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.
With the Daniel Jones era now officially over, it’s redshirt senior Quentin Harris’ turn to lead Duke on the offensive end of the field. The last time the Blue Devils experienced a change at starting quarterback was 2016, when Jones—the 6th overall selection in April’s NFL Draft—replaced Thomas Sirk, who went undrafted in 2018. Even then, Duke struggled with a 4-8 finish in Jones’ first season under center, a bad indication of what could be on the horizon this year.
Key players lost: Daniel Jones
Jones—the first Duke quarterback ever selected in the first round—is perhaps the one of the greatest signal-callers to ever don the blue and white. He won MVP in each of the Blue Devils’ bowl wins over the past two seasons, the first time in program history Duke secured bowl victories in back-to-back years. His departure leads to a complete overhaul of head coach David Cutcliffe’s offensive game plan, especially when considering the skills of his replacement.
Projected starter: Quentin Harris
In Harris, Cutcliffe will be working with a very different quarterback than what he had with Jones. While the current New York Giants signal-caller was adept at using his legs, running is almost all Harris has done. The Wilton, Conn. native has 78 career rushing attempts compared to 41 career completions, his speed doing its best to make up for a very inconsistent arm. Harris has been working since last spring to improve his ability to pass the football, but expect the Blue Devils to still be a very run-first offense this season.
Dark horse: Chris Katrenick
Prior to fall camp, this title almost certainly would’ve gone to redshirt freshman Gunnar Holmberg. But with the former four-star prospect out indefinitely with a knee injury, Katrenick remains as the only other possible option to threaten Harris for snaps. The redshirt sophomore has completed five passes in 12 career attempts since enrolling at Duke in January of 2017.
The Blue Zone has already previewed Duke's specialists. Come back tomorrow as we break down Duke's running backs.
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