Big Delaware Lineman Likes Duke

When he took over at Duke, head coach David Cutcliffe said the Blue Devils were going to recruit the best players possible. That approach is being illustrated with Duke's pursuit of Dover (Del.) High stand out Trip Thurman.

With nearly 25 written scholarship offers from schools of all different sizes, strengths, and locations, Dover (Del.) High's Trip Thurman is certainly not lacking for options. And, at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds with a 5.2 forty time, it's easy to see why.

"I think my size, strength, and foot speed coupled with my desire to be better at everything are my best attributes," said Thurman. "Every time I work out my goal is to get bigger, faster, and stronger."

Such a work ethic is the kind of thing high major coaches like to hear from a player with those kinds of physical gifts. It's certainly appealed to the Blue Devil coaching staff who has been in contact from the beginning and remain so.

"I have met Coach Cutcliffe and the entire coaching staff at Duke. Coach Roper has been in contact a lot as well. I have been to Duke three times including a game last year, a spring practice, and the Duke/UNC basketball game. I talk with Coach Roper and Luke often. I have been impressed by the entire staff - it is one of the best in the country. They seem to have the program on the rise and the campus there is just beautiful."

Some of the heavyweight opponents stepping into this recruiting battle include Florida, Clemson, Penn State, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Cincinnati. Each has enjoyed success in recent years and each has stressed that success. As for the Blue Devils, they aren't looking at the past, but are focusing on the recent developments with the program and packaging that with their other attractions.

"Now they have the coaching staff to turn the program around. They have guys with a lot of experience and are getting the job done the right way. Their overall pitch is that I can be a big part of a resurgence of a storied program while getting a great education."

So has Duke made the 'cut' of schools that will earn further consideration from Thurman?

"I haven't cut my list at the moment. I will sit down with my parents very soon and try and narrow my list. I have around 25 offers, all from great school. So I really have some hard decisions to make before getting to a top ten."

In addition to making those kinds of decisions, every high major recruit also has to deal with the modern recruiting process, something that Thurman admits is both a blessing and a burden.

"It has been exciting and tiring at the same time. I never thought I would receive this much attention. I really feel blessed, but this month has really been hectic with all the visits and evaluations."

However, when it does come time to cut the list down to a manageable ten, Thurman says he's going to measure each school based on the following criteria:

"I want to get a quality education - something that will be lasting. I want to look at the quality of the football program and my relationship with the coaching staff. And, I want to be able to come in and have a chance to compete for playing time and a chance to earn playing time."

Thurman is rated as a three star prospect by He is considered the nation's No. 51 defensive tackle, but is being recruited by an offensive tackle by several schools including Duke.

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