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Duke QB Brandon Connette to transfer

Brandon Connette Quarterback Brandon Connette passed for 1,212 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. (Charles Mitchell/Icon SMI)

Duke quarterback Brandon Connette will transfer from the Blue Devils program to be closer to his ailing mother, the school announced Thursday.

Connette's mother, Nancy, was diagnosed with cancer last year. The quarterback, who graduated in December 2013 and is working on a master's degree in Christian studies, is seeking to move to a school closer to his home of Corona, Calif. He will be immediately eligible due to NCAA graduate transfer rules.

In a statement Connette thanked Duke coach David Cutcliffe and the university for allowing him to seek opportunities elsewhere.

“I could not be more appreciative of Coach Cutcliffe for his understanding of this situation,” Connette said. “Being away from my family during my mother’s illness has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to endure. I’m thankful that Duke University afforded me so many incredible opportunities – academically, athletically and socially – and will always hold my experience here in the highest regard.”

Cutcliffe said Connette should have the opportunity to focus on his family.

“First and foremost, our prayers and concerns are with Nancy Connette and her quest for good health,” Cutcliffe said. “We thank Brandon for his many contributions to Duke University and our football program. We want nothing but the best for Brandon – both on the football field and off – and his personal situation is very close to our hearts. He’s been an integral part of our program over the past four years, and we wish him continued success going forward.”

Connette completed 106-of-182 passes for 1,410 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 39 career games at Duke. He also rushed 228 times for 735 yards and set a school record with 31 rushing touchdowns.

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