Tampa Wharton WR Devontres Dukes is more than just another skill player from Florida. He’s a very good one but he also has strong ties to the state of North Carolina.
Whether he is more of a North Carolinian at heart is tough to say. If Dukes does decide to return back to North Carolina, NC State has given him that option.
He has not spent time on NC State’s campus as a visiting recruit but Dukes lived in Fayetteville until last year. He is from a military family and they often travel but in Dukes’ case he lived in North Carolina for almost a decade. That means he had roots firmly planted in the state.
“Growing up I enjoyed it a lot in North Carolina. I had a lot of friendships there. I kind of miss it. Florida does have its perks though especially being so close to the beach. I have some family in North Carolina but the majority of my family is here in Florida.”
That could be one reason Florida State is so interesting to Dukes. There are a lot more reasons for Dukes’ interest in Florida State but it seems that he has transitioned well to his new state. Dukes does not have an offer from the Seminoles and his biggest in state offer is from UCF but that requires an asterisk.
Dukes knows a lot about UCF and he visited before they offered. He and his dad had a good time at the school but the coaches have told him that they will only take three receivers from this recruiting class. They already have two so Dukes is not sure how legitimate his offer is now or how long it might last.
NC State’s offer seems to have no expiration date for now. The Wolfpack offered about two weeks ago and their interest is much newer. The coaches had been talking to Dukes for a while and after further evaluation, decided to extend an offer. Dukes is happy with how things happened and he likes the opportunity.
“They said once they all sat down and saw my film they all loved me and wanted for me to come up and be a part of what they’ve got going. Coach McDonald told me that a lot of guys he watched on film can’t really block at the receiver position so he was saying he wants that and longer guys to go up and get the ball. He thinks I can do that.
“Coach McDonald has been pretty laid back about everything and he’s up front. I can tell if I go there he won’t sugarcoat anything.”
Dukes can get up in the air and can catch the ball at his highest point but his size (6-3, 185) also helps in that. As a junior, Dukes had 472 yards on 35 grabs with three scores.
Playing in the ACC is not what Dukes is most interested in. He said NC State stands on its own merits and would even if the program was not in the ACC. He watched NC State handle UCF in the bowl game for both teams last year so that has given him a unique perspective on both schools although the outcome of one game will not shape his decision.
Dukes said he has not spent much time at any North Carolina school but his sister is enrolled at ECU and during her orientation he visited and saw some of the school there. Now a trip to NC State is in the works.