Duke Football BIO
26 Donovan Varner
2011: Returning starting wide receiver ... named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List ... pre-season All-ACC choice by Athlon Sports (3rd team) ... charted as the No. 37 draft eligible wide receiver in the nation by Phil Steele's College Football Preview ... dynamic competitor ... proven all-star caliber receiver ... strong and physical ... developing into a quiet leader of the receiving unit ... candidate for post-season honors ... career totals include 146 pass receptions for 1,947 yards and 10 TDs ... enters the 2011 season having caught at least one pass in 25 consecutive games, matching the sixth-longest streak in school history ... stands 43 receptions shy of the Duke career record (189) held by Clarkston Hines ... needs 54 catches to become just the sixth player in ACC history to reach the 200-reception plateau ... one of six active players nationally with two seasons of 60+ pass receptions to his credit, joining Indiana's Damarlo Belcher, Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, Houston's Patrick Edwards, Toledo's Eric Page and Baylor's Kendall Wright ... one of 12 players in the history of the ACC to post two seasons with 60+ receptions ... aiming to become the first player in ACC history with three campaigns of 60+ catches ... one of just three receivers in Duke gridiron history to post a 1,000-yard receiving season (1,047 in 2009), joining Wes Chesson (1,080 in 1970) and Clarkston Hines (1,093 in 1987; 1,067 in 1988; 1,149 in 1989) ... Duke's active leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving TDs and 100-yard receiving games (7) ... on Duke's career charts, ranks tied for third in 100-yard receiving games, tied for seventh in receptions, eighth in receiving yards and tied for 10th in touchdown catches ... on the ACC's charts for active players, ranks first in career receptions, second in career receiving yards, ranks tied for second in career 100-yard receiving games, tied for fourth in career touchdown receptions, ninth in career average yards per reception (13.34), 13th in all-purpose yardage (1,966) and tied for 13th in total touchdowns (11) ... on the field for 1,628 career snaps ... in the program's post-spring strength and conditioning evaluation, ranked among the wide receiver leaders in the vertical jump (33.5"; 2nd), broad jump (9'11"; 2nd) and 40-yard dash (4.54 seconds; 3rd).
2010: Academic All-ACC choice ... played in all 12 games with 11 starts ... caught 60 passes for 736 yards and one TD ... rushed six times for two yards ... in the ACC, ranked fourth in receptions per game (5.00) and eighth in receiving yards per game (61.3) ... joined 2010 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Clarkston Hines as the only two Duke WRs to have 60+ pass receptions in multiple seasons ... became just the third player in Duke history (Roger Boone & Hines) and 12th player in ACC history to have 60+ catches in two campaigns ... topped the 100-yard barrier against both Elon (123) and Maryland (128) ... lone TD of the year covered eight yards versus Elon ... caught a season-best eight passes at Maryland and had seven grabs against Elon, Alabama and Georgia Tech ... had two or more receptions in all 12 contests ... logged 50+ receiving yards in nine weeks ... reception total matched the 12th-highest single-season total in Duke history ... receiving yardage total marked the 16th-best single-season total in school history ... teamed with Conner Vernon (73) and Austin Kelly (47) to form the most prolific pass-catching trio in school history with 180 combined receptions ... coupled with Vernon to form the second-most prolific pass-catching tandem in school history with 133 combined receptions ... paired with Vernon (973) to become just the fifth duo in school history to each have 700 or more receiving yards in a single campaign ... key member of a passing attack that ranked second in the ACC and had five players with 30+ receptions for just the second time in school history ... played 776 total snaps.
2009: First team All-ACC choice ... ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III selection ... played in all 12 games with 11 starts ... caught 65 passes for 1,047 yards and eight TDs to lead the team in all three categories ... in the ACC, ranked first in receptions, first in receptions per game (5.42), first in receiving yards per game (87.2), second in receiving yards and tied for second in TD receptions ... nationally, ranked 19th in receiving yards per game, 24th in total receiving yards and 39th in receptions per game ... registered five 100-yard receiving games ... on Duke's single-season lists, totals rank tied for third for 100-yard games, fifth in receiving yards, tied for fifth in receptions, tied for seventh in TD catches and 13th in yards per reception (16.11) ... with Conner Vernon (746) and Austin Kelly (602), became the first trio in school history to each have over 600 receiving yards in a single season ... paired with Vernon to form the top duo in school history for combined receiving yards (1,793) ... with Vernon became just the fourth tandem in Duke history to have over 700 receiving yards each ... against Wake Forest, established single-game career bests with 11 receptions for 174 yards ... other 100-yard games came against Miami (8-165), N.C. State (7-154), Maryland (8-120) and Virginia (7-113) ... closed the season on a high note by registering 19 grabs for 339 yards and three TDs over the final two weeks against Miami and Wake Forest ... earned Duke's Most Outstanding Receiver award ... on the field for 627 total snaps.
2008: Played in 10 games with two starts ... had 21 catches for 164 yards and one TD ... returned four punts for 25 yards ... missed the first two games of the year while recovering from injury ... first collegiate catch converted a 3rd-and-5 with a 36-yard gain against Navy ... capped off the year with a 10-reception, 73-yard outing against North Carolina ... the 10 receptions tied the sixth-highest total by a freshman nationally ... on the field for 225 total plays.
Prior to Duke: Played for Earl Sims at Gulliver Prep ... listed as the No. 21 athlete in the country by ESPN.com ... earned All-Dade County honors.
Personal: Son of Bridgette and John Varner ... born October 20, 1989 ... high school teammate of fellow Duke football team member Conner Vernon ... majoring in sociology.