DURHAM, N.C. – Duke men's tennis head coach Ramsey Smith announced Monday the signing of five of the nation's best recruits in a loaded class of 2023. Michael Heller, Garrett Johns, Omni Kumar, Samuel Rubell and Andrew Zhang will enroll at Duke in August of 2019 and join the Blue Devils for the 2019-20 season.
“Jonathan [Stokke] and I are very excited and proud of this group of young men,” Smith said. “Obviously it is a large recruiting class, and all five will impact the program positively. Collectively this group has a passion for tennis and a strong drive to maximize their talent at the highest level.”
Heller, Johns, Kumar and Zhang are rated as Blue Chip prospects by TennisRecruiting.net and Rubell is a five-star signee. The Blue Devils are the sole program in November to sign four Blue Chip recruits to the class of 2023.
“These five are a team of great competitors who have earned a lot of respect in the junior tennis world,” Smith added. “Jonathan and I can’t wait to start developing Samuel, Garrett, Omni, Andrew and Michael.”
Heller, a Boca Raton, Fla., native, attends Magallan Tennis Academy and reached a high of No. 3 in the TennisRecruiting.net national rankings. Since 2015, Heller has been in the top-5 rankings in the nation on the TennisRecruiting.net charts.
Johns attends Holy Innocents Episcopal School and stands 13th nationally in the latest HEAD rankings as well as reaching a high of No. 10 nationally by TennisRecruiting.net. The Atlanta native owns an ATP ranking of No. 1,477 after picking up a pair of points at the Tunisia F24 Futures tournament in June.
Kumar, from Irvine, Calif., will head across the country to join the Blue Devils after finishing at Pacific Academy. He stands at No. 17 in the TennisRecruiting.net ledger and at No. 24 in the country in the HEAD rankings. Kumar stands at No. 1,381 in the ATP rankings with his three points earned at this month’s Egypt F24 and F25 Futures events.
Rubell is a five-star prospect from Miami Beach, Fla. He improved his ranking 85 spots jumping from No. 134 in 2016 all the way up to No. 49 in the latest TennisRecruiting.net ledger. Rubell’s father, Jason, also played tennis for the Blue Devils, earning All-America honors and being named the 1991 ACC Player of the Year.
Rounding out the group is Zhang from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Bloomfield Hills High School. He checks in at No. 16 nationally in both the TennisRecruiting.net and HEAD slates. Zhang posted an impressive 22-2 record in junior events this past summer highlighted by a quarterfinal run at the USTA 18s Boys National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.
GoDuke.com is set to release a more detailed profile on each of the Blue Devils’ 2018 recruiting class signees over the coming weeks. Check back for more information on all the future Duke student-athletes.