“We couldn’t be more excited for Sean and his family,” said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. “I’ve said it before – I think Sean Renfree is the most accurate passer in this year’s draft class. A career completion percentage of nearly 65 percent for a major college quarterback is exceptional, and in Sean’s case, that happened for a reason because of his skill level, mental toughness and preparation. There has been no better representative of the Duke football program since we’ve been here, and the Atlanta Falcons are getting a young man who will have a positive impact on the field, in the film room, in the locker room and in the community; he’s just that type of special person. Today, Sean realizes a dream that so many boys have at an early age and no one is more deserving.”
In 2012, Renfree led the Blue Devils to the program’s first bowl appearance since 1994 and finished the year having completed 297-of-441 (.673) passes for 3,113 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The two-year Duke captain also received recognition for his off-field accomplishments this season by being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and the recipient of both the ACC’s Jim Tatum Award and the Pop Warner National College Football Award. In addition, he was named to the AFCA’s Good Works Team and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., native owns both the school’s single-season (.673 in 2012) and career (.647) records for passing accuracy while ranking second on Duke’s all-time chart for total touchdown responsibility (60). Renfree’s career passing yardage total stands third-highest in school history, trailing only Thaddeus Lewis (10,065) and Ben Bennett (9,614).
For his career, Renfree was 898-of-1,389 through the air for 9,465 yards with 51 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. On the ACC’s all-time lists, his totals rank third for completions, tied for fourth for 300-yard passing games (11), sixth for pass completion percentage and seventh for passing yardage.
Renfree is the first Duke player to be selected by the Atlanta Falcons since Ben Bennett was a sixth round pick in 1984. Renfree is the first Blue Devil quarterback to be chosen in the NFL Draft since Spence Fischer was a sixth round choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996.
Renfree becomes the first player chosen straight from Duke since Drew Strojny was a seventh round pick by the New York Giants in 2004. Ben Patrick, who played three seasons (2003-04-05) at Duke before graduating and playing his final year (2006) of eligibility at Delaware, was picked in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.