Duke Now

Five true freshmen on Duke’s depth chart

Sunday is the new Tuesday, at least for Duke football this week. Because the Blue Devils play on Thursday this week (at Tulane, 9:30 p.m. EST) instead of the traditional Saturday, the schedule was rearranged to keep the week to keep preparations the same. So today was the big media availability day.

The most newsworthy thing to come out of the press conferences today was an updated two-deep depth chart, which featured five true freshmen. Wide receiver T.J. Rahming is listed as a starting wide receiver (there is an "or Chris Taylor" option at that position). Only one other true freshman has ever started a season opener in David Cutcliffe’s previous seven years: wide receiver Johnny Williams in 2008 (now there is a piece of trivia).

"T.J., he’s an incredible athlete," senior wide receiver Max McCaffrey said. "He’s super quick, fast and reminds me a lot of Jamison (Crowder). He’s small, quick and can make plays."

Get used to the Crowder comparisons, as Rahming also wears Crowder’s old No. 3.

Receiver is probably the easiest position for a true freshman to have an impact. The hardest? Definitely either the offensive or defensive line, but true freshman Marquies Price is listed as the backup defensive end behind Britton Grier. And Brandon Boyce is listed as one of two backups for defensive tackle Carlos Wray. Price was an early enrollee, coming to campus last January and going through spring practice.

"His motor is really high, and he’s really catching onto the defense really quick," Grier said of Price. "I feel confident in him, and I’m glad he came early."

The other true freshmen listed as backups are Ben Humphreys (along with Chris Holmes behind will linebacker Dwayne Norman) and cornerback Jeremy McDuffie (behind Breon Borders).

"I think our offense went at him a couple of times on purpose just to see what he is made of," safety DeVon Edwards said about McDuffie. "He sweated it out on his own. I like to see that out of a young guy."

Expect all five to earn their first collegiate snaps.

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