Gainesville’s Julius Columbus makes his college decision

Gainesville 3-star defensive tackle Julius Columbus has committed to play his college football for Manny Diaz and the Duke Blue Devils.

Columbus is coming off a junior season where he made 41 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 20 sacks on his way to being named AJC First Team All-State. At 6-foot-2, 280 pounds, he is a true defensive tackle who has shown the ability to be both an elite pass rusher and run defender.

Duke is coming off back-to-back bowl seasons, going 17-9 over that span, the school’s best two-year stretch since the 2014-2015 seasons. Following the 2023 season, head coach Mike Elko left to take the Texas A&M job, and the Blue Devils hired Penn State defensive coordinator and former Miami (FL) head coach Manny Diaz as their new head coach. Diaz has a history of developing high-end defensive linemen. Over his time as a defensive coordinator and head coach, he has helped produce 13 players who were drafted into the NFL, while also expecting multiple to be drafted in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Columbus is the fifth player to commit to the Blue Devils’ 2025 recruiting class, which is currently ranked 37th in the country according to 247Sports. Columbus chose Duke over 20 offers from schools like Central Florida, Georgia Southern, and Appalachian State. He is the second player from Georgia to commit to Duke, joining Milton cornerback Ma’khi Jones.


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