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Duke football announces depth chart for Week 1

<p>David Cutcliffe begins his 14th season at the helm of the Blue Devils this Friday.&nbsp;</p>

David Cutcliffe begins his 14th season at the helm of the Blue Devils this Friday. 

Duke announced its starters for Week One of the 2021 season in head coach David Cutcliffe’s Monday afternoon press conference. 

On the offensive side, there’s a lot of familiar faces returning for another year in a starting role. Running back Mataeo Durant returns as the feature back after a breakout season last year, and each of the starting receivers has logged considerable snaps in their careers. 

Tight end Jake Marwede is new to the spotlight, and has big shoes to fill in replacing Noah Gray. Redshirt sophomore John Gelotte is the offensive line’s most inexperienced member, though Cutcliffe spoke fondly of Gelotte throughout fall camp. And of couse, graduate student Gunnar Holmberg finally has the keys to Cutcliffe's offense after patiently waiting for his opportunity. 

Defensively, the first thing that sticks out is not having Chris Rumph II and Victor Dimukeje listed at opposite ends, since both are now in the NFL. Graduate student Ben Frye will fill one of their spots after sliding over from defensive tackle, and sophomore Michael Reese will occupy the other. Reese has only played nine snaps in his career, but he's another player that impressed Cutcliffe in fall camp. Gary Smith III and Dewayne Carter will have their hands in the dirt Friday at defensive line, and one of which will have to fill the void left by Derrick Tangelo. 

Shaka Heyward will hold down middle linebacker as expected and Dorian Mausi and Sayyid Stevens will attempt to fill the void left by Rocky Shelton II and Christian Hood, who are both not listed on the team’s roster or depth chart. Duke’s secondary is dealing with the loss of safeties Michael Carter II and Marquis Waters, though it will turn to more familiar faces in Jalen Alexander, Nate Thompson, J’Marick Woods and Lummie Young IV. 

Leonard Johnson started seven games last year at cornerback and will likely start all of the matchups this year, with Josh Blackwell and Jeremiah Lewis currently listed as co-starters on the depth chart at the other corner. Blackwell has not played since the second game of last season after his knee injury. 

Duke’s special teams unit returns kicker Charlie Ham and punter Porter Wilson, both players that impacted games in a significant way despite the limited amount of time punters and kickers get on the field. 

Offense

QB Gunnar Holmberg

RB Mataeo Durant

WR (X) Jake Bobo

WR (Y) Jalon Calhoun

WR (Z) Eli Pancol 

TE Jake Marwede

LT Graham Barton

LG Maurice McIntyre

C Jack Wohlabaugh

RG Jacob Monk

RT John Gelotte

Defense

DE Ben Frye

DT DeWayne Carter

DT Gary Smith III

DE Michael Reese

MLB Shaka Heyward

WLB Dorian Mausi or Sayyid Stevens

CB (B) Leonard Johnson

S (S) Jalen Alexander

S (B) Nate Thompson

S (R) J’Marick Woods or Lummie Young IV

CB (F) Josh Blackwell or Jeremiah Lewis

Special teams

K Charlie Ham

H Jackson Hubbard

P Porter Wilson

KO Charlie Ham

LS John Taylor 

KOR Jaylen Stinson

PR Josh Blackwell

For the rest of our Duke preseason coverage, click here.


Jake C. Piazza

Jake Piazza is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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