DURHAM, N.C. – Under the direction of head coach David Cutcliffe, the Duke football team will open spring practice on Friday, March 1 at the Brooks Practice Facility. Under NCAA regulations, the Blue Devils will have 15 practice sessions including the program’s annual Spring Showcase scheduled for Friday, April 5.
Duke returns 15 starters and 50 lettermen from last year’s squad that went 8-5 and capped the campaign with a 56-27 victory over Temple in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl.
Cutcliffe has guided the Blue Devils to six bowl game appearances in the last seven years while this past season, Duke earned its fifth winning campaign in the last six years and picked up the program’s third consecutive bowl victory.
On offense, All-ACC running back Deon Jackson headlines a group of four returning starters including three offensive linemen. In 2018, Jackson rushed for 847 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 26 passes for an additional 253 yards and two scores. On October 27 at Pittsburgh, the rising junior established a school single-game record with 403 all-purpose yards while becoming just the third player in ACC history to top the 400-yard plateau. Up front, guard Rakavius Chambers, tackle Robert Kraeling and center Jack Wohlabaugh return after playing 818, 955 and 828 total snaps, respectively, a season ago.
Duke must replace seven offensive starters including quarterback Daniel Jones, who amassed 9,524 total offensive yards in three years prior to forgoing his final season of eligibility to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Rising redshirt senior Quentin Harris returns having played in 23 career games and guided the Blue Devils to wins over Baylor and N.C. Central last fall while Jones missed action due to injury. In his career, Harris has thrown for 510 yards and eight touchdowns against just one interception while rushing for 275 yards and seven scores. Rising redshirt sophomore Chris Katrenick and rising redshirt freshman Gunnar Holmberg also return with limited playing experience to their credit.
Defensively, eight starters return including all four linemen and All-ACC safety Dylan Singleton, who posted 73 tackles in 10 games in 2018 before suffering a season-ending injury versus North Carolina. In addition, Duke brings back tackle Edgar Cerenord, who has played in 41 career games but suffered a season-ending Achilles injury at Georgia Tech on October 13, as the Miami, Fla., native was awarded a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA. The Blue Devils must replace a pair of all-star linebackers in Joe Giles-Harris (313 career tackles; two-time All-ACC; All-America in 2017) and Ben Humphreys (274 career tackles; two-time All-ACC).
Four members of Duke’s 2019 Signing Class – defensive back Jalen Alexander, defensive back Tony Davis, wide receiver Darrell Harding Jr., wide receiver Eli Pancol and offensive lineman Jacob Monk – enrolled in January and will participate in spring drills.
The Blue Devils open the 2019 season on Saturday, August 31 in Atlanta, Ga., against Alabama. Duke’s home games for the upcoming campaign include dates with North Carolina A&T, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Miami. Season tickets can be purchased by visiting GoDuke.com/Footballtix or by calling the Duke Athletics Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE (2583).