The Blue Devils will honor the senior players during tonight’s matchup against UNC, exhibiting what could have been for Duke Football this season.
Duke Football will be honoring 27 graduating players tonight against North Carolina for Senior Night. This will be a great chance for the team and fans to celebrate the seniors, but many will also be left wondering what could have been this season.
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The class of 2017 played a key role in helping turn around the Duke Football program, with many players appearing in a bowl game every year they’ve been with the team. This was a key recruiting class with many players that joined the program after the Blue Devils’ first bowl game appearance under David Cutcliffe in 2012. They have continued to improve and build up the football program appearing in three straight bowl games since then, including helping lead Duke to their first bowl victory in over 50 years last postseason in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Injuries to key players have decimated the Blue Devils and been a factor in their struggles this season. The team will get to chance to recognize the accomplishments of several key players who suffered career-ending injuries this season, including redshirt senior team captains Thomas Sirk, DeVon Edwards, and Jela Duncan, who will all be honored tonight for Senior Night. Each of these players was expected to play a crucial role for the team this season.
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Sirk was slated as the starting quarterback and was projected to be one of the top impact players in the conference this season. DeVon Edwards was expected to play a huge role this season as one of the most versatile players in the country. On defense, he was expected to replace ACC Defensive Player of the Year Jeremy Cash in the secondary. He was also a threat on special teams and was competing for the NCAA record in kicks returned for a touchdown. Jela Duncan came in as the starting running back and was the leading rusher this season before going down with an injury and is one of six RBs in Duke history to record 2,000+ career rushing yards. Duke Football was predicted to take a step back this season, but were still expected to be competitive in the ACC and earn a bowl bid at full strength.
Duke will host arch-rival UNC tonight at 7:30 for their final home game of the season. Congrats to all of the Duke Football players who will be recognized by the team tonight at senior night and we wish them the best going forward!