Triangle Football Notebook

College Football Notebook: Duke, NC State, North Carolina

August 9, 2013 

Fullback Logan Winkles will miss the season after suffering a major knee injury in practice on Thursday, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said after Friday’s practice.

Winkles, a fourth-year junior, started five games last season and caught 10 passes for 90 yards with a pair of touchdowns. It’s the second knee injury Winkles has suffered in college.

“Logan has had a lot of injuries, so it’s unfortunate,” Doeren said. “It’s part of the game, our guys understand that. The next-man-in philosophy will take place right there.”

Winkles tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a drill on Thursday. He suffered an ACL injury to his right knee in practice 2010. Winkles also missed spring practice after a DUI arrest in January.

Winkles’ absence leaves junior Tyler Purvis and freshman Quinton Patterson as the top two options at fullback. Doeren said after Winkles injury, linebacker Ryan Cheek volunteered to move from linebacker to fullback. Cheek and Winkles are close friends, Doeren said.

Joe Giglio

Expectations, role grow for Otis

North Carolina junior Norkeithus Otis played in 10 games last season and finished with three tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. His production, in limited playing time, was modest.

Expectations have increased considerably since the end of last season, though. Otis entered the preseason atop the depth chart at the Tar Heels’ bandit position – the hybrid defensive end and linebacker position in UNC’s 4-2-5 defense.

“It’s a big step up,” Otis said. “They’re looking for me to be a leader – a guy to have the intensity every day, to set the mood every day. Sometimes it’s hard, but being that leader and being that guy they’re looking up to, you’ve just got to keep it up every day. Got to find the energy from other guys – from the coach, or wherever I can find it from.”

Entering camp, Otis had been competing for a starting job with Shakeel Rashad. But Rashad, a sophomore, recently suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The loss of Rashad was a blow for a defense that is trying to rebuild after struggling last season.

“It puts more pressure on me and Darius (Lipford),” Otis said of Rashad’s injury.

Lipford, who recovered from two knee injuries, hasn’t played in a game since 2011. And Otis has never started a game. He said he once doubted whether he had the size to play bandit, but now he stands a good chance of starting the season there.

Andrew Carter

Duke changes up pace

Duke’s injury issues from a year ago continue to influence the way this year’s squad approaches camp. Instead of starting in full pads Friday, the team went back to just shirts and shorts and did individual work and walk-through type corrections and installs.

“It affects you. You’re not human if it doesn’t,” coach David Cutcliffe said of last year’s experience, as the Blue Devils were down 15 scholarship players early in the season (and it got worse from there).

The Blue Devils had accomplished everything Cutcliffe wanted in the first four days of camp. That gave them time to go at a teaching pace, he said, and correct work from earlier in the week while also installing the two-minute offense.

“We took the pads off and got a lot of corrections made, a lot of mental work done, little things that I think will make us better tomorrow when we put full pads on,” he said. “I want that practice tomorrow to be meaningful. I thought this was the best way to make it meaningful and stay as healthy as we can be. That’s going to be critical to our August.”

The players, too, are putting an emphasis on staying as physically ready to go as possible.

“Guys get tired, the legs get worn out, so the cold tub becomes everyone’s girlfriend,” quarterback Anthony Boone said. “You’re in there religiously.”

Every year, Cutcliffe and his staff track the number of repetitions the team completes in fall camp, so he knows the Blue Devils are not practicing less. They’re getting more done at a faster pace.

Laura Keeley

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