Duke held its first practice of the 2013 season Monday night as training camp officially began. With the Blue Devils seeking to make back-to-back bowl games for the first time in program history, here are three players to watch throughout August camp.
1. Quarterback Anthony Boone—How could you not start this discussion with Duke's new starting quarterback? Boone will be a first-year starter this season, but the redshirt junior has had plenty of experience on the field during his first two seasons with the Blue Devils. Duke's new signal-caller has embraced the role of a leader on this year's squad already, but one of his focuses this offseason has been improving on his accuracy after completing just 51.6 percent of his passes during his redshirt sophomore season.
2. Safety Corbin McCarthy—As if allowing nearly 50 points per game in a season-ending five-game losing streak didn't place Duke's secondary under enough pressure this offseason, the unit has some major holes to fill as well. Jeremy Cash could be the Blue Devils' most dynamic safety this season and Dwayne Norman should show some improvement for his sophomore campaign, McCarthy could be the unit's X-factor heading into this season. The hard-hitting safety was going to see the field last season before he was sidelined for the season with an injury, and is now slated to be a starter as a redshirt freshman.
3. Running back Shaquille Powell—After getting just 28 carries as a true freshman, Powell appears ready to become a factor in the Blue Devils' backfield for the 2013 season. Duke coaches spent most of spring practice raving about the strides Powell has made as well as the running back's power and speed. After starring during his high school career at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Powell was one of the most highly-touted prospects in Duke's freshman class and should have an opportunity to show why this season. Powell finished with 46 yards on five carries in the Blue Devils' Spring Game.
Be sure to check back throughout the week for our continued coverage of Duke training camp.