ACC Early Signing Day Review – Duke


Early Signing Day (ESD) has come and gone and now it’s time to analyze it and dream of our rosters for next year. This series we’ll look into each team in the ACC (and Notre Dame) and go over who signed (scholarship signees only) and what my humble opinion is on each respective team’s ESD class. The order in which I will go over each team is determined by their rank in the standings after the ACC championship. This article is for Duke, one of the sneakiest, tough teams to play in the ACC in large due to QB Riley Leonard.

Biggest Need – Talent

Duke has got to capitalize on last year’s success and how do you do that? Add playmakers. Duke got that in Peyton Jones (RB). This guy may not be the fastest, but he’s got great hands and vision with the ball. Vance Bolyard (TE) is another great playmaker. The first thing that stands out about Bolyard, is his height (6-6) and no matter how hard you try, you can’t coach height! This guy plays with tenacity both in the passing game and in the blocking game. You want to improve your offense? Get a TE who can catch and block – this keeps the defense honest when guessing your play based off personnel.

Highlight – DL

Mike Elko and crew got some pretty big D-Lineman on ESD. Any time you can add size and depth at the DL, you’re winning at roster building. Being able to keep your DL fresh throughout a game is key in winning matchups and these guys aren’t just paper weights – they can play.

My Favorite 3 Grabs:

• Vance Bolyard – this guy plays MEAN. He wants to drive the opponent into the ground whether he is running with the ball or blocking. Players like this can change the entire attitude of an offense.

• Ethan Hubbard – speaking of mean. Hubbard doesn’t play with much technique (good thing he’s getting an opportunity to be coached by a D1 OL coach), but where he lacks in technique, he more than makes up for it with his aggressive play. Plus he’s athletic, who doesn’t like watching big hog-mollies dunking?

• Apollos Cook – you can’t coach size! Everyone, say it with me, YOU CAN’T COACH SIZE! Cook has size and playmaking ability. Look for Cook to come in early and often and be a favorite of Riley Leonard.

ACC Early Signing Day Review – NC State
PAC-12 Early Signing Day Recap — Utah Utes
PAC-12 Early Signing Day Recap – UCLA Bruins