Tag Archives: Ted Roof

Football Captains Announced

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

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Ted Roof Update

ESPN.com’s Big 10 blogger Adam Rittenberg has a two part interview up with former Duke head football coach Ted Roof, who took over as Minnesota’s defensive coordinator in March. Roof was a well-regarded defensive coach at Georgia Tech before serving first as a coordinator and then a head coach at Duke. Blue Devil fans know all too well about Roof’s abysmal 6-45 record over four and a half seasons at the helm, which led to his dismissal last November 26.

The challenges Roof will face at Minnesota don’t seem to be all that much easier than those he encountered when he took over for fired Duke coach Carl Franks seven games into the 2004 season. The Golden Gophers gave up more yards per game (518.7) than any team in the nation in 2007 and surrendered more than 40 points in 6 of their 12 games. Roof discusses the difficulties ahead for him in Part 1 and Part 2 of the blog interview.

-by Will Flaherty

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Duke Football Garnering National Attention

To find news about Duke Football on rivals.com, it usually takes a few clicks to navigate to the school’s individual page. And then, you usually have to convince the website that, no, you’re not here for basketball news. And then, buried deep in the website where good news has rarely been found in the past several years, you find the stories on Duke Football.

Well, no longer.

Look! There, on the very front page of rivals.com, amongst the top stories from around the country, reads the headline, ‘Duke has pretty good week.’

Okay, perhaps this is a non-story for premier programs like the Ohio States, USC’s and LSU’s of the world, but for the Blue Devils? Hell, I’m sure they’ll take it.

But that’s not all. They’re even featured in a USA Today recruiting blog, “Michigan State, Duke surprise in football recruiting.”  

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Football Closes Summer Recruiting, Focuses on Season Ahead

David Cutcliffe’s coaching staff finished up a successful recruiting campaign this summer, reeling in six solid recruits for the 2009 freshman class. The biggest catches by far are four-star defensive tackle John Drew, three-star quarterback Sean Schroeder and three-star tight end Ryan Hall.

According to rivals.com, the Blue Devils have extended 84 total offers to this point. Twenty-two of those have accepted offers at other schools, leaving 54 high schoolers still waiting to make their decision. Of course, Duke could make many more offers between now and February’s national signing deadline, but it’s still an interesting thing to look at, considering the coaches are now fully committing themselves to this season.

The team was required to stay for both summer sessions this year — the first session had been optional under former head coach Ted Roof — and the players have been engaging in workout sessions with the strength and conditioning coaches and holding their own small practices among themselves. The Blue Devils begin official practices the first week of August and take to the field just a few short weeks later against D. I-AA opponent James Madison.

On offense, some of the most notable recruits still considering Duke are four-star dual-threat quarterback Jordan Reed, who also holds offers from the likes of Florida, Tennessee and Oregon, and fifth-ranked all-purpose back Eric Stephens, who combines a speedy 4.5 40-yard dash with a brutish 300-pound bench press.

Defensively, Duke is hoping to best some of the nation’s most prestigious programs in its effort to recruit four-star outside linebacker Jon Bostic. With offers from eleven other schools including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, and USC, Bostic is ranked the fifth-best player at his position. The odds seem stacked against the Blue Devils, but perhaps academics and the promise of playing earlier in his career could be factors that sway this big-time player to call Durham his future home away from home. In the secondary, Duke is also waiting to hear from three three-star cornerbacks and two three-star safeties, any combination of which would certainly help bolster the Blue Devils’ passing defense.

Check back as the season approaches for updates in progress and depth-chart changes.

–by Matthew Iles

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