Three Duke Blue Devils football players who could become stars in 2024

After performing well in 2023, these three Duke football players are ready for breakout seasons in 2024 under new head coach Manny Diaz.
Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils wide receiver Jordan Moore (8) is
Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils wide receiver Jordan Moore (8) is / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Any time there is a coaching change at a college football program, player turnover is going to be expected. In fact, given the current state of the sport, even programs that have stability at the head coach position are likely to see plenty of players depart.

Duke is no execution, especially with Mike Elko leaving for Texas A&M and Manny Diaz replacing him. That's why no fans should have been shocked to see some key Blue Devils find opportunities elsewhere.

Without question, the loss of quarterback Riley Leonard was the offseason's biggest player development. Last year as a junior, he appeared in seven games throwing for 1,102 yards and three TDs with three picks. He also ran for 352 yards and four more TDs proving that he's a threat on the ground as well. However, he's now at Notre Dame meaning the Blue Devils will have significant questions to answer at the game's most important position.

Another significant loss for Duke was edge rusher RJ Oben, who is also now a member of the Fighting Irish. Also playing in seven games in 2023, he had five sacks and six tackles for loss as he proved to be a disruptive force.

In all, 17 Blue Devils have entered the portal this offseason. However, some key pieces of last season's team have decided to return, and among them are three players who could become stars in 2024.

Jordan Moore. Jordan Moore. 1. 434. Duke. player. . . Wide Receiver.

While Texas transfer Maalik Murphy will have plenty of questions to answer this fall as the presumed starter at QB, one thing going for him (or whoever takes the snaps from center) will be the return of wide receiver Jordan Moore. He gives the Blue Devils a bonafide weapon on the outside, something every good offense needs to have.

The senior-to-be has played in every game over the past two seasons. He's caught 122 passes for 1,491 yards and 13 TDs.

Last season, Moore was terrific for Duke despite the rotating QB situation. He hauled in 62 passes for 832 yards and eight TDs. What's more, his yards-per-catch average jumped from 10.9 in 2022 to 13.5 in 2023.

Last fall, Moore finished the season strong with 100-yard games in each of the final two regular-season games. He also had a three-touchdown game against North Carolina.

This season, could Moore take things to a higher level yet again and threaten to be a 1,000-yard pass catcher? If he and Murphy jive then that certainly could be a possibility.

. Defensive Back. Chandler Rivers. Chandler Rivers. Duke. 434. . 2. . player

One player who could play his way into NFL consideration this fall is junior-to-be corner, Chandler Rivers. In fact, it could be argued that he is Duke's best pro prospect heading into the season.

All the Texas native has done since showing up in Durham is make plays. As a freshman, he made 52 tackles including two for loss. Then, last season he had 58 tackles with three going for a loss. In both of his college campaigns, he's picked off a pass as well.

The 5-foot-10, 178-pounder already has 13 pass defenses for his career. He should be a preseason All-ACC honoree to begin the year and he could be the star of Duke's defense under defensive-minded head coach Manny Diaz.

. Jaquez Moore. Jaquez Moore. 434. . Duke. . Running Back. 3. player

Last season, both running backs Jaquez Moore and Jordan Waters played key roles for the Blue Devils, with each carrying the ball at least 116 times. Waters led the team with 819 yards and 12 TDs but he exhausted his eligibility after 2023.

That leaves Moore as the most likely candidate to be Duke's featured running back this season. Thus, he could be one of the more productive running backs in the ACC.

Last fall, Moore put up 674 yards and six touchdowns. He even averaged 5.8 yards per carry, which led the team.

Twice, Moore had 100 yards in a game last year including the Virginia game where he hit the century mark on only nine carries. His best game, though, was a 110-yard, one-touchdown showing on 16 carries against one of the best defenses in the nation, Florida State.

Last season, he never topped those 16 carries in a game. He will likely do so rather often this year and if he proves capable of handling a heavier load, he could be one of the star running backs in the conference in 2024.