Checking In With Brendan Downs

When he committed in March, Duke fans knew they had a big time prospect in the form of Tennessee High School standout TE Brendan Downs. Since that time he's gone on to pick up several high major offers, but remains solid to head Coach Cutcliffe's program.

"The main reasons I chose to commit to Duke were the academics, the coaching staff, and the location," said Brendan Downs. "Duke is only three and a half hours away from home and the coaching staff is committed to building a winning program. All of them are dedicated and enthusiastic. They are genuinely interested in developing their players on and off the field."

Those impressions were formed after several interactions and visits to Durham by Downs. Three visits to be exact.

"I visited once in February, once in March, and again in April. On the first visit, I was given a tour of the football facilities and the campus and went to the basketball game vs. Maryland. I also got to meet the entire coaching staff and the academic advisors. On the second visit, I was actually scheduled to visit another school, but I got a call early in the week from Duke, asking if I wanted to come to the Duke basketball game against UNC. I am a basketball player, so that was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. When I got there, I met with Coach Cutcliffe again and it felt right to commit, so I did."

"On the third visit, I went to the Spring Game. Before the game, I met with Coach Cutcliffe again. On each of my visits, Coach Cutcliffe shared with me his vision for Duke football. He's assembled a great coaching staff and is continuing to build a great program."

The idea of building has been a key pitch to several top recruits after the Blue Devil administration made an affirmative commitment to changing the program's recent fortunes. It was addressed with Downs in detail and he now counts himself as a believer.

"Duke has improved since they hired the new coaching staff. They have explained that they are continuing to build the program. Coach Cutcliffe showed me the plans to improve and expand the football facilities. I am really looking forward to being a part of an improving program."

As has been a common occurrence with many recruits in the class of 2011, the Blue Devils were the first to extend a scholarship offer to Downs - something the three star player took notice of.

"I realized how real the recruiting process was when Duke offered me a scholarship. That was a defining moment."

And what kind of player will be suiting for in Durham during the fall of 2011?

"My best attributes are my speed, my quick hands, and my combination of size and strength. I'm also a smart player.

Downs is rated as a three star player and the nation's No. 36 tight end prospect according to

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