Top Offensive Lineman Commits to Tigers
Dukes also played center for the basketball team and averaged 10 points per game.
CLEMSON -- Offensive lineman Marion Dukes (6-4 290) from Pickens High School in Pickens, SC, committed to Clemson Wednesday afternoon.
He’s a great athlete and a great human being,” said Pickens High School head coach Andy Tweito. “His biggest strength is that he’s so athletic. He plays basketball for us. He has great feet and really moves well.”
According to recruiting analyst Mickey Plyler, it is an outstanding commitment for Clemson.
“It gives them another commitment at a huge area of need and a very versatile player in that he can play several positions on the offensive line,” said Plyler. “Also, it was important for them to get a commitment from a player instate that close to home. Kevin Breedlove really hurt the program when he left their backyard for Georgia. So it says a lot about the program to this time pick up a commitment from one of the two best offensive linemen in the state that was so close.”
Dukes chose Clemson over South Carolina and Georgia. He also had offers from Maryland, Vanderbilt and Army.
Tweito said Dukes considered other schools outside the area like Boston College, but decided he wanted to stay close to home.
“We drew a circle around Pickens of two and a half hours. We wanted his parents to see him play and those kinds of things. He whittled it down to three choices (Clemson, USC, GA). He kept me informed and I offered him guidance, but no advice. The decisions are his.”
According to Tweito, Dukes was also ready to get the recruiting over and get back to concentrating on his current team’s 7-0 record and top ten ranking in the state.
”He’s just kind of tired of the phone calls at 10:45 at night that are so disruptive. When it starts, it’s all glamorous, but it’s really kind of worn on him. I can see a lot of change in him in practice just today. It’s like a weight is off his shoulders. He can worry about finishing the rest of the season.”
Clemson assistant Rodney Allison recruited Dukes for the Tigers.
2003 Reported Commitments
1 OL Jarrod Britt 6-5 270 Powder Springs, GA
2 QB C.J. Gaddis 6-1, 197 Raeford, NC
3 K Jad Dean 5-11, 190 Greenwood, SC
4 OL Clint LaTray 6-3, 265 Allen, TX
5 OL Marion Dukes 6-4, 290 Pickens, SC