Blue Devils Land Second 2011 Commit

Mario Sanders

Valentines Day came early for the Duke coaching staff on Friday night as one of the top defensive linemen in the Palmetto State informed the Blue Devils he'd become the second prospect to commit from the class of 2011.

"Call it divine intervention, but something just told me to go ahead and commit to Duke tonight," said Greer (S.C.) High standout defensive end Mario Sanders. "I just called the coaches half and hour ago and told them."

"Really it all came down to academics and the direction of the program. They haven't had a lot of success in the past, but that's going to change. Duke is going to be a thorn in the side of all the conference programs. I really believe in what Coach Cutcliffe and his staff are doing. He's a guy who really takes care of his players and makes sure they are doing what they need to be doing on and off the field. I really got a chance to see that by visiting the campus and going to games this year."

Sanders, a 6-foot-5, 225 pound defensive end prospect, chose Duke over early recruitment by a host of other programs including Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia, Stanford, Northwestern, LSU, Aubrun, Alabama, Colorado, Miami, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, and Michigan State.

"Really it was a case of Duke jumping in first and offering me a scholarship. I've been doing a lot of soul searching since that happened and tonight something just clicked and I knew it was the right decision for me."

So, Sanders picked up the phone and placed a call to assistant coach Derek Jones who had been the primary recruiting coach. Soon after offering his commitment, Sanders was able to touch base with head coach David Cutcliffe.

"He said I stole the staff's heart for Valentines Day and that I made their weekend. They are really excited that I'm going to be a part of the program."

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