Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe was showing Nicky DalMolin his baseball swing last weekend. The Blue Devils have a wiffle-ball tournament, and Cutcliffe knew that DalMolin, a sophomore wide receiver at North Forsyth, also plays baseball. So DalMolin got a demonstration of Cutcliffe’s approach at the plate inside the veteran coach’s office.
“It felt like I was talking to my grandfather,” DalMolin said.
These were the kind of moments that stuck with the sophomore after his visit and what helped convince him to verbally commit to Duke on Sunday evening. DalMolin becomes the first non-senior football player in Forsyth County to commit to a college program and possibly the first in the Class of 2020 in Georgia.
Extremely excited to announce that I have verbally committed to Duke University to advance my football and academic career. Thank you to the coaching staff at Duke for giving me this amazing opportunity! #GoBlueDevils pic.twitter.com/Mcncvk62ze— Nicky Dalmolin (@nickydalmolin) March 5, 2018
“It’s an honor,” DalMolin said. “I’m excited. It’s motivation for school and football.”
DalMolin was just starting to gain some traction in the recruiting process. His only other offer came from Appalachian State in January, but DalMolin said he’d also heard from Clemson recently.
Still, DalMolin felt he saw enough in Duke to make a commitment. He liked the school’s facilities and academic reputation, but what made the biggest impression was the camaraderie between the Blue Devils’ coaches.
Case in point: DalMolin met with Duke’s wide receivers and tight ends coaches together on his visit. DalMolin is coming off a productive sophomore season in which he caught 51 passes for 585 yards and four touchdowns and was named second-team all-county. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, it’s possible DalMolin could grow into a tight end.
“They were kind of fighting over where they wanted me,” DalMolin said. “The coaches were awesome to me. I felt like it was a brotherhood around there.”