Wide Receiver: 6-4/200/NA
Marion-Franklin HS (Columbus, OH)
NR: *** - Position Rank: 60
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Jaron Dukes Video.
His Recruiting Story
As big as signing day is for high school seniors, juniors find themselves in precarious positions when college coaches come calling looking to extend scholarship offers to the next class. Marion-Franklin high school wide receiver Jaron Dukes was the recipient of a Michigan offer on February 2nd, 2012 and couldn’t have been more excited about the news.
“It feels great,” Dukes said after being offered by the Wolverines. “I grew up a Michigan fan and loving Michigan -- although I had a lot of criticism since I live in Ohio. I’m excited. I’m already ready to be in the blue.”
“I want to leave stuff open for right now and make sure that’s where I want to go academically and that’s where my heart (is).”
With Duke’s heart already uncontrollably thumping over the Wolverines, the 6’4, 200-pounder made his way north to Ann Arbor just a week later to fully engulf himself in the atmosphere of the Michigan program.
“It went great,” Dukes said afterwards. “I saw everything…the facilities, academic programs… just everything! It was everything I expected it to be plus more. I thought the town was going to be very small, but it’s not that small. I liked it… I liked it a lot!”
Headed home to collect his thoughts, Duke’s experience on his visit to Ann Arbor was too much to shake, making the decision to commit to the Wolverines just a week later -- fulfilling a lifelong dream and giving Michigan a physical, lanky, and talented wide out from the state of Ohio.
“It feels great right now. I talked it over with my mom and coaches; I prayed on it and felt it was just time to commit. The first person I called was Coach Montgomery. He was really excited. I could hear him running down the hall trying to get me to different coaches. I could tell they’re real excited.”
With five-star quarterback Shane Morris in the fold as well, Dukes felt comfortable in knowing opportunities would be plentiful to make plays in an offense powered by a strong armed lefty.
“Knowing Shane, seeing his highlight film, and how great of a player he is,” said Dukes. “He knows how to get the ball to his receivers. He’s not afraid to use all of his options.”
The full time move by Michigan, under offensive coordinator Al Borges, to a pro-style, run oriented offense that mixes in a plentiful dearth of down the field opportunities via play action should provide Dukes the opportunity to do what he does best – be physical blocking on the perimeter, use his body to make tough catches in traffic, and utilize his height advantage over corners to make big plays for the Wolverines down the field.
Duke’s high school coach at Marion-Franklin, Brian Haffele, see’s a bright future for his pupil, detailing intricacies in his game that can be worked on and improved prior to, and once he arrives in Ann Arbor this June.
"He needs to work on overall size and speed,” said Haffele. “He needs to get to that 4.5 range to be legit in the Big Ten. In the Big Ten, the defensive backs are stronger, bigger, faster, so he has to get his body bigger, stronger, faster. He's young for his class actually, so just the whole maturity of his physical stature, he's just going to get better and better. It's just the beginning of his career now. He has to finish strong here and get ready to leave and go to Ann Arbor."