DURHAM – First-year football coach David Cutcliffe scored a big hometown recruiting coup for Duke late this week with a commitment from Desmond Scott, a Durham Hillside running back.
Scott, who is rated the fourth-best prospect overall in the Class of 2009 in North Carolina by rivals.com, previously had committed to Rutgers.
But his father, Tony Scott, said Desmond was excited about the direction of Duke’s program under Cutcliffe.
After further consideration, Scott decided he preferred to stay close to home and help Cutcliffe rebuild at Duke.
“He had time to really sit and think and reflect on what was going on,” Tony Scott said. “He wanted to stay here.”
Desmond Scott is 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds and is a teammate of quarterback Corey Gattis, who committed to Duke last month.
Tony Scott said Cutcliffe plans to use Desmond as an all-purpose back and split him out at wide receiver at times.
Scott’s commitment was an unusual in-state accomplishment for Duke. According to rivals.com’s records, the Blue Devils landed just one in-state, top-25 player in the classes of 2003 through 2008.
That was Wilson Fike running back Requan Boyette, rated 19th in the state by rivals.com in the Class of 2005. Scout.com regional recruiting analyst Miller Safrit said Scott gives Duke a dynamic running back who can play in a lot of different places and demonstrates that Cutcliffe will be an aggressive recruiter.
“They are definitely a team to be reckoned with, with this new coaching staff,” Safrit said.