attention to what was accomplished compared to a player in, say Florida or Texas."

By way of comparison the class of 2008 featured just two North Carolina players and one from South Carolina. In 2007 Duke brought in three North Carolinians, one of whom has transferred. 2006 had no North Carolina natives entering the program, and the class of 2005, which now represents the current senior class featured just three local products. In short the class of 2009 featured more in-state prospects than the last four years...combined.

That local base theory appears to be continuing in the class of 2010 where the Blue Devils already have commitments from two North Carolina prospects - Matthews (N.C.) quarterback Anthony Boone and Lenoir (N.C.) Hibriten linebacker Darius Lipford. It's something that Safrit believes will prove crucial as Duke continues to improve.

"I think it is always a smart idea to create a base of your recruiting class from players locally who understand what your team is about, gets what the education means, and is willing to do what it takes to keep that scholarship."

Noteable Rankings:
Safrit, who oversees recruiting in North and South Carolina for Scout.com, was kind enough to provide his rankings for the class of 2009 and where each Blue Devils checks in.

North Carolina:
7. Desmond Scott
23. Ross Cockrell
33. Zach Greene
35. Corey Gattis
42. Justin Foxx
48. Perry Simmons
50. Kevin Rojas
56. August Campbell NR. Joey Finison

South Carolina:
22. Taylor Sowell
30. Walt Canty
42. Lex Butler
NR. Sydney Sarmiento
NR. John Coleman


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