Another big recruiting weekend for Duke FB

Quentin Harris

With Spring Practice 2014 now complete, the Blue Devil coaching staff will focus on recruiting. That means hosting a number of big time prospects for a third straight weekend. Here's the complete run down of which players will be in town.

Offensive Players:

Jake Bargas
Tight End
6-foot-3, 220 pounds

Notes: Rated as a three star prospect by Scout.com, Bargas boasts offers from Duke, Florida Atlantic, and Tulane. The visit to Duke for the basketball game against UNC will be just one stop of four as he is scheduled to visit Wake Forest, NC State, and North Carolina as well.

Bargas is a strong student, and is being recruited by Zac Roper.


Brian Chaffin
Offensive Lineman
6-foot-2, 280 pounds

Notes: Chaffin is visiting Durham a second time in three weeks. The in-state prospect is rated as the No. 7 center in the country according to Scout.com and has offers from California, Duke, Wake Forest, NC State, North Carolina, Northwestern, and Virginia Tech.

Regarding the Duke visit and recruiting pitch, Chaffin says the Blue Devils are very direct in their approach as he interacts with Coaches Cutcliffe and Latina.

"Duke has told me they need highly rated guys in this class so that they can continue to be at this high level. I know that Coach Latina has a track record of getting guys to the NFL and the program has really great momentum at the moment. Now they want to stay where they are and even continue to move up."


Jalen Dalton
Defensive Lineman
6-foot-6, 230 pounds

Notes: Dalton, like Chaffin, is back again for a visit. He has offers from Clemson, Duke, FSU, Michigan, N.C. State, UNC, South Carolina, Tennessee, UVA, VTech, Wake and WVU. And while he's certainly not thinking early decision, Dalton says he is planning on narrowing his list after the summer. His last visit to Duke seemed to make a big impression.

"Before they recruited me I didn't see them as a football school at all. That has changed because now I've been there and I've seen how close they are as a family. Really, Coach Cut is so close to his players, and they are on their way to being a great team - that's something that excited me."

Given his size and speed, Dalton is projected to play either defensive end or outside linebacker depending on the scheme. From where he sits, he's not overly concerned with where a team projects him.

"I don't mind playing either position - either outside linebacker or defensive end. It really comes down to whichever position I can help the team win at."


Reggie Gallaspy
Running Back
6-foot-0, 220 pounds

The in-state, three star RB is back for another visit to the school he openly names as his leader.

"The connection that I have with coach (David) Cutcliffe, (running backs) coach (Re'quan) Boyette and (linebackers) coach (Jim) Collins is strong," said the 6-foot, 220-pound Gallaspy. "We talk a lot and we're familiar with each other.

"And also, academically, Duke is one of the top schools in the nation."

The aforementioned schools are not the only ones showing interest in Gallaspy.

"I'm getting a lot of mail from Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA and Cal. I've also been in contact with Clemson, South Carolina, Florida, Florida State and Mississippi State. I think a lot of schools could be close to offering."


Defensive Players:

Joe Giles-Harris
Linebacker
6-foot-1, 210 pounds

Notes: Rated as a three star prospect and the nation's No.58 outside linebacker by Scout, Giles-Harris has Rutgers, Boston College, Duke, Temple and Illinois. Harris is visiting Duke for the first time with his father and brother.

He is visiting NC State before making the trip to Duke. Following that visit, he'll head up to Maryland to visit the Terrapins. His brother has already committed to Duke to play lacrosse. After watching his brother go through the process, Joe doesn't anticipate rushing anything.

"I have no clue, not for a while," Giles-Harris said. "I am going to go on all my visits, but I don't think I will be making a decision anytime soon."


Stephen Griffin
Safety
6-foot-3, 185 pounds

Notes: The three star safety began his prep career at Yorktown (Va.) Tabb, where he started his freshman and sophomore seasons at cornerback.

Last June, his family moved to Charlotte, forcing Griffin to transfer to South Mecklenburg. There he was moved to safety and eventually asked to become a major part of the offense.

Duke is projecting him as a safety at the next level as are some of the other schools recruiting him. Ten schools have offered Griffin, including Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, NC State, Tennessee, and Wake Forest. Ohio State has told him that they will offer if and when he visits its campus. He plans to travel to Ohio State on March 22.

Clemson, UNC, NC State, Tennessee, and Wake Forest have emerged as early favorites for Griffin.

