Duke football head coach Mike Elko releases depth chart for season opener

DeWayne Carter heads up a veteran defensive line.
DeWayne Carter heads up a veteran defensive line.

One day after naming a starting quarterback, Duke has unveiled the rest of its starting lineup.

At his Monday press conference, head coach Mike Elko released the Blue Devils' depth chart for their season opener Friday against Temple. Sophomore signal caller Riley Leonard is set to start at quarterback, redshirt junior Jaylen Coleman received the nod as Mataeo Durant's successor in the backfield and captains DeWayne Carter and Shaka Heyward headline a revamped defensive unit.

Elko introduced the lineups for offense, defense and special teams while noting that changes may come as the season gets rolling.

"It's probably three, four weeks into the season before you really know for sure exactly what you have, and I don't think that's any one group specific," Elko said. "I just think, if you're doing it right, you should be constantly evaluating that and making changes in your own mind about where you can be better and where you can make this thing more efficient."

On the offensive side of the ball, Monday's reveal made clear who will protect Leonard in his first season as Duke's starting quarterback. The offensive line features senior captain Jacob Monk, who made the shift from right guard to center during fall camp, and includes tackles Graham Barton, Andre Harris and John Gelotte with guards Maurice McIntyre, Chance Lytle and Brian Foley.

At the running back spot, Coleman is the official starter in a crowded backfield looking to fill the void left by Durant's departure. Still, Jaquez Moore and Jordan Waters should receive plenty of work throughout the season in what is unlikely to be a one-man show. Waters received the second-most work in Duke's backfield a season ago with 39 carries for 197 yards.

Senior wide receiver Jalon Calhoun leads a receiving corps looking to replace Jake Bobo's production from a year ago. Alongside him, Eli Pancol, Darrell Harding Jr., Sahmir Hagans and Jontavis Robertson each return at the receiver spot while Nicky Dalmolin leads the tight ends.

Leonard, who was officially announced as Duke's starting quarterback in a team release Sunday, ultimately won a long battle with dynamic sophomore Jordan Moore for the starting spot. Moore still figures into Duke's plans as the backup quarterback and a member of the seven-man receiving corps.

On defense, everything begins with the captains: Carter heads a defensive line that features promising freshman edge rusher Vincent Anthony Jr., along with RJ Oben and Ja'Mion Franklin. At linebacker, Heyward slides in next to returning weakside linebacker Dorian Mausi.

The secondary is the youngest unit on this year's team, with two sophomores—Brandon Johnson and Joshua Pickett—and hyped freshman corner Chandler Rivers filling out the last line of defense in defensive coordinator Robb Smith's 4-2-5 scheme. Graduate transfers Darius Joiner and Datrone Young look to inject additional veteran experience and leadership into the unit.

On special teams, Duke's unit remains largely unchanged from a year ago with redshirt juniors Charlie Ham and Porter Wilson returning at kicker and punter, respectively, and explosive kick returner Jaylen Stinson back for his junior season. Massachusetts graduate transfer Evan Deckers is set to bring experience at long snapper and the duo of Jalon Calhoun and Jontavis Robertson will split punt return duties after Josh Blackwell's departure.

Andrew Long contributed reporting.


QB Riley Leonard

RB Jaylen Coleman

WR Jalon Calhoun

WR Eli Pancol or Darrell Harding Jr.

WR Sahmir Hagans or Jontavis Robertson

TE Nicky Dalmolin

LT Graham Barton

LG Maurice McIntyre

C Jacob Monk

RG Chance Lytle or Brian Foley

RT Andre Harris or John Gelotte


DE RJ Oben

DT DeWayne Carter

DT Ja'Mion Franklin

DE Vincent Anthony Jr.

MLB Shaka Heyward

WLB Dorian Mausi

CB Datrone Young or Tony Davis

N Brandon Johnson

S Darius Joiner

S Jaylen Stinson

CB Joshua Pickett or Chandler Rivers

Special teams

K Charlie Ham

H Jackson Hubbard

P Porter Wilson

KO Charlie Ham

LS Evan Deckers 

KOR Jaylen Stinson

PR Jalon Calhoun or Jontavis Robertson

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.

Jonathan Levitan

Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity senior and was previously sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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