Fall Signing Week '10: New Yorker Tahir Bound for Durham
by Ali Jones
, 12 November 2010
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The very modest Jason Tahir didn't think he was good enough to make the Duke team so he set his eyes elsewhere. This week, however, the blue-chip recruit, whose tennis skills and accomplishments speak louder than the young man himself, will sign a Letter of Intent with the Blue Devils in Durham.
has enjoyed his journey to Duke
© Julie Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
"At the start of the recruiting process, I definitely wouldn't have said that I would have gone to Duke," said the upstate New Yorker. "Back in September  Duke wasn't even on my radar, but it wasn't surprising once I met Coach Ramsey [Smith] and got to know him."
When Tahir went on his official visit to North Carolina, he immediately "connected with the campus" and loved its Georgian and neo-Gothic architecture.
It would certainly be a pleasure to walk to one's classroom in such an inspiring environment. But as Tahir looked deeper into Duke's academics and athletics standards, the more he was convinced that it was a place he could grow not just as a tennis player, but as a student as well. He was attracted to its liberal arts tradition, which resonates with his own education at The Harley School, a small private school in Rochester.
He put a lot of thought into his decision and, in addition to Duke, made official visits to Michigan and Illinois.
"I decided to choose early because after I took my visits," he said. "I felt strongly about those three schools and got all the information that I could. Once I got my thoughts on paper and articulated them I knew Duke was the place I wanted to go to and that decision was there. I felt strongly about it and confident - there was no reason to wait."
The six-foot-two Tahir plans to pursue a major in sociology and history and a certificate for markets and management studies.
"Academics are really crucial," he said. "You want to learn as much as you can so you can be the best possible person you can be. After tennis you have all the options you can get and I feel like a Duke degree is invaluable - it can open so many doors for you."
He timed his official at Duke so that he could attend a class - which he did and enjoyed. He also got to watch two team practices and one individual.
"Obviously really liked what I saw," he recalled. "The energy was good and they were all motivating each other. It was definitely good to see what I was getting myself into."