Duke football continues preparations

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke football continued its preparations for the 2020 season at the Brooks Practice Facility on Tuesday.

The Blue Devils, who have been under careful watch by the team's coaches and medical staff, enjoyed sunny skies during their fourth practice of fall camp. Senior defensive end Drew Jordan and senior tight end Noah Gray met with the media virtually at the conclusion of practice.

"We're really focused on the goal of going down and winning an ACC championship, and that's what we've been sticking to since we've been here on campus," Jordan said when asked about his thoughts on the scope of college football in recent days. "You know we're not worried about the Big Ten or Pac 12, we're worried about ACC football. So, that's what we're going to continue to do moving forward."

Jordan has seen action in 37 out of his 38 possible games for Duke. In 1,498 career snaps, the Suwanee, Ga., native has earned 67 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one caused fumble, one fumble recovery and 11 quarterback pressures. When asked about how he and the rest of the Blue Devils are staying healthy and safe since being back in Durham, Jordan had this to say.

"First and foremost, we have a great medical staff here. They're doing a phenomenal job of wiping things down and keeping everything clean for us. And then us as players, we're walking around with masks on and staying socially distant when we can. We're really trying to create a bubble within our program. So that's how we've been functioning since we've been on campus and once other students arrive here on campus as well we're going to continue those mandates."

When asked another question about what exact measures Duke football has in place for the players Jordan continued his thoughts.

"Like I was saying before, we have the greatest medical staff here in the country and we also have the greatest medical school here at Duke. So, they've been doing a great job of testing us and instructing us on what protocols we have to follow. An example would be, let's say we go into the training room and somebody is using a foam roller. We do a great job of wiping those things down before and after with bleach. That's mandated by us as players and we'll continue to hold each other accountable moving forward."

Gray, a 2020 John Mackey Award Watch List selection, was a Second Team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation just a year ago. In 38 career games, he has totaled 76 receptions for 663 yards and six touchdowns. His 76 receptions are currently tied with Chuck Drulis for ninth all-time in Duke's career receptions by a tight end. When it was his chance to speak with media Gray echoed Jordan's sentiments about how comfortable he feels being back.

"I believe that our coaches, our athletic training staff as well as our equipment and weight training staff are doing the best that they can to ensure our safety and to allow us to get back into the flow of playing, practicing, and getting us conditioned. They're all doing a fantastic job of that."

The Blue Devils' amended 2020 schedule has them scheduled to kick off their season on the road at Notre Dame on Sept. 12.