Duke football notes: Plenty of changes under way

lkeeley@newsobserver.comMarch 5, 2013 

A brief interruption from basketball season to call your attention to a few football-related matters:

••• Spring practice started Monday for the Blue Devils, and there are plenty of changes underway. Here are five questions that need answered, and here's a report from the first day of practice.

A few more notes from that first day:

• OL Takoby Cofield (illness), OL Dave Harding (surgery), early enrollee QB Parker Boehme (surgery), DL Kenny Anunike and S Anthony Young-Wiseman will be limited and/or miss part of spring practice.

• WR Brandon Braxton (surgery), QB/TE/WR Brandon Connette (surgery), DL Justin Foxx and early enrollee LB Dominic McDonald (surgery) will definitely miss all of spring practice.

• The Blue Devils have noticed that they have a favorable schedule next season.

"I definitely see that there are teams to play that are not as, let's say, powerful, as the Alabamas and the Florida States," Kenny Anunike said. "This schedule is opportunistic for getting more Ws in the column than there were last year."

• Head coach David Cutcliffe offered a few comments on the Belk Bowl, which, as you will recall, Duke lost 48-34 after allowing Cincinnati to score 14 points in the final minute of play.

"Everybody saw that bowl game," he said. "Cincinnati won the game, no doubt, and no disrespect to them, but everybody saw who the best team on the field was."

••• In April, a Duke player will likely be drafted from the school for the first time since 2004, as WR Conner Vernon looks to be a mid-to-late round pick. Here is a Q&A as he talks about what he has been up to since the season ended.

••• Speaking of Duke football alumni, Ray Farmer, who graduated from Duke in 1996, was hired by the Cleveland Browns as an assistant general manager. Farmer was a third-team all-American in 1994 and was drafted in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. His pro career lasted from 1996-1998 before a knee injury ended the linebacker's career. He had spent the past seven years as Kansas City Chief's director of pro personnel.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service