San Clemente’s Jack Sears(6-3, 200), arguably the top quarterback recruit in Orange County’s class of 2017, spurned local suitors Monday and committed to Duke.
Sears, an Elite 11 camp participant earlier this summer, picked the Atlantic Coast Conference school over several offers, including USC and UCLA.
“It is more of a life decision than a football decision,” he said in a direct message on Twitter. “It was very hard passing up the opportunity to stay at home and play in front of family and friends. ... (But) going to Duke will definitely give me a different college experience than staying in Los Angeles.”
Sears also mentioned Duke coach David Cutcliffe, well-known for his work with quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, in explaining his commitment.
“Coach Cutcliffe will not only be a great coach to play for, (and) develop me as a quarterback, but he will also be a great mentor,” Sears said.
Last season, Sears passed for 2,697 yards and 37 TDs and rushed for 862 yards and three TDs to help the Tritons reach their second consecutive CIF-SS Southwest Division final. He was only intercepted twice in 2015.
Sears joins former Mater Dei standout Ben Humphreys, who could start at middle linebacker this fall, as a recent high-profile O.C. football commit to Duke.
San Clemente coach Jaime Ortiz had a feeling the past few weeks that his standout might pick Duke.
"I was kind of waiting for him to tell me that he's going to Duke," Ortiz said. "He's willing to go do something different."
Ortiz said Sears narrowed his decision to Duke, USC, UCLA and Utah.
"It's a great opportunity for Jack," Ortiz said. "For him, it just felt like home."
Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter