@DuqFB Announces 2017 Recruiting Class
Feb. 1, 2017
PITTSBURGH - Duquesne head football coach Jerry Schmitt and his staff left no stone unturned in assembling a wide-ranging 2017 recruiting class.
Seven former WPIAL players - including two members of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 and a high-level former volleyball player, a number multiple-sport standouts spanning six states and even one Austrian make up the 15-man group of newest Dukes announced today.
"As our program grows, our recruiting footprint grows, and this class is a reflection of that," said Schmitt, who will be entering his 13th season as head coach. "As more student-athletes and high school coaches recognize our program, combined with the academic reputation of Duquesne University, we are gaining interest beyond our traditional areas."
The 2017 class features players covering eight positions including six linemen, two linebackers, two quarterbacks, two defensive backs, one tight end, one receiver and one running back.
"We identified position-specific needs and the staff did a good job of finding student-athletes that are a good fit for Duquesne University and our program," said Schmitt.
Quarterback Alex Smith (Dormont, Pa./Keystone Oaks) and running back DeWayne Murray III (Homestead, Pa./Steel Valley), both members of the P-G Fab 22, headline a group of seven WPIAL players that includes tight end Jake Dixon (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park), defensive back Jassir Jordan (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa/Milford Academy), defensive lineman Roman Macek (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour), offensive lineman Mark Weideman (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) and sophomore University of Maryland transfer linebacker Brett Zanotto (Pittsburgh, Pa./Franklin Regional).
Dixon, the cousin of former Dukes quarterback/receiver Connor Dixon, originally signed with Lewis University as a Division I volleyball player. The three-sport high school star opted to return to football in the fall.
Dixon and Zanotto are two of five mid-year enrollees in the class. They are joined by Boise State graduate transfer quarterback Tommy Stuart (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall), Milford Academy defensive lineman Chris Boyd (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores) and former WPIAL star Jordan.
Duquesne crossed the Atlantic to secure two-way lineman Maxi Hradecny (Vienna, Austria), who was a member of theU19 Austrian national team, and dipped into Florida to land receiver Davie Henderson (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven).
The coaching staff also crossed the border into Ohio to ink two-way lineman Jack Dawson (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls). Dawson, like fellow lineman recruit Roman Macek, is also a standout wrestler.
Center Mack Grey (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep), who anchored an offensive line that helped St. Joe's Prep to a Class 6A state title, rounds out the crew of talented linemen.
Defensive back Spencer DeMedal (New Wilmington, Pa./Wilmington Area), an all-region football and basketball player, joins Jordan - who was all-state in both football and basketball at Aliquippa - as DU's other defensive backfield recruit.
Junior linebacker Jalen Booker (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge/Lackawanna College) was also a decorated wrestler in high school.
"Athletic ability is the number one on-field attribute we look for in our recruits," said Schmitt. "We then identify their football-playing ability and those two attributes generally parallel each other."
Duquesne finished 8-3 last season in tying for its fourth Northeast Conference title in the past six years with a 5-1 record.
The Dukes, who have put together back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time since 2002 & 2003, begin spring practice on March 13.
"We look forward to getting this group to campus and working toward another championship," said Schmitt.