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Five-star forward Amile Jefferson announces for Duke

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
Amile Jefferson, the nation's highest-ranked recruit on the board, announced for Duke over NC State. (US Presswire)

Over the past few months, we had heard on several occasions that Amile Jefferson was close to a college decision. Jefferson had even said multiple times that he was ready to end his recruitment.

It never materialized, and Jefferson gave out very few hints as to his college destination.

On Tuesday, we finally got our answer: Jefferson is headed to Duke.

"In the end, I just think Duke was the best choice for me," he said.

MORE: Even with Jefferson's decision, book not closed on 2012 yet
MORE: Duke will move into the top-25 team rankings

Jefferson, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Friends Central (Pa.), was the nation's highest-ranked uncommitted player still on the board. He chose the Blue Devils over North Carolina State, Kentucky, Villanova and Ohio State. The two Tobacco Road schools were the leaders for most of Jefferson's recent recruitment, although Kentucky made a late run and Villanova had the local angle.

He is a very difficult matchup for most defenders, given his size, length and athleticism. While Jefferson needs to add strength, he is effective along the baseline and in the post. He can also step out and knock down shots from the perimeter when given the opportunity. Jefferson's ability to run the floor and go off the dribble is also an asset that will be useful in the ACC.

"Right now I don't think they have a player at my position," he said. "I don't think they have a guy like me."

MORE: CBSSports.com Top 100 for 2012
MORE: CBSSports.com Top 100 for 2013

Jefferson is only the second commitment in Duke's recruiting class for 2012, joining five-star guard Rasheed Sulaimon, who was ranked No. 13 by CBSSports.com.

His addition also gives the Blue Devils another much-needed frontcourt weapon for next season. Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee return, but Jefferson adds versatility and lineup options.

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