DURHAM, N.C. – Under the direction of head coach David Cutcliffe, the Duke football team will open spring practice on Wednesday 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 Saturday, April 14.
Duke returns 16 starters and 48 lettermen from last year’s squad that went 7-6 and capped the campaign with a 36-14 victory over Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl.
Cutcliffe has guided the Blue Devils to five bowl game appearances in the last six years while this past season, Duke earned its fourth winning campaign in the last five years to mark the program’s most successful stretch since four winning seasons in five years between 1960-64.
Rising redshirt junior quarterback Daniel Jones headlines a group of seven returning offensive starters. In 2017, his second season as a starter, the Charlotte, N.C., native completed 257-of-453 (.567) passes for 2,691 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while rushing 161 times for 518 yards and seven scores. Other returning starters include guard Zach Harmon, tight end Daniel Helm (22 receptions, 261 yards & 2 TDs), wide receiver Johnathan Lloyd (39 receptions, 367 yards & 1 TD), honorable mention All-ACC wide receiver T.J. Rahming (65 receptions, 795 yards & 2 TDs) guard Julian Santos and wide receiver Chris Taylor (25 receptions, 332 yards & 1 TD).
Defensively, eight starters return including All-America linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, who led Duke with 125 tackles and 16.0 tackles for loss in 2017. He is joined by tackle Edgar Cerenord (34 tackles & 3.0 TFL), ESPN Freshman All-America end Victor Dimukeje (40 tackles & 7.5 TFL), first team All-ACC cornerback Mark Gilbert (35 tackles, 6 INTs & 15 PBUs), safety Jordan Hayes (50 tackles & 3.0 TFL), end Tre Hornbuckle (50 tackles, 9.5 TFL), linebacker Ben Humphreys (70 tackles & 9.0 TFL) and third team All-ACC safety Jeremy McDuffie (58 tackles, 3 INTs & 9 PBUs).
Four members of Duke’s 2018 Signing Class – tight end Zamari Ellis, offensive lineman Casey Holman, quarterback Gunnar Holmberg and cornerback Jeremiah Lewis – enrolled in January and will participate in spring drills.
Duke opens the 2018 season on September 1 at home against Army West Point. In addition to the Black Knights, Blue Devils will host N.C. Central, Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina and Wake Forest this fall. Season tickets can be purchased by visiting GoDuke.com/Footballtix or by calling the Duke Athletics Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE (2583).