NCAA rules Ohio State football transfer can play immediately at Duke

Duke's Cutcliffe talks about the most difficult task an athlete faces

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe talks getting total focus during a media availability Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.
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Duke head coach David Cutcliffe talks getting total focus during a media availability Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.

Duke gained an unexpected addition to its offensive line on Wednesday when the NCAA ruled transfer Jack Wohlabaugh eligibility to play this season.

The 6-4, 300-pound Wohlabaugh began his career at Ohio State, where he didn’t appear in any games during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He transferred to Duke last January and has three seasons of eligibility remaining with the Blue Devils.

NCAA rules stipulate that undergraduate players must sit out a season at their new school before becoming eligible to play. But Duke filed a waiver asking for Wohlabaugh’s immediate eligibility and it was granted.

The NCAA has shown in recent months it is open to making it easier for transfer players. Its Transfer Working Group pushed through a new rule, approved last month, removing the previous requirement that athletes must seek permission from their current schools before letting other schools know they’d like to transfer.

The group also discussed removing the requirement that transfers sit out a year at their new schools. But no changes were implemented regarding that rule.

Duke offensive lineman Jack Wohlabaugh Duke athletics

A center and guard, Wohlabaugh participated in Duke’s spring practice and is No. 2 on the team’s depth chart at center. The Blue Devils must replace Austin Davis, their senior center and a team captain last season when Duke went 7-6 and won the Quick Lane Bowl.

Redshirt senior Zach Harmon is the team’s starting center entering the start of practice next month. He has 22 career starts, splitting his time between left and right guard.

Duke lists sophomore Rakavius Chambers as its starting right guard with junior Julian Santos the starter at left guard.

Duke starts practice on Aug. 2 and opens the season Aug. 31 against Army at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Wohlabaugh was rated a four-star recruit by as a senior at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He was rated the nation’s No. 4 center prospect in 2015.

His father, Dave Wohlabaugh, played center for nine seasons in the NFL from 1995-2003 with New England, Cleveland and the then-St. Louis Rams.

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