Duke scores big on recruiting trail

Duke secured the biggest commitment of the David Cutcliffe era on Monday -- if not the school's biggest commitment of the past few decades -- when the Blue Devils landed ESPN 300 receiver Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale/Cardinal Gibbons).

It's amazing what a little success can do.

Lee, who is ranked No. 235 in the ESPN 300, is no doubt the prize of a class that is arguably Duke's best in recent history. Since the inception of the ESPN rankings in 2006, the Blue Devils have never signed an ESPN 150 or ESPN 300 recruit -- until now.

ACC recruiting expert Jared Shanker did a great job of putting this into perspective:

In the 2014 class, Duke has four commitments rated as four-star prospects. Between 2010 and 2013, Duke’s only four-star signee was a kicker.

It's important to realize, though, that this didn't happen overnight. Sure, winning the Coastal Division title has helped on the recruiting trail, but Duke's recruiting has steadily improved every year under Cutcliffe. The Blue Devils won the Coastal Division title and made a heckuva run in the Chick-fil-A Bowl because they've been recruiting better athletes all along.

Heading into the Dr Pepper ACC championship game in December, I asked Cutcliffe what he planned on doing to make sure that the success of 2013 would not be a "flash in the pan," as he had declared it wouldn't be in November.

"Well, recruit," he said. "I mean, it's really that simple."

Cutcliffe has found a way to get it done.