Blue Devils Hosting Four This Weekend

The business of recruiting will continue in a big way this weekend in Durham. Find out which players will be on campus and their current status inside.

The business of recruiting will continue in a big way this weekend in Durham. Find out which players will be on campus and their current status inside. Duke will host four players this weekend for official visits including two commitments - though just one has verbally pledged for the Blue Devils. With the class of 2010 filling up and no more than two spots remaining, the focus appears to be on shoring up the trenches since all four prospects are linemen of some variety.

Heading the list is Duke bound defensive tackle Jamal Bruce who committed to the Blue Devils in mid-December in a phone call with his recruiting coach, Ron Middleton.

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 bring some good things to the program."

Another defensive tackle making the trip is very familiar with the Duke program - having visited multiple times over the last year. However, Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson standout Tra Thomas verbally committed to Clemson on December 15th. However, after the Tigers also took four star post grad prospect Josh Watson at the same position, Thomas' verbal has been classified as "soft", which has led to the official visit to Durham this weekend.

The third prospect scheduled to arrive is Riverside (Calif.) North High lineman Lamar Bratton. The 6'2, 270 pounder has spent most of his career as an interior offensive lineman. However, as a senior Bratton began playing on both sides of the ball and did well as a defensive tackle. Bratton is on the record with comments that sound extremely positive should the Blue Devils decide to extend an offer.

"With Duke there are so many great opportunities. I know they need big guys and they are really turning things around. Plus the chance to get an education like that would be really hard to pass up. If I get an offer, it may be hard to turn it down."

Bratton has offers from Nevada, New Mexico, and some smaller schools in-state.

Another player with ties to the New Mexico program is Slidell (La.) offensive guard Alex Hill who has a verbal commitment to the Lobos, but is still considering the Blue Devil - and who will also be on campus this weekend. At 6-foot-4, and 315 pounds, Hill was a three year starter for Slidell playing as both an offensive guard and center. A relatively late bloomer on the recruiting trail, Hill was named as his team's most improved offensive player as a junior. With such big frame, he reports the ability to bench 360-pounds, squat 500 and has a 24-inch vertical jump.

When asked what he does well as an offensive lineman, the big prospect is more than forthcoming:

"I'm quick for my size and I can get to the secondary. I can finish pretty well, but that's what I've been working on the most. I just want to destroy the lineman and my finishing is getting better."

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