Duke football names Riley Leonard starting quarterback for season opener

Riley Leonard will be Duke's starting quarterback.
Riley Leonard will be Duke's starting quarterback.

With just five days until the season kicks off, Duke finally has its starting quarterback.

In a team release Sunday morning, head coach Mike Elko named Riley Leonard the Blue Devils’ starter for their Sept. 2 season opener against Temple after a fall camp-long battle with Jordan Moore for the preeminent signal-caller for this year’s team. 

"After a very intense quarterback battle this fall, we have decided to go with Riley Leonard as our starting quarterback," Elko said. "We are excited to see him lead our team this fall, and we also know that Jordan Moore will be an impact player for our offense in many roles as well."

The sophomore from Fairhope, Ala., already has a start under his belt which he made during Gunnar Holmberg’s absence against Virginia Tech in 2021. He owns a career 59.7% completion rate while primarily entering games late in the second half. 

Leonard beat out fellow sophomore Jordan Moore, who is an unproven passer but strong rusher at the quarterback spot. Moore also got reps at receiver during fall camp. 

Leonard’s best performance came at home against Louisville, as he went a perfect 13-for-13 over the air for 99 yards with 70 yards on the ground plus a touchdown. In his freshman season, the Alabama native compiled 381 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception along with two rushing touchdowns on 3.7 yards per carry.

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

Micah Hurewitz

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity senior and was previously a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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