DURHAM, N.C. – Former Duke tight end Daniel Helm has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Chargers to join the NFL organization as an undrafted free agent.
A third team All-ACC selection as a senior, Helm was a three-year letterwinner at Duke after transferring from the University of Tennessee. He joined the program in January, 2015, and did not play in 2015 due to NCAA transfer regulations. In 38 career games with 24 starts at Duke, Helm tallied 69 receptions for 767 yards (11.12) and six touchdowns.
A native of Chatham, Ill., Helm was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District III first team as a senior and was a two-time Academic All-ACC honoree (2017-18). At Duke, Helm finished with 20 games with two or more receptions and 17 contests with 20 or more receiving yards. He joined Boston College’s Tommy Sweeney as the lone ACC tight ends to have registered 20 or more pass receptions, 200 or more receiving yards and two or more TD catches in 2016-17-18. Away from football, Helm joined 10 teammates on a mission trip to Guatemala for a Habitat for Humanity initiative in May, 2018.
During his 2018 senior season, Helm played in all 13 games and started 11, catching 26 passes for 271 yards (10.42) and two touchdowns. He recorded the game-winning touchdown versus Miami on a two-yard catch from quarterback Quentin Harris, helping Duke to its first win at Miami since 1976. Helm also caught a touchdown against North Carolina as the Blue Devils claimed the Victory Bell for the third consecutive season.
Helm saved some of his most impactful football for the final five games of his career, carding 15 receptions for 163 yards and both scores as Duke secured victories over the Hurricanes, Tar Heels and Temple in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl. He coupled with teammates Davis Koppenhaver (seven) and Noah Gray (one) to form the only tight end group in the league to combine for 10 or more touchdowns. Helm also paired with Koppenhaver (14-115-7) to form the lone tight end duo in the ACC to post 14 or more receptions, 100 or more receiving yards and two or more receiving scores apiece.
As a junior in 2017, Helm was a recipient of the program’s Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award, an honor presented annually to offensive, defensive and developmental program members for their year-round commitment to strength training and conditioning. He led Duke in both catches and receiving yardage in the Quick Lane Bowl victory over Northern Illinois as the Blue Devils captured their second straight bowl win.
Helm graduated from Duke in May, 2018, with a degree in mechanical engineering and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in engineering management.