The decision is in.
Chandler Rivers, a three-star cornerback from Beaumont (Texas) United, committed to Duke on Monday. Mississippi State, Kansas, Houston, Colorado, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Missouri were also in the mix for the Lone Star State defensive back.
Rivers’ commitment is the first for the Blue Devils in this 2022 recruiting cycle. Credit defensive backs coach Trooper Taylor and head coach David Cutcliffe for closing out with the talented Texas recruit, who has impressed in camp and 7-on-7 settings throughout the spring thus far.
The opportunity to play early, earn a quality education and be a leader for a prominent ACC program all factored into Rivers’ decision.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“Just talking with my parents and the coaches there at Duke, the relationships are huge. Just being at duke is somewhere I would want to be because I know I’m going to be pushed academically and athletically, and they’re a family-oriented team, so that’s what i look for in a school and they really met all the requirements I have.”
“Coach Trooper (Taylor) played the biggest role .. he sold me the first time we hopped on a Zoom (call). He was saying everything he was saying was facts and he gave me an opportunity to ask some players right now how it is up there at Duke and they were all honest and straightforward about it, which i really liked. The relationships were already there. Coach Troop went to college with my position coach right now at my high school and he coached another one of my coaches here at my high school, so the relationship was there and that just made the decision so much easier. My parents probably talked to Coach (David) Cutcliffe the most, but for me, making my decision he really put the icing on the cake .. I have a growing relationship with him and I’m excited about the future with the Hall of Fame coach.”
“The virtual visits were nice from the jump. I was sold just how much they care about the players — not just on the field, but in the classroom, and thats all looked for in a school. I cant wait to get up there and see it all in person.”
“Playing at Duke, for me personally, I expect to come in and compete to play early. I want to get to be an Academic Freshman All-American. I just plan on being a duke legend and doing what no one else has done there. I went there to be different and with the opportunity i have — he says he likes me on both sides of the ball, which is basically what I’m doing right now in high school and I’m looking forward to seizing that opportunity.
“The Duke coaches expect for me to come in and produce immediately (on) both sides of the ball and academically. I should be a two-year captain, but my expectations from my parents and the coaches are very high and I plan to exceed them.”
Rivers overcomes a shorter stature at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds with outstanding coverage skills and some position versatility in the defensive backfield. He’s capable of lining up outside at cornerback, but can also slide in as ideal nickel defender with the ability to also drop back and cover as a safety.
The Southeast Texas standout can shadow receivers up and down the field and made some athletic breaks on routes for picks. He has fantastic anticipation and is a menace for opposing quarterbacks with his quickness out of breaks and the ability to jump routes.
Rivers is a strong get for the Blue Devils out of Texas for a defensive back with SEC and Pac-12 offers abound.