August 26, 2013

Dukes sees stock rise

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ATLANTA - Tucker linebacker Detric Dukes has seen his stock rise in recent months.

At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Dukes didn't hold a major scholarship offer to start 2013, but all of that changed when schools started taking notice of his instinctual and physical style of play.

After he committed to Louisville in the spring many thought his recruitment was over, but when the home-state Georgia Bulldogs came through with an offer this summer, it was something that the Tucker standout couldn't pass up.

Dukes flipped his commitment from Louisville to UGA in June, and hasn't looked back since.

In the latest rankings, the Peach State defender received his fourth star because of a strong spring and an impressive showing at the Rivals Camp Series stop in Atlanta.

Dukes is known for his toughness and physical nature but says that his improvement over the last year has more to do with what is going on between his ears.

"I'm more mature than I was last year," Dukes said. "I'm understanding the schemes more. I'm getting more focused on the schemes and how to line up and more technique wise. So that is what has changed. I've been working on my technique a lot."

Due to that mental development, his coaches have opted to trust him with more responsibility as the leader of the Tucker defense.

"I check the calls," he said. "I have to make the calls. When something is missing or something shifts, I have to switch the call and make the call."

As the only inside linebacker commitment for the Bulldogs thus far, the newly minted four-star says that the Georgia staff checks in on him regularly.

"It is going good," Dukes said of his commitment to UGA. "We talk on a daily basis. I'm staying (committed to Georgia)."

This college football season will be a first for Dukes as he will go into the year knowing which team he will play for once he moves on to the next level.

It is a feeling that Dukes believes can help him focus on achieving the ultimate goal of winning a state championship in his senior season.

"It feels good," Dukes said when asked how it feels to be committed going into this season. "You can focus on your season. You can lead your team to a championship."

Georgia will travel to Clemson to start the season Saturday and Dukes has expectations for the Bulldogs and a prediction for what he thinks will happen in Death Valley in game one.

"I expect them (UGA) to dominate," he said. "I think it is going to start out close in the beginning, but I believe we (UGA) are going to blow them out."

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