Duke solidified its early positioning for the top 2016 recruiting class Sunday afternoon with a pledge from four-star power forward Javin DeLaurier. The commitment came at the end of his official visit to campus. He ultimately chose Duke over Notre Dame, Stanford and Texas.
With DeLaurier, the Blue Devils (in theory) are getting a talented player who will play multiple years in Durham–and mutli-year players are still an essential piece of any Duke team, Mike Krzyzewski said as recently as the Final Four. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound DeLaurier is more of a project developmentally than the five-stars that have recently come through, but a strong summer performance on the Adidas AAU circuit took him from the bottom of the top 100 to No. 44 in ESPN’s recruiting rankings.
One thing DeLaurier does better than most is consistently play at a high energy level—the term "motor" is overused to the point of becoming an empty word, but in DeLaurier’s case its fitting. In early August, Scout.com’s Evan Daniels polled over 100 Division-I coaches, asking who had the best motor at the high school level, and DeLaurier was the top pick.
DeLaurier, from St. Annes-Belfield High School (Va.), is quite athletic, too, and he will likely initially contribute off the bench as a rebounder and defensive energy guy. Duke assistant coach Nate James was the main recruiter for DeLaurier, who officially picked up his offer in September. The Blue Devils persuaded him to reschedule his official visit from the end of October to the end of September, and he left campus as a commit.
DeLaurier joins five-star forward Jayson Tatum (No. 2) and five-star point guard Frank Jackson (No. 14) as Duke commits for the 2016 class. No. 1 overall player Harry Giles, a power forward, is considered a Duke lean (though he will take all his visits), and the Blue Devils are squarely in the mix for five-star post players Marques Bolden (No. 20) and Wenyen Gabriel (No. 23).