Profile: Tyler Petite
Position: Tight End
Location: Moraga (Calif.) Campolindo
Weight: 225 pounds
Recruiting: Petite's commitment to Duke over USC was one of the biggest recruiting surprises of the year. Petite just visited USC a week ago and according to several players who talked to him at the camp, the tight end seemed like a done deal for the Trojans. Add in the fact that Petite was an admitted Trojan fan growing up and all signs pointed to him staying in-state. In the end, he said he followed his gut and said Duke was where he felt most comfortable and most at home. Also credit the Duke coaching staff who did a great job recruiting him from day one and made him a top priority.
What to Like: Petite has very good size, runs well and can get down the field and make plays. He plays like a big receiver and can split out wide or play in the box as a traditional tight end. He has a nice catch radius and uses his long frame to make catches over and around opposing defensive players. He's a smooth route runner, very coordinated and can get in and out of his breaks with ease. He's a fluid athlete with soft hands and should be a major red zone threat. Throw in a solid work ethic off the field and a player who always competes at a high level and Petite could make an early impact for the Blue Devils.
Areas for improvement: Like with a lot of young players, Petite needs to get bigger and stronger, especially in his upper body before he can play at the college level. He has a great frame and plenty of room to add the necessary size so putting on an additional 25 pounds or so shouldn't be an issue. He'll also need to continue to work on his blocking and becoming a more physical player. Again, this will come with the weight training as he's already a willing blocker and has the right mindset for the position.
Overall Analysis: Petite was a big pickup for Duke for multiple reasons. For one, he's an outstanding player with a ton of ability. He's the No. 2 rated TE out West with offers from all over. To come all the way across the country and win a head to head battle with USC doesn't happen very often, especially when that player grew up rooting for the Trojans. With the addition of Petite and the earlier commitment of under-rated receiver Aaron Young, look for Duke to spend even more time recruiting the Golden State.