Duke's first offer may come from Tigers

by - Senior Writer -

The Clemson Tigers are recruiting another speedy defensive end who says he thinks he could continue the tradition of Clemson linemen who are drafted into the NFL.

Evan Duke, a standout out of Wake Forest (NC) Wake Forest-Rolesville was on hand to see the Tigers in the Orange and White Game last week, and he said the visit was one of the best he has taken.

“We got into Clemson about 9:30 a.m., and they let us into the players’ lounge and we got to see some of what they do before games,” Duke told TigerNet on Friday. “It was really nice. I was able to talk to my recruiter, Coach [Robbie] Caldwell, and then I got to meet the new defensive ends coach, Marion Hobby.”

Duke detailed the conversations with both coaches for TigerNet, and he said he feels comfortable with the entire coaching staff.

“Coach Caldwell just told me that Clemson likes me a lot, and that they want me to come down for camp this summer,” he said. “That was the first time I had met Coach Hobby, and we just talked about me and how the season went. I read his bio on the Clemson website, and it seems like he has a good history and seems like he knows what he is doing. He would be a great fit for me if I went there.”

His conversation with Hobby led in the direction of Clemson’s recent success in sending linemen to the NFL, and Duke said that kind of track record plays a big part in any decision.

“It kind of makes me feel better that a lot of their players, not just defensive guys, go to the NFL,” he said. “That makes me feel like I would have a chance to play beyond college if I had the opportunity to go there.”

Duke said that once the conversations with the coaches were over, he got to see more of Death Valley and the actual game itself.

“The game was really interesting,” he said. “I got to see the tradition of running down the hill into Death Valley, and then the game itself was pretty good. Overall, it went really well.”

Duke recorded 42 tackles, 16 sacks and 15 pass deflections as a junior, and said that he likes to use his speed – he runs a 4.5 second 40-yard dash - to get to the quarterback.

“I am more of a speed end, and I like to get around the corner very fast and get to the quarterback,” said the 6-4, 224-pounder. “Right now, I am trying to maintain the speed and put on a little bit of weight. I am trying to maintain that just by running and sprinting a lot. I feel like I need to play the run better, and that is why I need to put on more weight.”

Duke heads to N.C. State this week, and then to Maryland in two weeks. He has also been invited to Vanderbilt, where he will camp this summer.

Duke said he doesn’t have an official offer on the table as of yet, but several schools are showing enough interest that he gets calls every day from their coaches.

“Maryland, Clemson, N.C .State, South Carolina and Alabama are calling me and showing the most interest,” he said. “There are no offers yet, but there is really high interest. I usually hear from someone every day.”

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