Duke redshirt senior quarterback Sean Renfree underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn right pectoralis major muscle, the team released in a statement Friday evening. Renfree's surgery came the day after the Blue Devils' 48-34 loss to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., a game in which Renfree attempted 49 passes and took a number of bone-crushing hits.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Claude T. Moorman III, Duke’s head team physician and the director of Duke Sports Medicine. The team expects Renfree to make a full recovery.
“As always, Sean is in great spirits,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said in the statment. “While this is an unfortunate setback, those who know Sean have no doubt that he will turn this misfortune into something positive. He is a very special young man; one who has done so much for our football program here at Duke. I just can’t say enough about his character, leadership and selflessness, and those attributes don’t begin to describe Sean’s ability to play the game of football. He is one of the best to play not only at Duke, but in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
The injury appeared to take place on the final play of Renfree's Duke career, when the signal-caller dropped back to throw while attempting to lead a game-tying drive in the contest's final minute. Renfree was hit as he threw by a Cincinnati defender, and the pass was intercepted near the line of scrimmage by linebacker Nick Temple and returned 55 yards for the game's final touchdown.
Renfree capped off his Duke career with a solid performance in the team's first postseason game since 1994, completing 37-of-49 passes for 358 yards and tossing one touchdown along with two interceptions. No timetable has been set for the quarterback's recovery. Renfree missed Duke's win against Virginia earlier this season after injuring his right arm in the Blue Devils' victory against Wake Forest.
As his collegiate carer drew to a close, the Blue Devil signal-caller has become the topic of some NFL Draft buzz, receiving high praise from ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. in the days leading up to the Belk Bowl. Kiper predicted Renfree could be a late-round draft selection in April's draft earlier this month, but this injury will certainly set Renfree back in his draft preparation and could potentially affect his stock.