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Duke football losing another veteran player. Wide receiver Aaron Young plans to transfer.

Duke wide receiver Aaron Young can’t control the ball against Florida State’s Stanford Samuels, Saturday, October 14, 2017, in Wallace Wade Stadium.
Duke wide receiver Aaron Young can’t control the ball against Florida State’s Stanford Samuels, Saturday, October 14, 2017, in Wallace Wade Stadium. bthomas@heraldsun.com

A Duke offense rebuilding after the departure of quarterback Daniel Jones to the NFL will do so without another veteran player.

Wide receiver Aaron Young plans to leave Duke as a graduate transfer after this semester and complete his college career elsewhere.

Young announced his decision his Twitter feed and has entered his name in the NCAA’s transfer database.

“I will forever be thankful for getting an opportunity to earn a degree and play football at this university,” Young wrote, adding that this “is not an easy decision for me.”

A 6-2, 200-pound receiver from Murrieta, Ca., Young showed flashes of ability that could have made him a key factor in Duke’s offense.

He caught four passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in Duke’s 34-14 season-opening win over Army last Aug. 31.

Duke wide receiver Aaron Young assesses the Blue Devils' 34-14 win over Army in the season opener Aug. 31, 2018. Young, a redshirt junior, had four catches for a career-high 114 yards, scoring one touchdown and setting up another.

But a hamstring injury suffered in practice the following week derailed his season. Never able to get healthy enough to trust the leg again, Young missed Duke’s next four games. He returned on Oct. 13 to catch three passes for 25 yards at Georgia Tech but never played again the rest of the season.

He completes his Duke career having played three seasons, catching 34 passes for 482 yards and four touchdowns.

Because he took a redshirt season in 2015 and the hamstring injury limited him to two games last season, Young could have two years of eligibility remaining at his new school. The NCAA would have to approve the extra year of eligibility.

Also Wednesday, wide receiver Keyston Fuller announced he’s also leaving Duke as a graduate transfer. Fuller caught two passes last season and seven in his career.

Young and Fuller are the fourth and fifth wide receivers Duke is losing from last season’s team. Seniors T.J. Rahming, Johnathan Lloyd and Chris Taylor all completed their eligibility.

Rahming led Duke with 75 catches for 811 yards and eight touchdowns. Lloyd was second on the team with 51 catches for 604 yards while Taylor was third with 31 catches for 419 yards.

Duke is also heading in to next season without tight ends Daniel Helm and Davis Koppenhaver, two more redshirt seniors who completed their college eligibility. Helm caught 26 passes (fourth on the team) for 271 yards, while Koppenhaver caught seven touchdown passes.

That veteran group helped Duke post an 8-5 record, including a 56-27 Independence Bowl win over Temple. The Blue Devils averaged 29.4 points per game.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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