Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Duke Blue Devils pick up junior college TE

The Blue Devils have added the commitment of 6-foot-4, 235-pound tight end Cooper Helfet of Santa Rosa (Cal.) junior college. Helfet was also offered scholarships by Iowa State, Utah State and Texas State, and was being recruited by Louisville.

“Duke has this big passing game,” Helfet said. “The junior college I was at, all we did was throw the ball. Even in high school I was a receiver. I’ve got to learn how to get in a three-point stance and block, but the position I played in junior college was like a tight end for the pass routes.”

Helfet has remarkable 4.52-second speed for his size in the 40-yard dash. He plans on enrolling at Duke for the second semester this school year and participating in spring practice. He’ll have two years of eligibility.

As a junior college sophomore, he caught 40 passes for 657 yards and seven TDs while part of a four-receiver offense. Duke, though, recruited him to play TE.

“I’m a good-sized kid,” Helfet said. “I can certainly match up with linebackers; I can beat them with my speed. And with safeties, I can normally use my body to shield them off and catch balls. That’s why (Duke coach David) Cutcliffe said he wanted me.”

--Stan Olson

Please send recruiting information (visits, offers, commitments) to solson@charlotteobserver.com


Anonymous said...

dook going after jucos now...they must really be getting desperate if they're willing to put that "great" academic rep in jeopardy. Good luck to the kid, he probably played in front of a bigger home crowd at the juco than he will in the durham dump that is wws.

MichaelProcton said...

What about Junior College players implies they're poor students? Helfet didn't end up at Santa Rosa because he was a non-qualifier. He ended up there because that was where he could play. Duke, unlike certain other ACC schools in the Triangle, does NOT compromise their admittance requirements for athletes. Cutcliffe practically begged them to, and the administration said it wasn't happening. Don't be bitter because a young man has made everything he could out of his athletic career.

Anonymous said...

that a juco didnt qualify is a common misconception. I cover a juco for a community newspaper and most of the guys are great kids. The school doesn't even offer scholarships so all of them pay their own way and the majority come from decent two-parent families. Jucos suffer from a negative rep for sure...