With the 2019 season right around the corner, The Chronicle breaks down each of the eight major position groups: quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends, offensive line, defensive line, defensive backs, linebackers and specialists.
One of Duke’s defining position groups back during the team's rise to relevance, the offensive line, has been plagued by inconsistency of late. Head coach David Cutcliffe has shown a lot of excitement during fall camps about the group, however, and he believes there is a lot of talent and depth to go around, even if there isn’t as much experience.
There is a fair share of upperclassmen who are set to anchor the trenches, but up to three freshmen could see valuable snaps and two are even slated to start the season opener against Alabama.
Key players lost: Christian Harris, Zach Harmon
One of the more promising aspects of the offensive line is that they don’t lose much from their group last year. Harris took over as the starting left tackle in 2018 in his first full season as a starter. The three-time bowl champion had only started one game prior to last season.
Harmon started last season off as the No. 1 center, but after the emergence of Jack Wohlabaugh, he finished the year at guard. Over the final three years of his career, the Central Catholic product started in 33 of the 35 games he played in.
Projected starters: Jacob Monk, Rakavius Chambers, Jack Wohlabaugh, Zach Baker, Casey Holman
This year's offensive line will be lead by the man in the middle, Wohlabaugh, who Cutcliffe believes can be one of the best centers in the country. Chambers comes into the year after taking over as starting guard in 2018, and has already received recognition as a candidate for the Outland Trophy—the award for the best interior lineman in college football. The redshirt senior Baker has not started a game since his freshman year but played in all 13 games last season.
Then it's the youngsters, as Monk has earned a spot after coming to Duke as a consensus three-star prospect. Holman redshirted in 2018, appearing in four games and 51 snaps.
Dark horse: Maurice McIntyre
One of the players who has impressed Cutcliffe during the course of workouts, McIntyre is back after redshirting last season in his first year on campus. The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder arrived in Durham as a three-star guard and now finds himself on the second line behind Baker.
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