Wake Forest-Rolesville (NC) High School benefited greatly last season from the presence of Evan Duke at defensive end.
Duke's 42 tackles as a junior aren't likely to raise any eyebrows but his 18 sacks made him one of the most productive defensive players in the state. At 6-4 and 217-pounds, Duke will need to continue to get bigger if he is to remain on the defensive line in college. He has the speed to present match up problems for offensive tackles, though, and has registered a 40-yard dash time of 4.55 seconds.
He's still waiting for that coveted first verbal offer to come in. If it comes, it might come from NC State. The Pack has shown a lot of interest thus far, but Duke will need to prove himself this summer.
"I was at the (NC State) spring game," Duke told Pack Pride recently. "It went pretty well. It looks like they've gotten better on defense from last year. I thought it went okay."
Duke said he had a chance to talk to assistant coach Keith Willis at the game.
"We just talked about how I've been doing and what was going on with spring practice," Duke said. "They said they want me to go to camp and depending on how I do there they might offer."
If the Pack offers they will probably be very high on Duke's list, though not necessarily number one. He's trying to keep an open mind.
"They're fairly high on my list but I'm just going to decide at the end of the season," Duke concluded.
Duke has visited Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, Maryland and Duke besides NC State, so he's had a lot to compare each school to. It's too early for him to start to talk about favorites, though if offers start to roll in during the summer it may be tempting to start to narrow things a bit.
NC State seems to be recruiting Duke as a defensive end. When he was in Tuscaloosa the Alabama coaches told him they envision him as more of a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid.
What will be the biggest factors in his decision?
"I'm looking for how well I get along with the coaches," Duke explained. "That and just the history and tradition of the school. Location doesn't matter. So long as its within four hours or something like that. I don't want it to be too close or too far (from home)."