David Cutcliffe on Mark Gilbert's Return


While college football season seems a long way away and far from a certainty, Duke coach David Cutcliffe is busy preparing his team remotely. Cutcliffe appeared on Duke Football’s All 22 podcast and gave a breakdown of how the team looks, based on three spring practices and plenty of video work.

“I really like where we are with our (defensive) front, with the end play,” he said. “Particularly with Vic (Dimukeje), Drew (Jordan) and (Chris) Rumph. We’ve Got some young defensive ends that are heavy and stout, great blow delivery. (Derrick) Tangelo is in the best shape of his life.”

“The linebacker competition is going to be fierce,” he continued. “Shaka Heyward and Brandon Hill right now are starters. We’ve got people that can play and run. We’re going to be deep there. The secondary is experienced and fast. I’m excited. This could be the best defensive team we’ve had.”

The secondary is getting back a key piece in former All-ACC caliber cornerback Mark Gilbert, who missed the last year recovering from injury.
“He’s full speed,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s got his confidence back. The first day, he was saying, ‘It’s so much faster than you remember.’ By the third day, he was Mark Gilbert.”

On offense, there’s one key spot:

“We’ve got to fix the quarterback thing,” he said. “Somebody’s going to be a brand-new starter.”

Cutcliffe is also using technology to help get Clemson graduate transfer Chase Brice, who couldn’t participate in spring practice, up to speed.

“We’ve got to utilize the time and technology,” Cutcliffe said. “During spring practice, we were having every meeting taped and sent to Chase. We’ve sent all the elementary work to Chase.”

We gotta util the time and tech. during spr pract having ev mtg taped and sent to chase. Sent all elem work to chase.

The offensive line also gets back Jack Wohlabaugh after the center went down with injury during the season last year.

“He’s full speed,” Cutcliffe said. “He has not picked up where he left off. He’s better. He’s stronger. His upper body is stronger. He’s going to be a pro. He reminds me of Matt Skura.”