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Amile Jefferson, a top recruit at power forward, chooses Duke

May 16, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Highly recruited power forward Amile Jefferson, left, has signed his letter of intent to play for Duke.
Highly recruited power forward Amile Jefferson, left, has signed his letter… (Jonathan Daniel / Getty…)

Amile Jefferson initially didn't have Duke on his short list of colleges to attend and almost signed early with another school. Likewise, the Blue Devils showed minimal interest in the highly coveted big man from Friends' Central School in Philadelphia.

That all changed during Jefferson's senior season, when Duke suddenly decided to offer the 6-foot-7, 190-pound power forward a scholarship and Coach Mike Krzyzewski took over the recruiting process.

"Once Coach K started recruiting me, I did not talk to an assistant coach," Jefferson said. "That definitely shows the coach wants you, and every conversation I had with him seemed genuine. I felt like I can become a better person and player at Duke University."

As unlikely as it may have seemed just a short time ago, Jefferson has signed his letter of intent to play with Duke in the fall, school officials announced Tuesday night.

"Duke is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something you don't pass up on," said Jefferson, who also considered playing for Kentucky, North Carolina State, Ohio State and Villanova.

Jefferson gives the Blue Devils' recruiting class a second McDonalds' All-American, along with Rasheed Sulaimon of Strake Jesuit in Houston. Krzyzewski called him “a perfect young man for Duke University.”

As a senior, Jefferson averaged 19.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.7 steals. He will join a Duke frontcourt that also includes seniors Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly.

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Amile Jefferson, a top recruit at power forward, chooses Duke

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