Look out for the football-playing Duke Blue Devils.
That’s a word of warning from Stephenson cornerback Jared Boyd, who became commitment number 19 for the Blue Devils this past weekend. Coach David Cutcliffe has since picked up a 20th verbal for the Class of 2011 – from another cornerback named Tin Burton from Florida — and that’s one of the reasons Boyd says Duke will soon be a team to contend with in the ACC.
“I think they’re starting a new era at Duke. I really do,” said Boyd, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound defensive back who counts Georgia Tech among his multiple scholarship offers. “I think Coach Cutcliffe is turning it around at Duke they’re getting ready to make a move in the ACC. They’re going to be contending for championships soon. I honestly believe that.”
So sincere is Boyd that he committed to the Blue Devils while on a visit this weekend. He took a Tobacco Road tour with his parents, stopping in at North Carolina and N.C. State before arriving at Duke on Saturday.
In his words, the Blue Devils “blew me away.”
“Actually I didn’t think I was going to commit this early,” Boyd said. “But I went up there and looked around and it was amazing. We left the visit with my parents and we drove around and went to get something to eat and that’s when I told them I knew I wanted to go there and I wanted to commit.”
What specifically was the attraction?
“What sold me on Duke, number one, was Coach Cutcliffe,” Boyd said. “He’s done well everywhere he’s been, Ole Miss, Tennessee and now Duke. They showed us a plan they have and it’s good one and that was impressive.
“Number two is education. Bar none, it is the best education you can get on the East Coast. It will open doors for me that no other SEC or ACC school can do. That’s just the truth. And of course, the opportunity to play early. A new era means opportunities for new players and I think I’m a guy who can come in there and help them right away. They got another commitment from Tim Burton from Florida. I’ve talked to him and we feel like we can do some big things in that secondary.
“I wanted to get to all the schools that offered me. We did that. We had a checklist about all the schools and just went down that list on each one and nobody could beat Duke.”
And that apparently includes Georgia Tech, at least for Boyd.
“That’s a good school, too, and I liked them a lot,” he said. “But this recruiting thing is kind of weird that way. Some people just fall off sometimes and it’s hard to explain why. I just felt more at home and more comfortable at Duke.”
It’s not like it was slim pickings for Boyd. He has at least 15 offers, including a favorites list of Ole Miss, Stanford, Illinois and Syracuse.
Boyd becomes the eighth Stephenson Jaguar to accept a scholarship offer this year. He joins kicker Colin Anderson (UAB) and quarterback Jordan Tarver (Kent) in making commitments in the last week.
More on Stephenson’s recruiting exploits later.