Texas Safety Has Duke Offer

Justin Bass

The Blue Devil recruiting class in 2010 is approaching its limit which has put a premium on the remaining spots. One player with eyes on one of the final scholarships is Texas safety Justin Bass.

"Right now the schools recruiting me are Duke, Baylor, Texas A&M, Houston, Wisconsin, Sam Houston State, and TCU," said Plano (Tex) West standout Justin Bass. "Duke has offered. I don't have a top five list at this point."

?Bass, whose lead recruited is Duke assistant Kurt Roper, has been on the radar for quite a while but with summer 7-on-7 commitments has been busy enough to not have a good deal of contact with the Blue Devil staff.

"I haven't been able to talk to the coaches as much this summer because of workouts, 7on7, and camps. However, I was able to talk to coach Roper last week and I was able to get some of my questions answered. He was very open and straightforward. You can't ask for more than that."

Honesty is one thing, as is the continued interest and recruitment of Bass. But overall the 6'2 Texas product cites the general approach as a positive factor and why Duke sits "near the top, if not on top" of his list to this point.

"A couple things that stood out to me from the coaches and their approach is their attention to detail and quality of presentation. For example, each of the coaches sent my parents and I a "hand written" note in a sealed envelope. The actual "offer letter" was laminated. This made is easier to handle and display. Simple and small things I admit, but little things can make a big difference; both in life and the recruiting process."

"[Additionally], the blend of academics and athletics is tremendously appealing. After all, the scholarship is to be a "student-athlete", which is something I take seriously."

?The scholarship crunch at Duke appears to be a factor with most of the Bleu Devils' remaining 2010 targets, but Bass isn't rushing and he's got a good idea of what he'd like to do.

?"Ideally I would prefer to announce before the season. This would allow me to continue to focus on my senior year in football and academics. It's important for me to finish well."

With regard to Duke, howoever, it appears a commitment will require a visit, and that can't happen until later in the year.

?"I haven't visited the campus yet. Coach Roper informed me that a good time would be in the November/December time frame. My family and I are making plans to visit during this time frame."

Being from Texas, were there any pre-conceived notions regarding the Duke program?

?"I didn't have any, no. I like to travel and that has taught me to keep any open mind. I do have a lot of questions and some have been answered via research on the web. The others will be asked and answered during the on-site visit. [Overall], I intend to enjoy the process. This could potentially be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I want to make the best of it. I plan to keep an open mind and use the process to grow as a person and athlete."

With such a busy summer behind him, Bass says he's improved as a player and will be ready to go when Plano West kicks off its season in a few weeks.

?"The summer prior to the senior year is very important. Ideally, I would like for my GPA and "40 time" to be within a few points of each other. As such, I have been working on increasing my speed, flexibility, strength, endurance, and knowledge of the game. I have been working out each day. I also had the opportunity to attend the week long FBU Top Gun camp in Virginia."

"It may sound like a familiar refrain, but I am different heading into my senior year because I have become stronger, wiser, and more experienced. I admit there are many things I need to work on and learn more about, but I know more about what I didn't know before. This allows me to fashion a plan to study in a more focused fashion. For example, I had the opportunity to work out with a very experienced physical therapist for seven weeks. It was amazing to me how important and scientific "stretching" is and the impact it can have on performance and preventing injury. My knowledge of the game has improved, but also, my knowledge of how to get more out of my body has also increased."

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