Duke couldn't beat the University of Miami last Saturday, but it won a recruiting battle for another one of the top players in the Canes' backyard.
Cypress Bay linebacker Austin Gamble, who visited the Blue Devils this past weekend, decided Sunday Duke is where he wants to play college football. The 6-1, 230-pound senior is considered the ninth-best recruit in Broward this season by The Miami Herald and a consensus Top 50 inside linebacker by Rivals and Scout.com. "Duke is making big strides," Gamble said. " They had a couple seasons where they didn't win a game, but they've done a lot better, especially with some guys from down here. A lot of people say Coach [David] Cutliffe and his work ethic are going to change things. I want to be a part of it."
Gamble said he's passing on offers from Louisville, Pittsburgh, FIU and Mississippi State because he likes the academics at Duke, too.
Gamble is the second commitment from South Florida for the Blue Devils, who start have five players on their current roster from Dade or Broward including quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. Gulliver Prep receiver Conner Vernon, Miami-Dade's No. 12-rated recruit, is also headed to Duke. He made his official visit to Duke this weekend with Gamble.
-- MANNY NAVARRO