DURHAM, N.C. ó Duke University head football coach Ted Roof and his staff announced on Wednesday that 26 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the Blue Devil program.
The class includes five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, five defensive backs, three tight ends, three linebackers, two wide receivers, one fullback, one quarterback and one punter. Eleven states are represented including five from Florida and Georgia, four from Texas, two from New York and one from Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. In addition, the class includes two natives of Sweden and one from Canada.
Duke allocated one-fifth of the class to offensive linemen, with two individuals ó Jarrod Holt and Marcus Lind ó ranked among the top 50 players nationally at their respective positions. A native of Clearwater, Fla., Holt is tabbed the 48th-top offensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com while Lind, a native of Gavle, Sweden, who played the 2005 season at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is charted the 48th-best offensive guard by the same organization. Joining that tandem is Jeffrey Cowart, who helped Mary Persons (Ga.) High School to 25 wins in three seasons, Robert Drum, an all-region pick by PrepStar magazine from Hoover, Ala., and Mitchell Lederman, the sixth-best overall prospect from Wisconsin according to Rivals.com.
At tight end, three players ranked among the nation’s top 60 signed with Duke including William Ball (Austin, Texas; ranked 59th by Rivals.com), Brett Huffman (Massillon, Ohio; ranked 54th by Rivals.com) and John Lubischer (Boca Raton, Fla.; ranked 43rd by Rivals.com). The trio combined for 71 pass receptions for 1,250 yards in 2005. Wide receivers Sheldon Bell (22 catches for 510 yards & six TDs at Baltimore City College [Md.] High School) and Jeremy Ringfield (42 receptions for 674 yards & 5 TDs at Luella [Ga.] High School) give the Blue Devils receiving corps a pair of large targets, standing 6-4 and 6-5, respectively.
Brandon King, the highest rated signee, is the lone running back in the class. A PrepStar magazine All-America pick, the Doylestown, Pa., product rushed for 1,897 yards and 19 touchdowns in his prep career and is listed as the second-best fullback in the nation by Rivals.com. King played the 2003 and 2004 campaigns at Central Bucks West High School under head coach Randy Cuthbert, a former Duke standout who earned All-ACC honors in 1989 while helping the Blue Devils to the league championship.
A versatile quarterback completes the offensive side of the ball in the class. Thaddeus Lewis, ranked as the 10th-top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation by Rivals.com, threw for 1,237 yards and 12 touchdowns this past fall at Hialeah Miami Lakes High School.
On the defensive line, the group includes three projected tackles and two ends. At tackle, Brandon Harper logged 50 tackles for Milton (Ga.) High School last fall while Ifreke Okpokowuruk, whose brother Ayanga is a freshman member of the Duke gridiron program, joins the mix from The McCallie School in Chattanooga. In addition, Pontus Bondeson, a former teammate of Lind’s on the Swedish Junior National team, adds size to the unit at 6-6, 290 pounds. Both ends are from Texas ó Patrick Egboh, an all-district performer at North Mesquite High School, and Wesley Oglesby, a native of Austin who is listed as the 60th-best overall defensive end prospect in the nation by Scout.com.
The three linebackers in the class are Andrew Holoman (First team all-state selection in Virginia), Vincent Rey (94 tackles at Mercersburg [Pa.] Academy in 2005) and Tyler Rice (Boca Raton, Fla., native & 46th-best inside linebacker according to Rivals.com). The defense also includes five backs with projected safeties Catron Gainey, an all-region pick from Hephzibah, Ga., and Abraham Dukuly, tabbed 11th-top overall prospect in New York by Rivals.com. At cornerback, Matt Pridemore (Member of two state championship teams at Buford [Ga.] High School), Chris Rwabukamba (Three-time all-city pick at Herman High School in Windsor, Ontario, Canada) and Leon Wright (64th-top cornerback in the nation by Scout.com) complete the group.
Listed as the fourth-top punter in the country by Scout.com, Austin, Texas, native Kevin Jones rounds out the class after earning first team all-district honors as a senior at James Bowie High School. Jones averaged 39.1 yards per punt in 2005.
2006 Duke Football Signing Class
|William Ball||TE||6-3||230||Austin, Texas||Westlake|
|Sheldon Bell||WR||6-4||190||Baltimore, Md.||Baltimore City College|
|Pontus Bondeson||DT||6-6||290||Hoganas, Sweden||Kullagymnasiet|
|Jeffrey Cowart||OL||6-5||290||Forsyth, Ga.||Mary Persons|
|Robert Drum||OL||6-6||275||Hoover, Ala.||Spain Park|
|Abraham Dukuly||S||6-1||205||Staten Island, N.Y.||Tottenville|
|Patrick Egboh||DE||6-4||230||Mesquite, Texas||North Mesquite|
|Catron Gainey||S||6-2||195||Hephzibah , Ga.||Hephzibah|
|Brandon Harper||DT||6-3||285||Alpharetta, Ga.||Milton|
|Andrew Holoman||LB||6-2||225||Ashburn, Va.||Stone Bridge|
|Jarrod Holt||OL||6-6||300||Clearwater, Fla.||Clearwater|
|Brett Huffman||TE||6-5||235||Massillon, Ohio||Massillon Washington|
|Kevin Jones||P||6-3||185||Austin, Texas||James Bowie|
|Brandon King||FB||6-2||240||Doylestown, Pa.||Central Bucks West|
|Mitchell Lederman||OL||6-8||320||Brodhead, Wisc.||Brodhead|
|Thaddeus Lewis||QB||6-2||190||Hialeah Lakes, Fla.||Hialeah Miami Lakes|
|Marcus Lind||OL||6-4||285||Gavle, Sweden||St. Thomas Aquinas [Fla.]|
|John Lubischer||TE||6-4||250||Boca Raton, Fla.||Boca Raton|
|Wesley Oglesby||DE||6-6||235||Arlington, Texas||Grace Prep Christian Academy|
|Ifreke Okpokowuruk||DT||6-1||270||Charlotte, N.C.||The McCallie [Tenn.] School|
|Matt Pridemore||CB||6-0||185||Gainesville, Ga.||Buford|
|Vincent Rey||LB||6-0||255||Far Rockaway, N.Y.||Bayside & Mercersburg [Pa.] Aca.|
|Tyler Rice||LB||6-3||245||Boca Raton, Fla.||Boca Raton|
|Jeremy Ringfield||WR||6-5||200||Lovejoy, Ga.||Luella|
|Chris Rwabukamba||CB||6-0||175||Windsor, Ontario||Herman|
|Leon Wright||CB||5-9||165||St. Petersburg, Fla.||Northeast|