Three-star outside linebacker recruit Detric Dukes from Tucker High School in Tucker is a versatile player capable of being inserted into multiple schemes. The only commitment the University of Georgia has received at the linebacker position, Dukes is a true form player and an instinctive one at that. However, he has yet to develop the violent streak that will set him apart from other linebackers in his class.
Dukes is a technically sound linebacker who possesses above average size, speed and strength. At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, Dukes is a formidably-sized linebacker, but his 455-pound squat and 315-pound bench press exemplify his explosive abilities. Perhaps the most impressive ability Dukes showcases on tape is his talent as a “closer.” Dukes oftentimes spans the entire field and the backfield in pursuit of the ball carrier and punctuates that with a tackle. One of Dukes’ most striking qualities is his downhill speed. Having lined up at tight end as well as running back, Dukes is comfortable with the ball in his hands, and it is tough to bring him down in the open field. Because of this, he is a tough task to block when he reaches full speed. Additionally, he is a very natural pass catcher has a superb jumping ability that sets him up for a high volume of interceptions.
Though Dukes is a very instinctive diagnostician at the linebacker position, that might in fact be his biggest weakness as well. While Dukes manages to make it to the ball in a timely fashion, he seems to play the game in his head a little too much. Because of this, Dukes is not as violent of a hitter as one would like for a collegiate outside linebacker. Dukes also needs to develop more as pass rusher in order to occupy the same position in Georgia’s 3-4 defense as he played in high school.
Although his mean streak may not be evident on film, the technically sound nature of his play makes Dukes a very good developmental prospect. Sound in pass coverage and against the run, Dukes is a refined player who just needs to develop into his frame. Sufficiently strong and fast for an elite high school athlete, Dukes needs to be more than that to succeed in the Southeastern Conference. Dukes may be best served to move to the inside linebacker position in order to take advantage of his skills. But regardless of the hypothetical change, Dukes will almost definitely take a redshirt season in his first year to hone in his skills. If Dukes can develop a tenacious streak and continue his natural progression, he can easily fill in as a starter in Georgia’s system two or three years down the line. If not, Dukes will be a solid special teams player who can contribute two or three tackles in relief per game.