Sean Renfree came to Duke this summer as the most highly touted recruit of David Cutcliffe's initial recruiting haul. A four-star prospect and the No. 10 quarterback in his class, Renfree was hailed as a pro-style signal caller, but he was stuck behind Thaddeus Lewis and Zack Asack in a quarterback logjam.
Even though Lewis went down with a sprained ankle Saturday and Asack will start against Virginia Tech if Lewis can't, Renfree won't see any time this season, as head coach David Cutcliffe said Tuesday that he won't remove the redshirt off his prized recruit. Instead, redshirt freshman Mike Cappetto, who traditionally calls plays from the sidelines, will serve as Asack's backup if Lewis is unable to play.
Renfree has managed to fly under the radar this year despite the attention he earned when he spurned more traditional football programs to play for Cutcliffe, who has been billed as a quarterback guru. Few Duke players in recent memory have entered college with the hype afforded to Renfree and then sat on the bench for an entire year, but the redshirt will almost undoubtedly work in the Blue Devils' favor. Having practiced and observed for a year, Renfree will still be a freshman next year, and when Lewis and Asack leaves, he'll be a sophomore with two years of experience under Cutcliffe.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback can run as well as he can pass, and Cutcliffe said his practicing with the receivers has been good for the wideouts because Renfree can "really throw it." Cutcliffe even compared Renfree to two of his former proteges, Tee Martin and Heath Shuler.
"Redshirting can be very complacent for certain kids," Cutcliffe said. "He's been 100 percent he other way. He's been very much into what he's doing.... People don't know, he can really run, and I like guys like that. I want them to be big, see the field, command the ball and be accurate. If they can run, that's a bonus."
And it's one that Duke could cash in on for years to come.
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