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Conner Vernon claimed by Cincinnati Bengals

The ACC's all-time receiving yards leader has a new team.

Wide receiver Conner Vernon, a four-year standout at Duke who was instrumental in helping the Blue Devils reach their first bowl appearance in 18 seasons in 2012, was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday.

Vernon, who was added to the practice squad roster of the Cleveland Browns before last year's regular season finale, went undrafted in 2013 coming out of Duke, but was invited to training camp with the Oakland Raiders. Vernon did not make the team at the end of preseason play and was cut, before being picked up by the Browns several months later.

At 6-feet, 200 pounds, Vernon's greatest strength lies not in his speed but in his route-running. Under head coach David Cutcliffe's guidance, Vernon racked up 283 receptions for 3,749 yards—both ACC records—and 20 touchdowns.

The Bengals' wide receiving corps is headlined by star A.J. Green and anchored by Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and North Carolina product Brandon Tate. Cincinnati boasted one of the league's strongest defenses last season, but fell at home to the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the playoffs.

Scott Bracey could be Duke football's biggest commit in program history

Duke football may have just made its biggest recruiting splash in the program's 102-season history.

The Blue Devils received a commitment Friday afternoon from Class of 2016 wide receiver Scott Bracey, who is ranked No. 32 overall and No. 7 among wide receivers in the ESPN Junior 300. He is Duke's first Class of 2016 verbal commit.


Prepare yourself for some of the other schools that offered Bracey a scholarship: Clemson, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin.

Let that sink in.

Bracey, a rising junior at the Benedictine School in Richmond, Va., was named to MaxPreps sophomore All-America team last season. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound wide receiver is the highest-rated commitment in head coach David Cutcliffe's seven-year tenure... Read more

Duke in the Majors Update

With the MLB trade deadline less than a week away, some Blue Devils are already on the move. The Blue Zone takes a look at notable Duke products making news on the diamond.

Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays: Taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, Stroman rose quickly through the ranks to crack the Blue Jays' roster in May. He showed why Thursday, firing seven shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox as Toronto cruised to an 8-0 win. Stroman allowed just one hit—a seventh-inning knock by Shane Victorino—and walked just two while racking up seven strikeouts. The right-hander has appeared in 15 games this season, including 10 starts, and has posted a respectable 6-2 record with a 3.21 ERA.

Chris Capuano, New York Yankees: Capuano has done more than his fair share of traveling in recent weeks. The veteran was designated for assignment by the Red Sox June 25 and ultimately agreed to terms with the Colorado Rockies on a minor-league contract July 4... Read more

Duke offers Rabb, ESPN 100 No. 1 recruit in Class of 2015

Duke is now in the sweepstakes for ESPN’s top-ranked player in the Class of 2015—Ivan Rabb.

First reported by Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog this morning and later confirmed on Twitter by Adam Rowe of 247 Sports, the five-star forward has been offered a scholarship to attend Duke and play for the Blue Devils.



In his interview with Zagsblog, the 6-foot-11 Californian had this to say about Duke and his recruitment:

“They recently offered me a scholarship during LeBron camp, they offered me. The visit, we just kind of talked for about an hour with all the coaches in the room, just me and my mom. And just had a good conversation about things that I can improve on, things like that... Read more

Duke football nets 4 on media's preseason All-ACC squad

Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder, guard Laken Tomlinson, linebacker Kelby Brown and safety Jeremy Cash were named to the 26-man preseason All-ACC team, which was voted on by the conference's media members earlier this week at the ACC Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C.

Defending national champion Florida State led the way with nine overall selections, including six on offense. The Blue Devils' four all-conference picks ranked second in the conference.

Crowder, who set the ACC single-season record for receptions as a junior with 108, was the leader among wide receivers with 68 votes out of the 99 ballots cast. Tomlinson, who is expected to be one of Duke's top NFL draft prospects after this season, received 52 votes.

