Connette Enjoyed Visit To Durham

Among the 26,000 plus packed into Wallace Wade on Saturday night was 2010 three star quarterback commitment Brandon Connette who was in from California. After returning home from the game, he spoke to TDD.

"My team didn't have a game so my dad and I went out to watch them play," said Brandon Connette. "It wasn't my official visit. That will happen in January most likely. It was just a chance for me to get out and see them on the field."

The 6-foot-2, 210 pound signal caller certainly picked an entertaining game to attend as Duke throttled NC Central and reversed some early season vibes after receiving similar treatment against Kansas the previous week. For Connette though, the program is moving along on schedule.

"Right now they are still building and growing everything. They don't have a lot of seniors, but there is a lot of talent in the younger classes. I know they had to pull a redshirt off Desmond Scott because of injuries. Coach Roper and I were talking about that. They wanted to keep it on, but they just couldn't with the injuries to guys like Boyette."

"Overall I think Coach Cutcliffe and his staff are doing a great job. They are recruiting great young athletes and a lot of talent overall. It just takes time at that level to get where you want to be."

Obviously the coached have talked about the desired destination with their future signal caller, and that destination is clear: post season eligibility. And while Connette knows the Blue Devils will have a number of talented quarterbacks on the roster when he arrives next summer, he's coming in looking to prove himself.

"Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Roper have told me they want me to get ready to compete every day. They want me to be as competitive as I can be. They don't want me coming in with the mindset that I'm just a true freshman and so I'm automatically a scout team guy. I know I'll be working with a lot of talented guys in Sean Renfree, Sean Schroeder, and Anthony Boone. It will make us all better. That kind of environment pushes everyone to get better because if you don't work hard, you could drop down the depth chart."

So, in order to be "as competitive as possible", what have the coaches told Connette he may need to improve before making the switch to Division I college football?

"They've told me to stay on top of my throwing mechanics and to stay in the pocket, but that's about it. Right now they aren't really focusing on things too much because when I get to school they will be able to start the process then. They know that every coach may prefer to do things a certain way, and they don't want to interfere there. I've got a great high school coach, but he may have his own preferences or twists, while Duke has their own "Duke Way" of doing things. Right now the Duke staff is just telling me to do the best I can for my high school."

So far Connette and his Corona (Ca.) Santiago High teammates are 1-2 on the season heading into league play this week.

"Obviously it's not the best start, but we are working to improve. We lost all five of our offensive linemen from last year when they averaged 6-foot-3 and around 300 pounds at each position. This year out line averages around 6' feed and 240 pounds, so it's been an adjustment. We run a spread offense, and we're lucky to have a great running back, Derrick Hawkins. Without him teams would load up on the blitz and come after us. But, we're working hard to improve and doing the best we can out there."

Heading back to his high school team and looking forward to his official visit, what will Connette remember about this trip to Durham?

"Being able to hang out with all the future teammates and potential teammates was great. Having a chance to talk to them all in the stands before and after the game really showed how excited everyone is about Duke Football. It's a family atmosphere, which is important. This is going to be our family for the next four or five years. To me it seems like a strong and energetic group, and that's exciting."

Connette is rated as the No. 59 quarterback prospect in the country and a three star player by Scout.com. He chose Duke over an offer from Stanford and interest from South Carolina, UCLA, Washington, and Boise State.

As a 2008 junior he passed for 1,460 yards and 14 touchdowns and ran for 861 yards and 10 touchdowns.


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