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Duke's Cutcliffe clarifies Tech recruiting comment

After making comments about Georgia Tech’s recruiting challenges at his Tuesday news conference, Duke coach David Cutcliffe spoke further on the matter Wednesday on the ACC coaches teleconference, saying that “I don’t make backhanded compliments. I make a compliment.”

On Tuesday, Cutcliffe answered a question about why more teams don’t use versions of Tech’s spread-option offense. Part of his answer concerned the difficulty in convincing prospects who believe they’re going to play in the NFL to play in an offensive system dissimilar to NFL offenses, or to practice against it in spring practice. He also praised Tech’s coaches for finding players who fit the system and “coaching them very, very well and being very successful.”

Regarding the difficulties in recruiting, “I think anybody that knows football knows what I’m talking about,” Cutcliffe said Wednesday. “We’re dealing with young people today that think about the NFL, talk about the NFL, and so any of us that are a little different – we have the same circumstance here in who we can recruit and do recruit. They recruit people that fit their system. It poses challenges at Duke to have limitations.”

He added that Duke also faces a challenge in not playing a pro-style offense or defense.

“I think Coach (Paul ) Johnson would tell you the same thing,” he said. “Certain kids don’t like to think about playing in that type of system.”

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About the Author

Ken Sugiura covers Georgia Tech sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.