Duke's prize recruit from '09 class to play Saturday

September, 24, 2009
9/24/09
2:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich


Desmond Scott is the caliber of athlete who reflects a different trend in Duke recruiting. The running back had originally committed to Rutgers, but he also attracted interest from programs like North Carolina, NC State, Alabama and Auburn. He was rated the No. 23 running back in the country by ESPN’s Scouts Inc., and was the prize recruit in the Blue Devils’ class of 2009.

And now, the rest of the ACC will get to meet him.

Injuries to senior Re’quan Boyette and sophomore Jay Hollingsworth, coupled with Scott’s recent practices performances, have opened the door for Scott to play this Saturday against N.C. Central. It will be his first collegiate action, as Scott appeared headed for a redshirt and didn’t play the first three weeks.

“He’s ready,” coach David Cutcliffe said earlier this week.

He’s going to have to be. Duke’s rushing game ranks last in the ACC with 61.3 rushing yards per game. It’s a far cry from the high hopes within the program this season because of the return of 2007 leading rusher Boyette from a knee injury. Boyette left the Kansas game with an undisclosed injury, and this would be the perfect opportunity for him to get some rest before facing Virginia Tech next week. Scott rushed for more than 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior at nearby Hillside High School in Durham.

Despite the loss of Boyette, there was some improvement in the running game last weekend. The Blue Devils recorded a season-high 95 rushing yards at Kansas -- more than Duke had in the first two weeks combined as it totaled 19 yards on 16 carries against Richmond and 70 yards 32 attempts at Army.

With backup quarterback Sean Renfree and Scott on the field at the same time Saturday, Blue Devils fans will be getting a sneak preview of the program’s future, and so far, at least Renfree has proven it looks pretty good.

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