DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The intensity for this year’s Duke football blue and white game was turned up a notch as players looked to impress brand new head coach Mike Elko.
“Everybody wanted to put their best foot forward you know,” said Duke sophomore wide receiver Sahmir Hagans. “You only get one first impression so everybody wanted to showcase that they could be the guy.”
There is no clear-cut starter under center but they do have options.
Riley Leonard showed off his arm with deep passes to Jontavis Robertson and some nice touch passes to Nicky Dalmolin. His counterpart Jordan Moore showed off his ability to gain yards with his arm by firing strikes to Cole Finney and scrambling for first downs in tight situations.
“They both bring their own skillset to the table,” said Sahmir. “I think they are both pretty great quarterbacks in my opinion and I think both of them are very useful to this team.”
Of the things stressed this spring — such as intensity, grit and physicality — one of the biggest points of emphasis for this scrimmage was for the players to have some fun.
“The team definitely had fun tonight. All the hard work we put in since mid-January, it showed we just had fun tonight,” said sophomore linebacker Tre Freeman. “We balled out and nobody worried about mistakes so we just came out and played.”
This game marks the end of spring workouts and coach Elko admits he has been driving this crew especially hard.
The players had to learn a brand new offense, new defense and special teams scheme. Elko said he’s hoping his crew can retain the bulk of it in the off-season so when they come back, they don’t have to start from scratch.