Today is the day for head coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils. Preseason camp begins on Monday, with everyone due to report on Sunday.
Coming off the best season in school history, Duke won the Coastal Division of the ACC and was bowl bound for two seasons in a row. Duke took on Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and lost 48-52. They’re hoping to be even better this season.
“Nothing is ever given to you in football,” said redshirt senior linebacker Kelby Brown. “You have to earn everything. Last year we won 10 games because we prepared and played at a high level. Hopefully we can be even better this year—that’s the goal.”
Duke returns 17 starters and 42 other significant athletes from last season, including four preseason All-ACC selections. Brown, safety Jeremy Cash, wide receiver Jamison Crowder and offensive guard Laken Tomlinson. It won’t be hard to find leadership on this squad, as 21 seniors will be suiting up under Cutcliffe.
“The big challenge each year is for seniors to help young people handle adversity, because you’re going to get it in football, and I thought our 2013 team handled adversity maybe better than any team I’ve ever been around because of pure leadership,” said Cutcliffe.
The “young people” Cutcliffe is referring to is the 18 true freshmen and the other 58 underclassmen on the squad.
Opening kickoff for the season is scheduled for 6 p.m. on August 30 against Elon.