DURHAM, N.C. -- One of the most intriguing players on Duke's roster isn't on the two-deep depth chart.
That's because the coaches can't figure out where to put Brandon Connette, a redshirt sophomore who does a little of everything.
He's a backup quarterback who runs short-yardage plays from the Wildcat formation. He also lines up at tight end, wide receiver and running back and plays on special teams.
"I'm just filling in," Connette said, "kind of the filler position, wherever (offensive coordinator Kurt) Roper wants to put me."
Connette played a big part in Duke's opening victory against Florida International, passing for one touchdown and running for another, and his versatility could come in handy Saturday at No. 25 Stanford. Coach David Cutcliffe also hinted that he might have some trickery in store.
Connette was at the center of one gadget play last week, lining up at receiver but misfiring on a deep pass for wideout Jamison Crowder. Duke has a package in which starting quarterback Sean Renfree, backup Anthony Boone and Connette are on the field at the same time.
"We've got more than what we've used," Cutcliffe said. "We've got where all three of them can be out there and some interesting things, but you can't put everything in a game plan.... There's a lot of little things that (Connette) can bring to the table that we're going to use, and I think Anthony can get a little flavor of that, too...."
Connette has been the Blue Devils' short-yardage specialist in the past, taking over for Renfree in the red zone, and he has 10 career touchdown runs..
The plan this year always was to make better use of Connette's versatility, but a run of injuries at key spots has made him even more indispensable. Tight end Braxton Deaver broke his left kneecap, and receiver Blair Holliday suffered severe head injuries in a watercraft accident, both on July 4.
Connette has topped the list of replacements at both spots, making practices hectic.
He said he's "really running around all over the place," working with the tight ends during one five-minute period before joining the quarterbacks or the running backs for another session.
Saturday's game will have special meaning for Connette, who separated a shoulder in last year's 44-14 loss to the Cardinal and was lost for the season. His brother, Simon, is a freshman safety at San Jose State, which gave the Cardinal fits last week before losing 20-17.
"Should've had 'em," Brandon Connette said of his brother's team.