DURHAM — Duke's safety unit has been ransacked by injuries. Sunday night, the group suffered a different kind of blow, as redshirt junior August Campbell left the team for personal reasons. Head coach David Cutcliffe said he is still in school and emphasized that Campbell was not forced to leave.
"He's leaving for his personal reasons," Cutcliffe said. "Not ours."
Campbell, who started the first two games this year, was injured during the game at Stanford and was ruled out for NC Central and Memphis contests. He did not practice last week and was also not on the injury list. He did not travel with the team to Winston-Salem for the Wake Forest victory.
Campbell started 10 games during his Duke career and began the season as the backup to Brandon Braxton. He took over the rover safety position when Jordon Byas was out with a knee injury. He finishes with six tackles, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery on the year.
Fellow safeties Corbin McCarthy, Taylor Sowell and Jeremy Cash (whose transfer waiver to play this year after leaving Ohio State last winter was denied) are also out for the year. Chris Tavarez is out indefinitely after having knee surgery this week and Braxton left the Wake Forest game with an injury and did not return.
Duke has already gotten creative with its personnel: freshman Dwayne Norman, who has received significant playing time this year, learned a new safety position last week in practice and played is Saturday against Wake Forest once Braxton left with an injury.