Duke's 2010-11 recruiting class was ranked the 72nd best class according to Rivals.com.
If you were to ask David Cutcliffe, he would say that ranking means nothing. I couldn't agree with the coach anymore.
No one expects Duke to land the top recruits that are ready to play tomorrow. Those guys go to USC, Notre Dame, Florida and the like.
Duke under Cutcliffe focuses on the kids who will be good players in a year or two and that is perfect for a school in their shoes.
Coach Cut put it best following National Signing day. He said rankings are based on the number of stars beside a player’s name. Duke did not sign a player with higher than a three star ranking.
Those stars come from expected potential assigned by scouts and how well they play in high school.
College football is not high school, and a scout isn't always right. So a player may be expected to be great but never truly pan out. While a player not highly regarded such as Aaron Curry from Wake Forest can turn into a potential first-round pick in the NFL draft.
Cutcliffe and his staff are targeting guys they have had in camps and who they know. They are targeting speed, and guys with frames that will support adding weight and muscle while maintaining that speed.
As with rival Jim Grobe at Wake Forest, Cutcliffe will try and redshirt as many players as he can to make them bigger, stronger and more adjusted to the speed of the college game.
Those player may not come in highly touted, but Cutcliffe and his staff will make them into good if not great football players.
For all intense and purposes this Duke program is a fledgling one but make no mistake they will be competitive and it starts with Cutcliffe's ability to recruit and develop players.
And for a program like Duke, its recruiting hall will be good enough.