Two Duke football players earn preseason accolades from Phil Steele

Both Jordan Moore and Tre Freeman earned preseason All-ACC honors from renowned college football expert Phil Steele.
Duke v North Carolina
Duke v North Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

For decades, Phil Steele has been one of the leading experts on college football. That's why his preseason accolades carry more weight than those from other pundits.

This week, Steele released his preseason All-ACC team and though no Duke football player made the first team, two Blue Devils, Jordan Moore and Tre Freeman, are on the second team.

Moore, a senior wide receiver from Maryland, led the Blue Devils with 835 yards and eight receiving touchdowns last season. Hauling in 62 passes, he is a former quarterback who transferred to receiver in August of 2022.

Since then, he's taken off. In the past two seasons, he's snagged 122 passes for 1,491 yards and 13 touchdowns. A season ago, he had two 100-yard performances including 117 yards on nine catches against Virginia. Moore's other 100-yard effort came against Pitt when he had 106 yards and a TD on eight receptions. He also had a three-touchdown day against North Carolina.

Freeman, a junior from Durham, also made Steele's second team. Last season, he had a breakout year with 106 total tackles.

Prior to last fall, though, Freeman had managed only 21 career tackles in two seasons. He had only two starts entering the season but last year he cemented himself as one of the better defenders in the ACC.

In 2023, he had five games with at least 11 tackles. That included a season-high 15 against NC State in a winning effort. He also created five tackles for loss, recorded an interception, and broke up three passes on the season.

It has been a nice rise for the former 3-star player who appears to have been a bit underrated as a high school recruit. In the class of 2021, Freeman was rated just the No. 1,030 player in America. His only other offers came from Wake Forest, East Carolina, and Appalachian State.

No other Blue Devils made the cut for Steele's preseason All-ACC team. That's no shock given that the program lost numerous starters from last seaosn to the transfer portal or the NFL.