Paul Abell- USA TODAY Sports

Duke ranked preseason No. 17 by USA Today

After arguably the best season in school history, Duke is ranked in the preseason for the first time in years. USA Today has the Blue Devils ranked at No. 17, the second highest of any ACC team. The other ACC team is none other than the reigning national champions, Florida State, sitting at preseason No. 1.

It wasn’t just the team as a whole that was named to USA Today Preseason lists. Duke senior wide receiver Jamison Crowder was named to the USA Today Preseason All-America team. Crowder hasn’t received only USA Today recognition for his talents, but he has been named to the Preseason All-America lists that both Sporting News and Athlon Sports have put together. Following last season, Crowder was named to the All-America second team. Crowder caught 108 passes for 1,360 yards and had eight touchdowns in 2013. He also was on special teams, where he returned 25 punts for 401 yards and picked up two touchdowns.

Three different Blue Devils were named to the USA Today Preseason All-ACC team. Crowder made his way on the list, as did redshirt senior linebacker Kelby Brown and redshirt junior safety Jeremy Cash.

Brown ranked second in the ACC last season for tackles per game. Last season, Brown had 128 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks, seven quarterback hurries, four fumble recoveries, three pass breakups and has caused one fumble. He enters the 2014 season with a streak of 19 consecutive games where he has had three or more tackles.

Cash ranked fourth in the ACC in 2013 for tackles per game. In 2013, Cash recorded 113 total tackles, 77 solo tackles, 36 assists, four interceptions and four pass breakups.

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