January 30, 2012

Dukes takes in junior day

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Many of Ohio's top junior prospects were in Columbus this afternoon for Ohio State's big junior day. The juniors watched as the Ohio State men's basketball team took over first place in the Big Ten with a 64-49 victory over Michigan. One of Ohio's top junior receivers was in attendance in Columbus (Ohio) Marion-Franklin product Jaron Dukes. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect has been to Ohio State multiple times for unofficial visits but was able to interact with the new coaching staff for the first time on Sunday afternoon.

"It was pretty nice," said Dukes. "I got to meet all the coaches and everything. I got to talk to coach Stan Drayton, he's the running backs coach now and I got to talk to (receivers coach) Zach Smith so it was cool."

Dukes exploded onto the recruiting scene this past fall, particularly during the playoffs where he turned in some dominating performances. The tall receiver was recently rewarded with his first offer from Toledo and says that many other schools are starting to show serious interest.

"Right now, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kent State (are showing interest)," he said. "My top two would be Ohio State and Michigan. I know that's like the craziest thing."

Dukes grew up a Michigan fan so watching being a guest at Ohio State for a basketball game against Michigan was certainly an interesting experience.

"It was very weird," he laughed. "(The fans) were dissing Michigan in so many ways, it was funny."

Though Dukes still has quite an affinity for Michigan, he is starting to become comfortable with the Ohio State program as well.

"Living in Ohio, it just feels like home," he said. "It was real good to be there and it was a great experience. I feel like a Buckeye already."

Dukes is still recovering from a late season leg injury that has kept him off the basketball floor right now. With some extra time on his hands, he is hoping to check out a bunch of different programs around the Midwest for junior day visits.

"I'm going to talk to Michigan (about a junior day visit), Wisconsin, I'm going to Illinois, and Cincinnati," he said."I'm just trying to enjoy it right now but hopefully I can find somewhere that I can it and be comfortable with and happy with, somewhere that I wouldn't regret. It has to have a great academic area that can help me."


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