By Logan Moon, Duke Sports Information
DURHAM, N.C. - In today’s world, it can be rare to see people offering up their free time to help those less fortunate. However, that is not the case for Duke senior linebacker Koby Quansah. Seen as having an impact both on and off the field, Quansah is the model of what a Blue Devil student-athlete strives to be.
A native of Manchester, Conn., Quansah’s accolades accumulated during his time in Durham are vast.
As a freshman, he played in all 12 games and was one of only eight Blue Devil rookies to earn a varsity letter. As a sophomore, he earned an Academic All-ACC honor, received the Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award, an honor presented every year to offensive, defensive and developmental program members for their year-round commitment to strength training and conditioning, and also received the Bill Keziah Award as the team’s most outstanding special team’s performer. As a junior, he booked 38 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and one pass breakup.
As impressive as his play is on the gridiron, Quansah does even more off of it.
In May 2018, he and some of his fellow Duke teammates went on a mission trip to Guatemala for a Habitat for Humanity initiative. While in Guatemala, the group took part in multiple projects to assist those less fortunate. Quansah felt his time there was very rewarding.
“Guatemala was a great experience, and it really opened my eyes to see people who have much less than I do,” he said. “We can take so much for granted here in the U.S. The people there appreciated every little thing that we did for them. We had the opportunity to build homes and smokeless stoves, which I believe helped change their lives. It was also great being able to spend time with my teammates and getting to see a whole different place.”
As a result of his community service acts, Quansah has recently been nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which is an honor that recognizes excellence in community service.
“This is a great honor. I am joining a list of Duke players who have been a part of this before me," he said of the nomination. "If I am able to join that list (of recipients), then it would wonderful.”
Quansah also feels that through these community service opportunities, he has improved his leadership skills in football.
“In Guatemala, there was an obvious language barrier,” he said. “I had to communicate with the citizens in a variety of ways. That experience transferred to me being able to communicate effectively with my teammates because some of the younger guys learn by example and some of them learn by me just talking to them. The trip taught me how to be a better vocal leader.”
With the season approaching, Quansah said he had a variety of both personal and team goals that he would like to achieve this year.
“My personal goals are to just do what I do best, and that is to play football,” he said. “I want to stay healthy, try to lead the team, lead the defense, lead my linebacking core and to just have a great all-around season. My team goals are very similar in that respect. I want to get the young guys physically and mentally prepared as best possible, and just win as many games as possible.”
With a tough 2019 schedule, the team will need leaders to stand up and brave the storm, and Quansah is willing to accept the challenge.