The way David Cutcliffe has been able to bring life to the Duke football program has been very impressive. He and his staff landed probably their biggest recruit to date on Friday. Wide receiver Scott Bracey from Richmond (Va.) Benedictine has committed to Duke.
"I just felt comfortable there," said the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Bracey. "It was the right place for me and where I wanted to go."
There has been one overriding factor throughout Bracey's recruitment.
"Academics have been a big part of my recruitment," he said. "They're a top 10 university in the world and there are a lot of benefits and opportunities that come with a Duke degree. I wanted a smaller school. I've been in a smaller environment at Benedictine and I'm used to the small school feel. Duke is two hours away from home and I didn't want to go too far away.
"The small environment reminds me of what I'm used to at Benedictine." Bracey said. "The student-to-teacher ratio is something that I really like. The teachers will know who you are, I'll get a lot of attention from them and I think that's in my best interest."
The Blue Devils had one of their best seasons ever last year and that really grabbed Bracey's attention.
"I feel like the football program is building something," he said. "They just went 10-2 last year and this 2015 recruiting class is in the top 20. They have a bunch of commits already in the 2015 class. They have the kids from California already committed. I think this is the start of something big. They have nine players on the preseason awards watch lists. I think they're starting something special and I want to be a part of that."
Of course Bracey is close with the Duke coaches, but Bracey says their school and the direction of the program really spoke for itself.
"Coach Boyette, coach Montgomery and coach Cutcliffe are the main three I've built a strong relationship with," said Bracey. "They really didn't have to sell anything to me. They told me a few things about the opportunities I could have with a Duke degree. I could really see it for myself so they didn't really have to sell much to me. I could see with the 2015 class how people can kind of see a new era for Duke football. They were ACC coastal champions last year and I feel like they could win it again this year. They have a lot of returning players. The coaches really didn't have to sell much with the academics. They're taking out the track around the field and adding more seats to give it more of a college football feel. I just think it's a new era for them and I want to be a part of that."
High school recruits continue to commit earlier and earlier and that leads to a lot of decommitments, but Bracey said the Blue Devils don't have anything to worry about.
"I'm solid on my commitment," he said. "I can't see myself decommitting or trying to go check out other schools."