Saturday marks the beginning of spring practice for Duke football. It’s about a month later than the past two years, and that’s with good reason.
The school has made four coaching changes from last year: Zac Roper was promoted internally to offensive coordinator, Marcus Johnson was promoted internally to offensive line coach, Ben Albert was hired from Boston College to coach the defensive line and Jim Bridge was hired from Purdue to coordinate special teams and coach tight ends.
“We need a little bit of time as a staff to build the things we want to do,” head coach David Cutcliffe said. “It’s been great. It’s been a rejuvenation of a lot of thoughts and some new ideas and making new ideas better.”
The Blue Devils will open spring practice with a new starting quarterback. Rising redshirt junior Parker Boehme moves into the No. 1 spot after incumbent starter Thomas Sirk ruptured his left achilles tendon on Feb. 9. Sirk is out indefinitely. Rising redshirt freshmen Daniel Jones and Quentin Harris are competing for the No. 2 position.
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“Parker is our starter at this time,” Cutcliffe said. “In every part of your program, you better go into spring knowing that your club coming out of spring is your ball club. Don’t count on anything beyond that.”
Getting a solid evaluation of Jones and Harris is one of the main goals for the spring. Other priorities include identifying at least one new starting wide receiver, three new starters along the defensive line and a new starting linebacker.
“We’ll have some fun, I know that,” Cutcliffe said. “Should be exciting.”