On the defensive side of the football, Brown received 74 votes and Cash garnered 56. Brown was the ACC's second-leading tackler last season behind teammate David Helton and Cash was a second-team All-America selection by USA Today in 2013... Read more

Report: Krzyzewski reveals he would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love

According to multiple reports Monday, Duke and Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a radio interview with John Feinstein of CBS Sports that he would trade for Kevin Love if in charge of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs—who signed former Blue Devil point guard Kyrie Irving to a five-year, $90-million max contract extension and won the LeBron James sweepstakes earlier this offseason—would have the most formidable trio in the league if they take Krzyzewski's advice.

Any proposed deals for Love have involved top overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins, who Krzyzewski saw closely when Kansas beat Duke last season in the Champions Classic.

Krzyzewski has a close relationship with Love having coached the versatile big man twice for Team USA. After Read more

Former Blue Devils light up NBA Summer League, look ahead to upcoming season

NBA Summer League play has concluded after two action-packed weeks in Orlando and Las Vegas, and here is a look at how the nine former Blue Devils in action performed.

Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks: The second overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft had a decent summer by his standards, but struggled with efficiency. Parker averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game, but shot just 41.2 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from 3-point range. The Chicago native also averaged five turnovers per game.

Parker had 17 points and nine rebounds against Cleveland in his first game, a hyped matchup against Cleveland and top overall pick Andrew Wiggins. But the forward’s best performance of his summer in Las Vegas came July 18 against Golden State, when he had 20 points and 15 rebounds and provided a number of highlights.

Mellencamp arrested for underage drinking

For the second summer in a row, Duke football player Hud Mellencamp has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

The Bloomington, Ind. native is now facing charges for illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage in Monroe County. According to Monroe County, Ind. court documents, the citation was given June 29 and the charge was filed July 10. Duke's atheltic department did not immediately respond for comment.

Mellencamp was charged with battery last summer following a physical confrontation involving Mellencamp, his brother Speck, Ty Smith—son of Indiana head baseball coach Tracy Smith—and an unnamed victim. The trio allegedly beat the man on his porch and are all out free on bail.

The charge is a misdemeanor and will not aid him in his coming court appearance stemming from his previous charge. Court documents show that he will return to court for a pre-trial conference for last year's incident Thursday July 24 and is now scheduled to appear in court for the underage drinking charge September 25.

Duke football picked to finish second in ACC Coastal

GREENSBORO, N.C.—One year ago at the annual ACC Kickoff, Duke was picked to finish dead last in the ACC Coastal Division. The Blue Devils responded by reeling off their first 10-win season in program history and winning the division.

The media did not pick Duke to repeat in 2014, as Duke was slated to finish second in the Coastal Division behind Miami. The Blue Devils received the most first-place votes in the division and were placed first on 33 of the 112 ballots. Six of the seven teams in the division received first-place votes.

Miami received just 26 first-place votes (ranking third in the conference behind Duke's 33 and North Carolina's 27), but led the Blue Devils in the poll overall by 17 points.

Florida State received 104 of the 108 votes to repeat as conference champion. Seminole quarterback Jameis Winston received 99 of the 108 votes for preseason player of the year. Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder received one vote, putting him in a tie for fourth.

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Top-ranked recruits finish strong at Peach Jam, UAA Finals and NY2LA Summer Jam

This weekend is known around the recruiting circuit as one of the busiest all year as the Peach Jam, Under Armor Association and the NY2LA Summer Jam all concluded play. With three of the biggest AAU tournaments coinciding, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff had plenty of highly touted recruits to keep them busy.

Starting in North Augusta, S.C. with the Peach Jam, here’s how some 2015 and 2016 Duke targets performed in this jam-packed weekend.

Ivan Rabb’s Oakland Soldiers were eliminated Saturday after they lost 62-56 to Team Final. Rabb finished the Peach Jam with respectable numbers averaging 13.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and shooting 61.9 percent from the field. In terms of his recruitment, the California native has yet to receive an offer from Duke, but is currently ranked number one on ESPN.

The Spiece Indy Heat did not have a strong tournament as they went 1-4 in their five games. The lack of success was not because of Caleb Swanigan, as he averaged 15.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1... Read more