The anticipation surrounding Duke was rewarded with recognition from the Atlantic Coast Conference media.
The conference announced Wednesday that senior offensive lineman Graham Barton, redshirt senior wide receiver Jalon Calhoun and redshirt senior defensive lineman DeWayne Carter were selected to the 2023 Preseason All-ACC Team, voted on by 176 media members. In addition, Duke was selected to finish joint-sixth with Pittsburgh in the ACC Preseason Poll.
Barton received 110 votes, the most of any offensive lineman in the conference. He is highly regarded on the national stage as well, receiving a preseason second-team All-America selection by Athlon Sports. Last year, the Brentwood, Tenn., native led his unit which was first in the league in both sacks allowed and tackles for loss allowed.
Calhoun is part of an offense that returns all of its skill position players, a welcome sign for junior quarterback Riley Leonard. Calhoun decided to return for his fifth year of eligibility after leading the team in both receptions and receiving yards last year. Through his first four years with the Blue Devils, the Greenville, S.C., native has recorded 203 receptions for 2,360 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Carter was one of three players who represented Duke at last week’s ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte. He is a three-time team captain who has anchored this defensive line throughout his career.
The Pickerington, Ohio, native has increased both his solo tackles and sacks in each of his first four years with the team. He is already fourth in program history for forced fumbles and is returning alongside the entire Blue Devil defensive line.
Duke will begin the second year of head coach Mike Elko’s tenure Sept. 4 with a home date against preseason-favorite Clemson.
2023 Preseason All-ACC Team results
(Total votes in parentheses)
QB: Drake Maye, North Carolina (107)
RB: Will Shipley, Clemson (169)
RB: Trey Benson, Florida State (125)
WR: Johnny Wilson, Florida State (117)
WR: Tez Walker, North Carolina (51)
WR: Jalon Calhoun, Duke (49)
TE: Oronde Gadsden, Syracuse (89)
AP: Will Shipley, Clemson (105)
OT: Graham Barton, Duke (110)
OT: Matt Goncalves, Pittsburgh (58)
OG: Christian Mahogany, Boston College (101)
OG: Javion Cohen, Miami (69)
C: Bryan Hudson, Louisville (56)
DE: Jared Verse, Florida State (136)
DE: Donovan Ezeiruaku, Boston College (58)
DT: Tyler Davis, Clemson (124)
DT: DeWayne Carter, Duke (97)
LB: Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson (132)
LB: Cedric Gray, North Carolina (109)
LB: Barrett Carter, Clemson (87)
CB: Fentrell Cypress II, Florida State (88)
CB: Aydan White, NC State (85)
S: Kam Kinchens, Miami (117)
S: Andrew Mukuba, Clemson (46)
PK: Andres Borregales, Miami (70)
P: Daniel Sparks, Virginia (54)
SP: Will Shipley, Clemson (68)
Preseason Player of the Year
1. Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina (88)
2. Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State (66)
3. Will Shipley, RB, Clemson (17)
4. Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson (3)
T5. Riley Leonard, QB, Duke (1)
T5. Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson (1)
2023 ACC Football Preseason Poll
1. Clemson (103), 2370
2. Florida State (67), 2304
3. North Carolina (5), 1981
4. NC State (1), 1662
5. Miami, 1553
T6. Duke, 1511
T6. Pitt, 1511
8. Louisville, 1344
9. Wake Forest, 1181
10. Syracuse, 826
11. Virginia Tech, 678
12. Georgia Tech, 633
13. Boston College, 561
14. Virginia, 365
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Ranjan Jindal is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.