DURHAM, N.C. – For the second consecutive year, six Duke football players were selected for membership in the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame’s Hampshire Honor Society. Representing Duke were DeVon Edwards, Thomas Hennessy, Corbin McCarthy, Dominic McDonald, Tanner Stone and A.J. Wolf.
Duke’s six selections were tied for third among all Power 5 conferences, trailing only Utah (9) and Illinois (8). Duke has now placed at least four players on the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in five of the last six seasons.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. A total of 1,089 players from 297 schools qualified for membership in the society’s 11th year, both new single-year records in the history of the program.
“We are pleased to see a record number of colleges and universities embrace the Hampshire Honor Society this year,” NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said. “Over the past decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives.”
Edwards, a four-year starter at safety, picked up his second NFF honor as he was a National Scholar-Athlete and a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy in December. Edwards was an All-America selection as a return specialist in 2013 (second team pick by the Walter Camp Foundation, third team honoree by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele, honorable mention by Sports Illustrated) and 2014 and 2015 (honorable mention by Sports Illustrated). A team captain in 2016, Edwards played in 44 career games with 37 consecutive starts. He recorded 327 tackles (182 solo), 12.0 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 22 PBUs, eight quarterback pressures, six caused fumbles and five interceptions during his four seasons with the Blue Devils. A kickoff return specialist, Edwards returned 74 kickoffs for 2,060 yards (27.84) and six touchdowns. The four-time Academic All-ACC selection (2013-14-15-16) with a psychology major became the 19th player in Duke history to reach the 300-tackle barrier. He was also a three-time All-ACC honoree as a return specialist (third team/2013; first team/2014; second team/2015) and a two-time honorable mention pick as safety (2014 and 2015).
Hennessey served as Duke’s long snapper for four years. In 52 games, all starts, he made four tackles and was on the field for 545 career snaps. During his four seasons, he helped Duke convert 61-of-80 (.763) field goal attempts and 187-of-188 (.995) PAT tries as the Blue Devils averaged 30.19 points per game. He played a key role in Duke ranking among the ACC’s leaders in net punting in three of his four seasons (4th in both 2013 & 2014; 6th in 2015) while the Blue Devils yielded the fewest punt return yards in two seasons (33 in 2014 & 42 in 2015). The psychology major owns a 3.7 GPA.
McCarthy, a four-year letterwinner at safety and evolutionary anthropology major, appeared in 53 career games (19 starts) and registered 120 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, five quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, one interception and one caused fumble. He started the final 14 games of his career and turned in his most impactful year as a senior with career numbers across the board, including 12.0 TFL and 3.5 sacks. McCarthy had 30 career games with two or more tackles, including a personal-high eight stops at Northwestern in 2016.
McDonald lettered two seasons (2015-16) as a reserve defensive end who became a starter during his senior year. The theater studies major played in 21 career games (nine starts) and made 27 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks and two quarterback pressures. He finished with two or more tackles in eight games including, a career-high five stops against No. 15 North Carolina on November 10, 2016, as the Blue Devils recorded a 28-27 upset.
Stone, a psychology major, earned three letters as a member of the Blue Devils’ offensive line. A two-time Academic All-ACC selection, Stone was a two-year starter at right guard. He played in 31 career games with 25 consecutive starts to end his career. Stone was part of an offensive front in 2015 that ranked second in the ACC and sixth nationally in fewest tackles for loss allowed per game (4.15). He was the recipient of the 2015 Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award, an honor presented annually to one offensive player, one defensive player and one player in the developmental program for their year-round commitment to strength training and conditioning.
Wolf received four letters and a pair of CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America accolades as a defensive lineman. He appeared in 48 career games (25 consecutive starts to finish career) and recorded 133 tackles, 14.0 TFL, 6.0 quarterback sacks, 10 quarterback pressures, one caused fumble and one fumble recovery. Wolf became just the second Blue Devil to receive multiple CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America honors, joining three-time selection Mike Diminick (1986-88). The public policy studies major was a two-time Academic All-ACC honoree (2015-16), one of 19 quarterfinalists for the 2016 Lott IMPACT Trophy and a finalist for the 2016 Pop Warner College Football Award. On the field, Wolf booked two or more tackles in 30 career games, including a personal-high 10 stops against Pittsburgh in 2015.