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Duke Lands California TE Prospect

Monday, September 16, 2013 9:57am
By: Brian Geisinger

It was a rough Saturday for Duke football; the Blue Devils were thumped by Georgia Tech's triple option attack, 38-14. Despite the loss, not all was bad for David Cutcliffe's program. The Blue Devils picked up a key commitment: flex tight end Davis Koppenhaver.

At Newhall (Calif.) Hart High, Koppenhaver plays in a spread offense that puts a premium on passing the football, which means he should transition nicely into Cutcliffe's pass-heavy attack. So far in 2013, Koppenhaver has already compiled 22 receptions for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

It was more than just Duke's offense that attracted Koppenhaver to the program, though. The strong academic reputation of the school was a critical factor in his decision-making process.

Koppenhaver is rated as a two-star prospect by 247Sports.com, and a three-star prospect by Scout. Aside from Duke, he'd collected offers from all across the country: Iowa State, UNLV, New Mexico, and New Mexico State. Yale and Colgate were also interested.

The 6-5 pass-catcher, who also plays basketball for Hart High, has great size and hands. And while he plays some wide receiver in Hart's offense, you can certainly expect to see him exclusively playing tight end when he arrives in Durham.

The fact that Koppenhaver is alive and even able to play football at all is actually kind of amazing - he's a cancer survivor. When he was 11, doctors had to perform an emergency surgery on his throat to remove a tumor that was blocking 90 percent of his airway.

Koppenhaver beat the disease and now gets to focus on beating linebackers and safeties on passing routes for the Blue Devils. 

Check out some highlights of Koppenhaver's junior season here: