National Signing Day came and went with little surprise for the Duke Football program, but plenty to celebrate.
The improvement that Duke has made within the football program is obvious. Not only in just wins and losses and facility upgrades, but in overall talent as well. Duke has seen improvement in recruiting rankings each year under David Cutcliffe and the incoming class of 2016 is the best yet. Duke won several recruiting battles with traditional powers and assembled a class that should provide an immediate and long term impact on the football team’s success. 247sports.com ranks Duke’s 2016 class as 5th in the ACC, behind Florida State, Clemson, Miami, and Pitt and 32nd nationally. ESPN ranks Duke 27th nationally, as does Rivals.com. Scout.com has the Blue Devils 31st.
The staff did a great job in their selection of talent. This class will add some serious depth to an already talented secondary and offensive line group. Duke also did a good job of bringing in a collection of linebackers and defensive ends to help build more depth on the front of the defense.
The 2016 class is headlined by WR Scott Bracey from Richmond, Virginia. Bracey was the first player in the class of 2016 to commit to Duke and stuck with the Blue Devils despite having offers from nearly every major school including Florida State, Clemson, and Ohio State. Bracey is a tall, fast receiver who will contend for serious playing time right away.
Safety Dylan Singleton’s name should ring a bell for Duke fans. His brother, Deondre, is currently a safety for the Blue Devils. Dylan was somewhat of a surprise commit for Duke as Georgia seemed to be the favorite to land the local prospect before he announced his decision to become a Blue Devil.
Duke fans will be happy to see three talented defensive end prospects in this year’s class. Duke has added some talent up front recently, but still lags behind other major conference teams in size on the defensive line. Terrell Lucas, Tre Hornbuckle, and Chidi Okonya will add some depth to the defensive line.
The class of 2016 also welcomes four offensive linemen. Two at the guard position and two at the tackle position. The Blue Devils have become known for the strength of their offensive line and will add even more talent with this class. Duke has ranked among the nation’s best at protecting the quarterback in recent years and will look to continue that trend. Robert Kraeling is the headliner among the offensive linemen. The Georgia product had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Baylor, and a host of other Power Conference programs, but chose the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils continued to recruit Georgia and Florida well. They have really made their presence known in those areas, two of the states that produce that nation’s best football talent. This year’s class features six players from Georgia and three from Florida.
Every recruit in this class is worth being excited about. Check out the complete incoming class of 2016 below, compiled by 247sports.com.