January 13, 2012

Duncan to visit?

Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek running back Jela Duncan has narrowed his list of choices down to Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

"Tennessee just came into the mix a little bit, but I don't really know too much about them," Duncan said. "I followed Coach Jay Graham when he was down at South Carolina."

The 5-foot-10 and 190-pounder is still up in the air when it comes to making a decision, and hopes the rest of the official visits he plans to take will show him where he best fits in.

Duncan (Rated as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 24 running back and the No. 12 prospect overall in North Carolina by Rivals.com) traveled to East Carolina Friday, Jan. 13 for an official visit. He will go to Duke next weekend, but has not decided where he will go after that.

"I have talked to the [ECU] coaching staff on a consistent basis, and I've gotten to know them," Duncan said. "They're real good coaches. I'm debating on those two [UNC and WFU] that last week of January. I might take a visit to Carolina sometime during next week, like just on an unofficial visit to get up there and meet the coaching staff. We have off days next week, because of exams."

The Charlotte product has never been to Wake, but has not met newly hired UNC head coach Larry Fedora either.

"I have talked to him [Fedora] on the phone before," Duncan said. "He's talked about the new offense, and how he needs to get me up there [to] put a face with the name. He's a fired up coach, and he's willing to go up there and change around that program at North Carolina. He's bringing the spread offense, and we ran a spread offense at Mallard Creek."

Duncan added that it would be good to play with his former high school teammate Marquise Williams again, who is a backup quarterback for the Tar Heels.

Lonnie Galloway is recruiting him for the Demon Deacons, who has twice visited Duncan; once at home and once at school. Wake Forest associate head coach and running backs coach Billy Mitchell accompanied Galloway on the trip to Mallard Creek.

"They showed me some film, and it's similar to what we run at Mallard Creek, because we run multiple styles of offense," Duncan said. "I'm pretty used to the spread, pro-style or a little bit of everything. I think I'll fit in pretty good."

Galloway has cultivated a strong connection with Duncan, which has played a key role in the Deacs making the Charlotte product's short list.

"He's a real player's coach," Duncan said. "He's in tune with his players, and he's there for his players whenever they need him."

The Demon Deacons can only hope Galloway's relationship with Duncan will be strong enough to convince the Charlotte running back to choose Wake over Carolina for his last official visit, which would give Jim Grobe and his staff one last opportunity to sell him on the "Black & Gold."

Duncan rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season to help lead Mallard Creek to a 13-1 record and a fourth round appearance in the state playoffs.

Stay tuned to Deacons Illustrated for more updates on Jela Duncan and Wake Forest recruiting news.

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