Friday, February 3, 2017

Duke Football Signs 22‐Member Class

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University head football coach David Cutcliffe and his staff announced Wednesday that 22 student‐athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the Blue Devil gridiron program.

The class includes six defensive backs, six defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, two running backs, two tight ends, one quarterback and one wide receiver. A total of nine states are represented in the group with six signees from Georgia, followed by three from Florida, three from Maryland, two from Alabama, Illinois and Tennessee, and one each from Ohio, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Virginia.

The six products from Georgia include defensive back Joshua Blackwell (Buford), defensive back Michael Carter II (Douglasville), running back Marvin Hubbard III (Tyrone), running back Deon Jackson (Atlanta), defensive lineman Drew Jordan (Suwanee) and offensive lineman Will Taylor (Snellville). Blackwell comes from Buford High School and helped the Rams to a 13‐2 record as a senior with a trip to the GHSA Class 5A state title tilt. Carter II, the No. 43 cornerback in the country by, was named first team all‐region as a junior when he booked 78 tackles with two interceptions. Hubbard helped Sandy Creek High School to the GHSA Class 4A playoffs and is charted as the No. 16 all‐purpose back in the nation by Ranked as the No. 46 running back in the nation by, Jackson was an all‐region selection as a senior after helping Pace Academy to the GHSA Class 3A playoffs. Jordan is a member of the ESPN300 (No. 283), charted as the No. 19 weakside defensive end in the nation by and was named to USA Today’s American Family Insurance All‐USA Georgia second team following his final campaign at North Gwinnett High School. Taylor, rated as a consensus top‐15 center in the nation, was selected to participate in the Under Armour All‐America Game following his senior season at Grayson High School.

Joining Duke from Florida are wide receiver Damond Philyaw‐Johnson (Pensacola), defensive lineman Chris Rumph II (Gainesville) and defensive back Marquis Waters (Delray Beach). Johnson, out of West Florida Tech High School, caught 43 passes for 710 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior en route to receiving all‐state honors from the Associated Press and Super Senior accolades from the Pensacola News Journal. Rumph II, who helped Buchholz High School to consecutive Florida High School Athletic Association playoffs bids, booked 105 tackles, 21.0 TFL, 18.0 sacks, two blocked punts, one interception and two fumble recoveries as a senior. He was named the 2016 Gainesville Sun Large School Player of the Year and picked up Florida High School Football Class 7A All‐State first team accolades following his final season. Waters enrolled at Duke in January after finishing his Atlantic High School career with Sun Sentinel all‐county honors. He was Palm Beach Post Super 11 selection and posted four INTs, nine PBUs and two caused fumbles during final season.

Defensive linemen Victor Dimukeje (Baltimore), Axel Nyembwe (Bethesda) and Derrick Tangelo (Potomac) will come to Durham from Maryland. Dimukeje, who is listed as the No. 36 strongside defensive end in the nation by, recorded 72 tackles, 21.0 TFL, 10.5 sacks and two caused fumbles to earn USA Today American Family Insurance ALL‐USA Maryland Football second team honors and Baltimore Sun All‐Metro first team accolades as a senior at Boys’ Latin. Nyembwe, from The Avalon School, was a member of the USA Football’s Under‐19 national team, which defeated Canada, 33‐11, on January 28, 2017, at the inaugural North American Championships in Orlando, Fla. Tangelo, from The Bullis School, was a 2016 Maryland Crab Bowl selection and USA Today American Family Insurance All‐USA Washington D.C. pick along the defensive line.

From Alabama, the Blue Devils welcome offensive lineman Rakavius Chambers (Opelika) and defensive back Leonard Johnson (Hayden) to the program. Chambers capped his career at Opelika High School with all‐state honors from and the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Johnson, rated as the No. 64 safety in the nation by, helped Hayden High School host its first playoff game in 24 years in 2016.

The offensive duo of quarterback Chris Katrenick (Algonquin) and tight end Jake Marwede (Wilmette) head to Durham from Illinois. Katernick enrolled at Duke in January after receiving first team all‐state honors from the Illinois Football Coaches Association as a senior at Harry D Jacobs High School. During his final campaign, he completed 143‐of‐280 passes for 2,223 yards and 26 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Marwede, a member of the ESPN300 (No. 188), was a 2017 Under Armour All‐America Game participant and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Illinois after his final season with Loyola Academy. A pair of offensive linemen from Tennessee ‐‐ Patrick Leitten (Brentwood) and Jacob Rimmer (Milan) ‐‐ will join the Blue Devils in the fall. Leitten ended his time with Ravenwood High School with all‐county, all‐area and all‐region accolades after helping the team to a 7‐6 record and state playoff appearance. Rimmer, from Milan High School, was a two‐time first team all‐state pick by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association and two‐time Region 7‐3A Offensive Lineman of the Year choice.

Defensive lineman Ben Frye, a native of Dublin, Ohio, was first team all‐state pick as a senior by the Associated Press. He also earned Ohio Capital Conference‐Central Co‐Defensive Player of the Year and first team all‐league honors. Tight end Noah Gray, from Leominster, Mass., helped Leominster Senior High School to a 7‐4 record as a senior, when he caught 30 passes for 619 yards and eight TDs and to earn all‐state honors from the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association. Safety Lummie Young IV capped his time with Westside High School in Anderson, S.C., by earning USA Today American Family Insurance ALL‐USA South Carolina first team and Defensive Player of the Year honors. A high school teammate of Tangelo at The Bullis School, defensive back Damani Neal, of Sterling, Va., is a consensus top‐60 safety nationally who carded 55 tackles, two INTs and two caused fumbles to earn USA Today American Family Insurance All‐USA Washington D.C. honors as a senior.