Renfree’s draft hopes take a hit

lkeeley@newsobserver.comDecember 29, 2012 

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Duke's Sean Renfree (19) and Conner Vernon (2) walk off the field after Renfree was injured near the end of the game during Cincinnati's 48-34 victory in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday Dec. 27, 2012.

CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com

When Duke quarterback Sean Renfree was hit as he threw his final collegiate pass, which resulted in an interception, he stayed down on the field for a few minutes. He went straight from Bank of America Stadium to a hospital, and Friday afternoon Duke announced he had undergone successful surgery on his torn right pectoralis major muscle, the biggest chest muscle.

While he is expected to make a full recovery, that process will take about six months. That means the redshirt senior won’t compete in any pre-NFL Draft workouts, which makes the chances he will be drafted extremely slim.

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe spent several minutes with Renfree and his father after Duke’s 48-34 loss to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. When Cutcliffe met with the media, he said Renfree’s work ethic matched that of his most famous protégés, Peyton and Eli Manning.

“Everyone is aware of Peyton and Eli’s work ethic and how hard and well they prepare. Same guy,” Cutcliffe said of Renfree. “He has the same skills, knowledge, mental aspects of the game, same preparation. Every player on our team saw how hard he worked in the weight room, how hard he worked in the meeting rooms. He may be one of the most unsung football players in the ACC. He’s not a lot of flash. Just look at the yards he threw for, look at what he’s done in his career as a quarterback at Duke, moving this program forward.

“Anybody in the national football league or collegiately that does not want Sean Renfree in their locker room would be out of their mind.”

Renfree set several Belk Bowl records in his final college game, including pass attempts (49), completions (37) and passing yards (358). For his career, Renfree finished 898-of-1,389 for 9,465 yards with 51 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. He is the most accurate passer in Duke history.

Keeley 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley

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