Duke Football Recruiting: Breaking Down Devils Sign Day Haul

Mike KlineAnalyst IMarch 23, 2017

David Cutcliffe finalized his second full recruiting class on Wednesday and while there are no signature names signing on the dotted line, it appears to be a solid haul.

Duke, while they are steadily improving under Cutcliffe's tutelage, still has a ways to go before they can compete with top-tier teams.

The Blue Devils will welcome in at least 20 recruits next season. Seven of those recruits are lineman, a much needed resource for Duke.

So how does this recruiting class stack up? Rivals.com ranks this class as No. 72, a drop off from last year's No. 51 ranking.

That is due large in part to the fact that Duke didn't secure the commitment of any five or four-star recruits.

While the drop in ranking and the failure to secure an elite prospect may be a cause for disappointment for some fans, this class and Cutcliffe's commitment to stay at Duke should pay long term dividends.

Best Pick up

The 2010 recruiting class is anchored by Laken Tomlinson a 6'4", 285 pound offensive lineman from Chicago.

Tomlinson, a three-star recruit, is ranked No. 29 at his position according to rivals. While he probably will redshirt next season, Tomlinson could be a future starter up front for the Blue Devils.

Biggest Disappointment

Duke did not sign any five or four-star recruits this time around. The Blue Devils had their eyes on highly sought after offensive lineman Matt James from Ohio.

James, however, signed with Notre Dame on Wednesday.

It would have been nice for the Blue Devils to have gotten a commitment from a player with the caliber of James but all is not lost in Durham.

Local Connection

Cutcliffe, unlike his two predecessors, has made a point out of establishing recruiting roots in North Carolina.

Although North Carolina isn't the hotbed of recruiting that California, Texas, or Florida are, it has its fair share of quality players.

Cutcliffe is committed to helping get Duke's foot in the door on a local level. The Blue Devils are doing just that, having netted nine North Carolina prospects.

Those include Takoby Cofield, the No. 40 rated offensive lineman, and Joshua Sneed, the No. 65 rated athlete.

Cutcliffe understands that in order to establish Duke as a viable program he has to get the local talent and that is just what he is beginning to do.

Go Golden Coach Cut

Duke secured the commitment of two California prospects; quarterback Brandon Connette and wide receiver Cooper Helfet.

Previous coaches Ted Roof and Carl Franks had little success recruiting from the Golden State. If Cutcliffe can establish a pipeline to California, Duke football will be all the better for it.

Big Picture

The bottom line is that this recruiting hall may be less than a dead bug on the window of the big programs but it is showing that Duke is getting in the game.

With Cutcliffe's assurance that he is committed to Duke for the foreseeable future it is likely that more big time recruits will be drawn to Durham. Many of them are likely to be offensive players, especially quarterbacks.

As long as the Blue Devils continue to improve and are able to redshirt players who aren't ready to contribute right away, this program is capable of competing in the ACC.