February 01, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Duke wanted to bring in more physicality with this year's recruiting class.

Coach David Cutcliffe announced his 22-player group of incoming freshmen Wednesday, saying he ''felt like we needed to change the course of Duke football to become more and more physical.''

The core of this class is along the offensive and defensive lines: The Blue Devils signed six defensive linemen and four offensive linemen.

The highest rated of those is defensive end Drew Jordan, a four-star recruit according to 247sports.com, and Cutcliffe also says defensive tackle Axel Nyembwe and defensive lineman Derrick Tangelo are ''extremely explosive'' who ''are going to be different from what we had.''

The Blue Devils - who missed the postseason last year for the first time since 2011 - also signed six defensive backs, led by safeties Damani Neal and Michael Carter II.

Also, none of the 22 signees are from the state of North Carolina.


Other things to know:

Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: Jordan ranks at No. 21 among defensive ends by 247sports.com and turned down offers from 16 Power 5 programs.

Best of the rest: DL Victor Dimukeje, Nyembwe.

Late addition: Dimukeje, who Cutcliffe said didn't commit until Jan. 25.

One that got away: None - ''We really didn't deal with that, really at all,'' Cutcliffe said, adding that 22 of the 24 players who took official visits to Duke wound up signing with the school and the average length of a players' commitment was 221 days.

How they'll fit in: Cutcliffe says this class has ''multitudes of guys that can still play as freshmen'' and one area of immediate need appears to be in the secondary, which lost four key players to graduation. DB Marquis Waters enrolled early and will have the first chance to prove himself - the Blue Devils begin spring practice Friday.


For the full list: www.goduke.com


More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

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