There are 15 redshirt freshmen listed on Duke’s roster. Fifteen players with a year in the program who have yet to step on the field, and see action, in a college game. Five of their classmates earned playing time last season as true freshmen, during the Blue Devils magical 2013 season, but these 15 guys haven’t taken a live snap since their last game as seniors in high school back in November or December 2012. They have to be chomping at the bit to get on the field and show their stuff.
Blue Devil Nation is confident there are multiple solid players and several future stars amongst the 15 redshirts who will have their first opportunity to see live action on August 30, 2014, when the Elon Phoenix arrive at Wallace Wade Stadium for the season opener.
In this article, Blue Devil Nation will refamiliarize the faithful followers of Duke football with the redshirts who will be looking to make an impact during the 2014 season.
RB Joeseph Ajeigbe, 5’9″ 210, Norco, Riverside CA, ranked the number 61 running back in the nation by ESPN. Ajeigbe scored 48 rushing touchdowns during his high school career. He carried the ball 10 times for 59 yards, and recorded four receptions for 34 yards, during the Spring Game back on March 1st. Ajeigbe runs with power and will certainly see a significant number of snaps in 2014 as Duke has utilized a deep running back rotation over the past several seasons.
WR Terrence Alls, 6’1″ 180, Dade Christian, Miami Gardens FL, caught 108 passes for 1,856 yards during his high school career. As a senior, returned nine punts for 93 yards and seven kickoffs for 236 yards. Competition for playing time at wide receiver will be fierce; however, Alls could utilize his punt and kick return skills to make an impact on Special Teams.
QB Parker Boehme, 6’2″ 220, Sandalwood, Jacksonville Beach FL, an early enrollee (January 2013) who completed 11 of 13 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in the 2013 Spring Game. Boehme was ranked as the number 23 dual threat QB in the nation by 247Sports and is a powerful runner.
OT Gabe Brandner, 6’6″ 275, Heathwood Hall, Blythewood SC, ranked as the number 78 offensive tackle in the nation by 247Sports.
S Phillip Carter, 6’1″ 195, Folsom, El Dorado Hills CA, ranked as the number 72 safety in the nation by ESPN. Carter is another defensive back with good size. He recorded five tackles in the Spring Game with two being solo efforts.
WR Quay Chambers, 6’3″ 205, Monroe, Monroe NC, ranked as the number 39 dual threat QB in the nation by 247Sports and the number 40 by ESPN. An explosive athlete who was praised by Head Coach David Cutcliffe after preseason scrimmages in 2013. Chambers caught four passes for seven yards in the Spring Game.
C Austin Davis, 6’4″ 285, Mansfield, Mansfield TX, ranked as the number six center in the nation by ESPN. Davis is a young offensive lineman who could challenge for early playing time, which will support Duke’s desire to play uptempo. Coach Cutcliffe has stated in the past, he desires to reach a point where two offensive lines are playing.
CB T.J. Douglas, 6’1″ 185, Fort Myers, Fort Myers FL, played quarterback in high school and totalled 40 touchdowns in his career. Douglas has good size and has been transitioned to defensive back.
S/CB Evrett Edwards, 5’11” 190, Woodbridge, Woodbridge VA, ranked the number 43 cornerback in the nation by ESPN. Edwards recorded 108 tackles and 10 interceptions in his high school career. He enrolled early (January 2013) and is projected to see significant playing time in 2014. Edwards has participated in two Spring Games recording a total of 10 tackles including a QB sack.
LB Chris Holmes, 6’2″ 215, Chancellor, Fredricksburg VA, played for the Blue Squad in the Spring Game recording six tackles. Holmes was ranked the number 77 safety in the nation by Scout. He moved to linebacker this past spring.
S Jake Kite, 6’0″ 185, Hidden Valley, Roanoke VA, ranked the number 39 safety in the nation by ESPN. Kite also performed duties as a kickoff returner in high school so he is another candidate to make his mark on Special Teams.
OT Sterling Korona, 6’7″ 290, Ronald Reagan, San Antonio TX, ranked the number 68 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN and 247Sports.
S Quay Mann, 5’9″ 190, Northern Nash, Rocky Mount NC, ranked the number 89 cornerback in the nation by ESPN. Mann enrolled early (January 2013) so he has participated in two Spring Games recording one tackle and an interception in 2013 and seven tackles in 2014.
LB Dominic McDonald, 6’2″ 240, Lake Brantley, Longwood FL, ranked the number 59 outside linebacker in the nation by ESPN. McDonald enrolled early (January 2013) but did not participate in the 2013 Spring Game due to knee surgery. He recorded six tackles in the 2014 Spring Game.
DT Mike Ramsay, 6’2″ 295, Walker School, Smyrna GA, recorded four tackles including a quarterback sack and forced a fumble in the Spring Game. Ramsay will challenge for playing time in the interior defensive line in relief of established upperclassmen.
Coach Cutcliffe has been aggressively utilizing the redshirt strategy since arriving at Duke to build solid depth on the roster. The strategy has paid dividends in recent seasons and is one of many factors contributing to the resuscitation of the football program in Durham. The 15 players listed above have a year in the program, in the weight room and the film room, and on the practice field, under the tutelage of an excellent staff, growing a year older, bigger, stronger, faster and smarter than when they arrived on campus. Their next developmental step is to walk out on the field and play. Blue Devil Nation will be watching for them in the highlights reels over the next four seasons!