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Duke's Breakout Players on Offense This Preseason

Quarterback Gunnar Holmberg lists top up-and-comers

Duke quarterback Gunnar Holmberg is busy trying to win the starting job. That hasn’t stopped him from noticing who’s been standing out on offense, however.

Holmberg, a redshirt sophomore, is returning from a knee injury suffered last preseason that kept him out for the entire 2019 campaign. He’s currently battling last year’s backup, Chris Katrenick, and Clemson transfer Chase Brice to start at quarterback for the Blue Devils.

He took time from that quest to list some of the top up-and-coming performers on offense so far this fall camp.

“Younger guys that are stepping up,” he said. “Dennis Smith has made some really good plays throughout this camp and in scrimmages.”

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Smith, a redshirt sophomore from Gaffney, SC, has gotten into six games over the last two years without getting a catch at wide receiver.

“Jarrett Garner, coming back from injury, has looked good too,” Holmberg continued. “Speed wise, he looks very up to date. Similar to his old self.”

Garner is also a redshirt sophomore, from Harrisburg, NC. He got into just three games last season before suffering a season-ending injury in the Pitt game, on his 11 snap of the season. Garner also played in four games in 2018, getting two special teams tackles. He also won the team’s Iron Duke Award that season, as the hardest worker in the weight room.

“Receiving-wise, tight end Matt Smith is playing like a stud for us as well,” Holmberg said.

The redshirt freshman from Needham, Massachusetts caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Holmberg in the first scrimmage. Smith did not get into a game last season for the Blue Devils.