"They Made Me Feel Like They Need Me"

That the Blue Devils needed to add players along the defensive line was no secret. So the Duke coaching staff went down to Georgia and closed the deal with a lineman who has been on the radar since September in the form of 6-foot-2, 260lbs Jamal Bruce.

"Duke really made me feel like they needed me," said Jamal Bruce. "I've been talking to Coach Middleton since around September. He told me that their depth was low and they wanted to bring in defensive linemen quickly."

So, on Monday night Bruce decided to grant Middleton's wish by offering a verbal commitment over offers from Troy, Air Force, Middle Tennessee State, and UT-Chattanooga. He was also receiving interest from Clemson. The choice of the Blue Devils came down to a best opportunity situation for the Georgia product, and there's going to be more information gathering to come over the next month.

"I haven't visited Duke yet, but I will be on January 15th. Honestly it was just a situation where the education was hard to pass up. And their coaching staff has been great. I am really looking forward to getting there."

As a senior Bruce led his team to a 10-3 record while playing his first full season as a defensive tackle. Previously he had played defensive end, tight end, and a little on the interior of the defensive line. Such experiences, he believes, will prepare him for the next level.

"[The experience of playing different positions] makes me feel like I can go in and play anywhere. At Duke I'm going to be playing D-tackle, and I think I'll bring them some good things. I always give 100 percent effort, and have good technique and can close on the ball. The one thing I need to work on is keeping my pads low."

Bruce, the 17th commitment for the Blue Devils, is rated as the nation's No.98 defensive tackle prospect by Scout.com

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