Duke Football Recruiting: The Current State of the Class


The Duke football recruiting class for 2016 currently has 16 commits and is in between 10-25 in terms of class rank according to the various recruiting services. Head coach David Cutcliffe has established the Duke program over the past couple of seasons as one of respectability and it shows in this class. So let’s break it down.

The headliners so far are Robert Kraeling, a 6’7, 260 pound, offensive tackle from Georgia, Mark Birmingham, a 6’4, 231 pound, tight end from Virginia, Brittain Brown, a 6’1, 200 pound, running back from Georgia, Scott Bracy, a 6’2, 195 pound, wide receiver from Virginia, and Jaylen Miller, a 6’3, 310 pound, offensive guard from Florida. As you can see none of these players are from North Carolina. Duke has made a concerted effort to dip into talent filled states and areas and pluck players from major powerhouses.

Take Robert Kraeling for example. He has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Miami, Nebraska and Tennessee just to name a few. These are programs with rich histories and Duke swooped right in and gained a commitment from a big time offensive line prospect. Kraeling has the size to be a left tackle at the next level.

Next is Mark Birmingham. A tight end prospect who had offers from Florida State, Florida and North Carolina among others. He has the physique of a player that can come in and contribute immediately in the passing game. Birmingham has all the tools to be the next Braxton Deaver.

Brittain Brown is a running back prospect who had offers from most prominently, Clemson, Louisville and Stanford. Brown looks like a linebacker and hits the hole with authority. He is not exactly a speed demon but his game is ground and pound with the ability to carry the load 25 times a game.

Scott Bracey committed to Duke over offers from Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Michigan State. A player who has been committed to the program for a year, Bracey has great size along with favorable speed for the next level. He comes from Benedictine College Prep in Richmond, Virginia so you know that he will be able to step in and contribute on the first day of fall camp.

Then there is Jaylen Miller who committed to Duke over offers from Georgia Tech, Missouri and South Carolina. Miller already has the size of a proto-typical college guard with above average athleticism.

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This class is littered with high quality players from Brandon Hill, an outside linebacker from South Carolina. Koby Quansah, an inside linebacker from Connecticut. Mark Gilbert, a corner from North Carolina and Liam Smith, an offensive tackle from New Jersey.

Hill and Quansah bring size and speed to a linebacker unit that desperately needs it. Gilbert is a big corner in terms of height at 6’1 and he has the potential to be a starter at corner or safety. The things that really stand out about the current group is the focus on linebackers. They all bring something different in their own ways and Blue Devils’ fans should be very excited about the crop committed.

Three prospects that should be on everyone’s radars in the next few months are CB Obi Eboh from Texas, S Eric Burrell from Maryland and S Dylan Singleton from Georgia. Eboh is an extremely long and talented standing at 6’2, 184 pounds. It will be a fight to seize control of him from in-state school such as Texas A&M and Baylor but the Blue Devils’ coaching staff seems to think they have a chance.

Eric Burrell is similar in stature to current Duke safety, All-American DeVon Edwards. Not only is he similarly built to Edwards but his playmaking ability reminds people around the program of Edwards as well. Duke is thought to be the favorite.

It might be a long shot to see Dylan Singleton in a Blue Devils’ uniform as he is almost a certain lock to Georgia but Singleton’s brother, Deondre, is a returning starter in the secondary and the connection the two have will always leave Duke in the running.

Now the players in this class are not set in stone. Attrition will happen and players will change their minds but the Blue Devils are off to a good start as their class is in the top 20 in the nation as fall camp is right around the corner.