Tavarez, rated as a two star safety prospect by Scout.com spent the summer in New Zealand filming a movie for Disney, and thus missed a lot of summer camps. However, Duke had established a relationship a while ago and that was the difference.
"They were the first staff to reach out to me. The first staff to really show me how much they wanted me. The first to offer. In the end they were first with everything and that was big."
Recruited as a safety, Tavarez chose Duke over offers from Kentucky, Maryland, Tulane, and the Ivy League schools. And he made his choice right before his future coaches headed over to practice.
"I called Coach Middleton and asked if I could get in touch with Coach Cutcliffe. When he got on the phone I told him I woke up this morning with two blue horns coming in and that I was sure I wanted to commit and be a Blue Devil. They were both extremely excited and said it was a great way to start practice."
When he arrives on campus he'll be in an immediate positional battle for playing time as he looks to move up the depth chart. It is that kind of competition that will - likely - be the difference for the program.
"Duke is up and coming on the football side of things and when you pair that with the academics it's hard to beat. We're going to build the program and in two or three years we'll be at the top of the league."