For three years, Jamison Crowder has been Duke’s most talented offensive player. And the speedy undersized receiver has a piece of the ACC’s career receptions record to show for his efforts.
Crowder finished his career with 283 receptions, tying the mark former teammate Conner Vernon set in 2012. Against Arizona State on Saturday, he finished with a team-high seven catches for 102 yards (the two touchdowns he scored came on a trick pass play he threw to Issac Blakeney and a 68-yard punt return score).
So it made sense that quarterback Anthony Boone would look to Crowder with the game on the line. His chance at a 284th reception, though, and the ACC record outright instead went to Arizona State’s Kweishi Brown. And the chance to win the game went with the Sun Devils, too.
“He is one of the best receivers in the country, so you have to give him a shot,” Boone said. “Give their defense credit, they just made a play.”
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It could be argued that without Crowder’s game-winning touchdown catch against UNC in 2012, giving Duke a bowl berth for the first time in 17 years, the Blue Devils program wouldn’t be at the level it is now. As receivers and records come and go, Crowder will always be remembered at Duke for that.
Florida QB interested in transferring to Duke
With Boone graduating, Duke’s current quarterback roster is short on experience. Backups Thomas Sirk and Parker Boehme have attempted a combined 16 passes in their college careers (14 for redshirt sophomore Sirk and two for redshirt freshman Boehme). Even when Boone was struggling with his accuracy this year, coach David Cutcliffe never turned to Sirk.
So it makes sense that Duke would be interested in Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel, who has graduated and has one year of eligibility remaining. According to two people familiar with the situation, Driskel has sent a release to Duke, allowing the Blue Devils to contact him. Duke is one of several schools he is considering.
Driskel had an up-and-down career at Florida. Coming out of Oviedo (Fla.) High, he was a blue-chip prospect, rated the best pro-style quarterback in the country by ESPN and Rivals. The Gators won 11 games in 2012, his sophomore year and first as starter, and he completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 1646 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.
After that year, though, he went 5-4 as a starter over the next two seasons, battling injury (a broken leg in the fourth game ended his 2012 season) and inconsistency. This year, Driskel completed just 54 percent of his passes (106-for-195) for 1,092 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He lost playing time to freshman Treon Harris this year as Florida went onto a 6-5 finish that cost coach Will Muschamp his job.
When asked about Duke’s ranking (or lack of ranking) during the season, Cutcliffe always deflected the question, saying he isn’t concerned with that stuff. But Saturday after the game, he defended his team.
“I’m going to say it in defense of our seniors,” he said. “They finished 22nd in the country last year. And we’re a top-25 football team (this year), and I won’t back off that statement.
“At times, that’s the one thing I get a little irritated with,” he continued. “These guys were good enough to have been ranked higher than they were more all year.”