The votes are in, and the results are hardly surprising.
The Blue Devil players picked running back Re’quan Boyette, tight end Tielor Robinson, and linebackers Michael Tauillili and Vincent Rey to captain their 2008 campaign.
Boyette, who injured his knee last week and is out indefinitely, led the team in rushing the last two seasons. Before he was hurt, Boyette was expected by head coach David Cutcliffe to be a major force on the offensive side of the ball. Although it’s still unknown when, or if, Boyette will return to the field, it’s clear his presence in the locker room is still as strong as ever.
Tauillili and Rey anchor a strong linebacking corps and should lead the defense with their speed, strength and leadership this season. Tauillili is the ACC’s active leader in both career tackles (294) and tackles for loss (33.0). Rey, the only junior among the captains selected, led the Blue Devils in tackles last year with 111.
Robinson, who transferred from Army two years ago, was granted a sixth season of eligibility earlier this year after an injury sidelined him for the vast majority of the 2008 season. In former head coach Ted Roof’s offense, Robinson displayed an impressive set of hands from his fullback position, hauling in 11 career touchdowns. This season, Cutcliffe, who rarely plays a two-running back set, has decided to move him to tight end most likely to take advantage of Robinson catching abilities.
“”We picked four guys who want to go out and lead on and off the field,” Boyette said in a team release. “We want to go out and do the right thing on and off the field. To take something from Coach Cutcliffe, leading and winning is an ‘all-the-time thing’.”
Duke’s season opener is just days away, as D-IAA James Madison comes to town Aug. 30. The Dukes (yes, that’s the school’s nickname) were ranked No. 7 and No. 8 in the two FCS preseason polls.
–by Matthew Iles