Wide Receiver Chris Taylor A Potential Breakout Candidate


The Duke football team is coming off of another successful season in which they went 9-4. The program under David Cutcliffe has been on the rise for a few years now, and they will look to continue that success in the 2015-16 season. This upcoming season might be a year of transition for the Blue Devils as they lost a few key seniors, especially on offense, and they have a top ten recruiting class coming in for the 2016 season.

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While this may be a transition year, Duke still has plenty of talent on their roster, and one of the major breakout candidates is redshirt freshman Chris Taylor. He was listed as the number one breakout candidate in the ACC by USA Today.

Taylor redshirted last season as Duke was pretty deep at the receiver position, but the Pompano Beach, Florida native is highly thought of in ACC circles. He wasn’t a huge recruit, as he was only given three stars, but he was given first team All-State honors in his senior year of high school after he caught 12 touchdown passes.

Taylor is 6’2″ 170 pounds which is good size for a receiver, and he also has some good speed. He will be one of the many receivers that will be asked to fill the void left by Jamison Crowder, and Issac Blakeney, who both graduated after last season. Blakeney and Crowder were Duke’s top two receivers last year in terms of receptions, yards and touchdowns and will leave a huge void at the position.

Not only are Duke’s top two pass catchers from last season gone, but the quarterback is too. Anthony Boone also graduated after last season passing the quarterback mantle to Thomas Sirk who will likely take the majority of the snaps this season.

Although Duke has some guys on the roster for this season that have experience catching passes in the ACC, none of them have the upside of Taylor. Max McCaffrey had the most catches and receiving yards for returning players, but was overshadowed by Crowder, who was and All-ACC receiver, and Blakeney.

Nothing will be handed to Taylor as he is still only a freshman and Duke still has some junior and senior receivers, but it is clear that he is highly thought of and has a higher ceiling than most if not all of Duke’s other receivers. Keep your eye out this season for number 82 on the Blue Devils as he has a great chance to make an instant impact.