Following in the wake of predecessors like Christian Laettner, Chris Collins, Steve Wojciechowski, J.J. Redick and more, sophomore Duke guard Grayson Allen seems well on his way to becoming the next great — and almost universally hated — Blue Devils basketball player.
He’s fulfilling the “great” part of that equation, averaging 20.9 points per game for the 21-7 Blue Devils.
And he keeps doing more to add to the “universally hated” bit, as well.
During Thursday night’s 80-65 home win for Duke over the Florida State Seminoles, Allen was clearly caught on video tripping Noles guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
If that seems like déjà vu, you would be correct.
Allen was seen doing the same thing against Louisville a few weeks earlier.
Great player? Yep, seems like it. In fact, Allen had 18 in Thursday’s win over the Noles.
This much is certain: Jalen Ramsey made the right choice when he decided to skip his final season of eligibility at Florida State and enter the NFL draft.
Ramsey, the 6-1, 202 pound cornerback/safety, is going to be a rich young man after the draft. Everybody has a mock draft and some are more credible than others. But the majority is in agreement about one thing: Ramsey will be taken in the first five picks.
I took a look at 65 mock drafts (I told you everybody has one) and 55 have him going in the top 5. The most popular spot was No. 5 to Jacksonville (24) followed by No. 3 to San Diego (16).
Ramsey is listed as the top overall pick by two mocks: Rotoworld and Ourlads’ NFL Scouting Services. Tennessee possesses that pick and the Titans have a huge need to protect last year’s No. 1, Marcus Mariota, which is why Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil is the consensus to go No. 1.
The Titans, though, do need help at cornerback.
The lowest I could find Ramsey being taken was No. 19 by Buffalo, which interestingly would pair him with former teammate Ronald Darby. But just a hunch: Ramsey will not be available when the Bill are on the clock.
Here are a few samples of what they are saying about Ramsey, who can go a long way toward cementing himself as a top 5 pick this week at the NFL combine in Indianapolis:
Rotoworld (No. 1 to Tennessee)
Everyone is mocking Laremy Tunsil here. For years it has been accepted that left tackle is the most important offensive line position. In the past, it seemed all of the top pass rushers played opposite the left tackle. That played into the importance of the position. Now pass rushers are deployed from all different alignments. Basically I’m trying to explain why tackle will not be the pick here, since Tennessee’s interior seemed to struggle just as much as the edge. The Titans likely want to trade this pick, but a versatile, aggressive defensive back with size and athleticism is not a bad consolation.
USA Today (No. 3 to San Diego)
It’s apparent what kind of impact a player like Tyrann Mathieu can have in the pass-centric NFL. Ramsey will draw those kind of comparisons given his ability to cover receivers outside, in the slot or even play safety. The Chargers, who are moving on from FS Eric Weddle and face a slew of talented pass catchers in the AFC West, certainly look like an ideal home for Ramsey.
SI.com (No.3 to San Diego)
This mock has Ramsey–Myles Jack–Joey Bosa as the next three off the board. It is feasible to mix and match that trifecta in any combo among the Chargers, Cowboys and Jaguars. The choice at No. 3 is Ramsey because of how desperate San Diego should be for a boost in the secondary, especially with Eric Weddle exiting.
Draft King (No. 4 to Dallas)
Perhaps the first big leak of this draft season was the report by Tony Pauline that Dallas has Ramsey at the top of its draft board. Of course, at this time of year you must take all reports and rumors with a grain of salt. I don’t know the source of Pauline’s leak, but Jerry Jones is notorious for letting the cat out of the bag, and I tend to find rumors from Dallas more credible than most.
It doesn’t hurt that Ramsey is an elite talent, a natural safety who moved to cornerback last season for Florida State due to the Seminoles’ team needs. He was outstanding when I did color commentary for a webcast of his game in Nashville with Brentwood Academy against Father Ryan High School in 2011, but in Tallahassee he has developed into a special player.
Mel Kiper, ESPN (No. 5 to Jacksonville)
The temptation to take Bosa here is probably strong, because both he and Ramsey would help defend the pass, one in coverage, the other by reducing the time any opposing QB can hang onto the ball. But with Dante Fowler Jr. coming back, they go with Ramsey, a gifted, versatile player who can play corner or safety.
“Everybody at Florida State still recruits me, Jimbo Fisher, everybody,” Wade told Noles247 on Sunday. “They’re coming after me. They want me to come for Junior Day, but I’m not going to be able to make it. I’m definitely going to take a visit in the spring.”
Wade said he is planning to visit FSU, Florida and Alabama in the spring. He said “everything is great” with Ohio State but he will closely monitor the schools in the fall, indicating he remains open to all options.
“I want to see how the coaches act and I want to get on campus to talk to some players. Learning about the academics at each school will also play a big part.”
The 6-2, 185-pound Wade is from Trinity Christian Academy. He is ranked as the 12th best player in the country according to 247Sports composite and the No. 3 cornerback.
* Hard working Chris Nee of Noles247 provided us last week with a list of players would be attending Junior Day. Click here for the full list and those who will attend this Saturday’s session.
“The program is built around loyalty and brotherhood and that’s why I decided to end my recruitment today,” he said. “I was going to let it play out and see everything again and just make sure this is what I wanted to do and it was.
“It feels like home. It is a great place.”
Durden said he had been a “silent” commitment and just made it public on Saturday.
Durden is 6-5, 303-pounds. He is the No. 19 defensive tackle in the country according to 247Sports composite. He is the cousin and teammate of four-star DT Ja’len Parks, who also is committed to FSU.
“It is amazing,” Durden said. “That is my first cousin, we have been together our whole lives. It is a blessing to play more downs next to him.”
Durden has hit it off with coach Jimbo Fisher and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins.
“Coach Odell is not like most,” he said. “He is a great coach. Coach Fisher is the same way.
“Me and Coach Odell have a strong relationship off the field. I talk to him a lot. I talk to him all the time.”
Florida State will hold its second Junior Day on Saturday.
Dalvin Cook’s brother names FSU his leader
One 2019 prospect received plenty of attention this weekend, as much for his name as his talents.
Cook, 5-10, 180 pounds, attends Miami-Central where he will be a sophomore next fall. Florida State’s roster includes four Central grads, including his brother. In December, he ran 15 times for 178 yards and three touchdowns while leading Central to its fourth consecutive state championship in a 48-13 win over Armwood.
“When I was here, it was like I was already one of their own players,” Cook said. “It feels like I’m in Miami or at Central in how comfortable I felt around all the guys. I loved everything, it was great. I really loved it. Right now, FSU is the No. 1 team for me. When I’m here, it is family. I know Da’Vante Phillips, Ermon Lane and Calvin Brewton.”
Cook told Warchant he learned a lot from Dalvin’s recruitment and will not rush his decision. Dalvin committed to Clemson and Florida before settling on FSU.
“I’m going to weigh all my options and take my time,” he said. “So seeing what he went through helped me. I’m going to take my visits and then make a decision after that. Dalvin wants me at Florida State and tells me to come here and not Miami. But he also lets me make my own decision. Everything he told me about FSU, though, is true in how much of a family it is here and how much I would love it.”
Cook already has 11 offers, including FSU, Florida, Miami, Alabama, LSU and Georgia.