"I know a little bit more about those schools," Griffin said. "So I'm a little bit more familiar with them."


Quentin Harris
Quarterback
6-foot-0, 175 pounds

Notes: Perhaps the top signal caller on the Duke board, Harris is the kind of dual-threat QB that all coaches want in their program. He was offered by the Blue Devils last summer at Duke's one day camp. Not only did that initial visit result in an offer, it also provided the prospect a chance to make an early determination about the program.

Since the camp, Duke had been in contact via most of the offensive coaching staff, in hopes of furthering the relationship. That starts at the top with head coach David Cutcliffe.

"Before he left, I was in constant contact with Coach Roper and Coach Knowles, but now that Coach Roper is gone I speak mainly with Coach Knowles and Coach Cutcliffe."

In addition to pitching the school, the changing culture, and the program, Cutcliffe and his staff have worked hard to inform Harris of exactly what they are looking for in the class of 2015's quarterback crop.

"They are very clear about what they want in a QB at Duke. They want a leader on and off the field; a guy who knows the playbook inside and out and every position on the field; a QB who is accurate and makes good decisions with the football; someone who can keep the chains moving and extend plays with his legs when necessary. They talk a lot about being a young man of good character and someone who recognizes the value of the excellent education available at Duke and takes full advantage of the opportunity."


Jordan Hayes
Safety
6-foot-1, 175 pounds

Notes: Hayes has already committed to Duke, and did so back in January. He's not sure of his ultimate position next season when he arrives in Durham, however.

"I can play cornerback or safety, but they are recruiting me to play safety in the 4-2-5 defense they run. They think I fit in really well there."

Hayes played both positions for Grayson High School this past season and finished with a career best five interceptions while averaging more than seven stops per contest for the four win Rams. It was on the strength on that junior year that Duke began showing interest.

"They really started showing me a lot of interest and began sending a lot of hand-written letters. Then, in December, they asked me to come up and visit so I made the trip. After seeing everything there and getting to see how much a family they are up there I kind of felt like it was the place for me."


Grant Newsome
Offensive Lineman
6-foot-6, 275 pounds

Notes: A four star offensive tackle, Newsome was offered by LSU on Wednesday, and talk of Alabama offering made its way to the campus of the boarding school that is a stone's throw from Princeton.

He added visits to Duke, Maryland and Northwestern were set, but the big talk of the day centered around a pair of SEC powerhouses.

"It's an honor to get an LSU," Newsome said. "It's one of the great programs. When they offered me, I was pretty excited about it. I had been talking to (offensive line) coach (Jeff) Grimes for a little while over Facebook and Twitter, but they hadn't offered until (Wednesday)."

Newsome, who is from McLean, Va., still needs to plan out most of his trips, but he will hit the road next weekend.

"I have a few visits set," he said. "I'm going to Duke March 8, I'm going to Northwestern March 13 and Maryland March 11."

Newsome said interest in the school and location played roles in setting those visits.

"Duke had been a school I wanted to get back down to for a while, and Northwestern, I've wanted to take a visit our there for the past couple of months," Newsome said. "This is just an opportunity to see things.


Rashad Rountree
Safety
6-foot-1, 195 pounds

Notes: Rated as a four star safety and the nation's No.5 prospect at that position, Roundtree has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Ole Miss at this early point.

He has not taken many visits, he has not thought about leaders too much yet, and he is taking his time with the recruiting process.

"Duke is recruiting me really hard, and they want me…I know that. It means a lot of have an up and coming program like that recruiting me so hard."

Roundtree visited South Carolina earlier this week, and a decision isn't expected until the fall.


Christian Wilkins
Defensive Lineman
6-foot-4, 295 pounds

Notes: Wilkins is considered the nation's No. 8 defensive tackle and a four star prospect according to Scout.com. He has offers from a who's who of college football including Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee, and others. He is considered the best player in New England by Scout as well.

Wilkins has indicated that education is quite a large factor in his decision.

"I am open to everyone that is interested in me, and who is recruiting me. I want to learn as much as I can so that I can make an educated decision when the time is right."


What they'll be doing…

The guests will arrive in Durham before dinner and will then meet with head coach David Cutcliffe and AD Kevin White. Following academic, campus, and facility tours, the recruits and their families will meeting their position coaches before sitting down to dinner. The basketball game begins at 9:00 PM EST.

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