It is never good news when you lose your top recruiter a week before signing day, but that is the predicament Duke finds itself in today.
Receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Matt Lubick has taken a similar job at Oregon, leaving the Blue Devils after three seasons and most notably, a historic 2012 campaign for the passing game. Duke had the only trio of players in the nation with 60 or more catches this past season; Jamison Crowder (1,074) and Conner Vernon (1,074) became just the second duo in ACC history to post 1,000 or more receiving yards in the same season.
But there is no doubt his impact will be felt on the recruiting trail as precious days tick down. Coach David Cutcliffe said this back in December, when Lubick was honored as the 2012 wide receivers coach of the year by FootballScoop:
"Matt Lubick -- no offense to anyone I’ve ever worked with -- is simply the best recruiter that I’ve ever worked with."
Brandon P. Oliver of ESPN Recruiting Nation expands on that, writing:
He also had the Blue Devils in contention for some high-level recruits from around the country. His reach extended as far west as Nevada and California, as he had Duke in play for two OL recruits that had Oregon offers. Duke was the likely destination for recent Oregon commit Elijah George (Las Vegas/Arbor View) until Lubick got to Oregon and made sure that George was offered. He helped the Blue Devils land players from Northern California, Southern California, Las Vegas and Texas.
Lubick has spent the majority of his career out West, having held assistant jobs at Cal State-Northridge, San Jose State, Oregon State, Colorado State and Arizona State. Oregon is one of the best offensive teams in the country, and Lubick would like to be a head coach one day, following in the same footsteps of his father. You see why the move appealed to him.
But now Duke has to regroup. Lubick's connections out West have clearly helped the Blue Devils, and his ability to connect with his players was huge, too. Desmond Scott said late last year, "You couldn't ask for a better coach."
Cutcliffe has his work cut out for him now.