In a four-part series, we look at the candidates for Duke’s starting quarterback job.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is known for his work with quarterbacks, from Peyton and Eli Manning to Daniel Jones. This year, he has three promising passers battling for the Blue Devils starting job in the preseason.
Today, in a four-part series, we take an inside look at the Duke quarterback battle with this overview and in-depth looks at each of the candidates.
Battling for the job are:
Chris Katrenick: The only quarterback on the roster who took any snaps for Duke last season, Katrenick backed up starter Quentin Harris, getting into five games. He completed 3-of-13 passes for 49 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The redshirt junior also got into one game as a freshman and is 8-of-25 for 103 yards and two touchdowns in his Duke career. Based on his experience in the system, Katrenick started off with the first team for Duke’s abbreviated spring practice and the beginning of fall camp. In the Blue Devils’ first scrimmage, he was 4-for-8 passing for 49 yards.
Gunnar Holmberg: Expected to battle for the backup role, and possibly challenge Harris for the starting job, a year ago, Holmberg suffered a serious knee injury in the preseason and spent the year recovering and rehabbing. The redshirt sophomore got into two games in 2018 and has more tackles (one) than passes thrown in his brief playing time with the Blue Devils. Now back at 100 percent, Holmberg was 3-of-5 in the scrimmage for 23 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown to tight end Matt Smith.
Chase Brice: The biggest name in the battle, Brice arrived in the offseason after getting his degree and transferring from Clemson. He earned a national championship ring while backing up Heisman candidate Trevor Lawrence for two years and has appeared in 23 games, completing 82-of-136 for 1,023 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He needs to learn the Duke system however, after missing spring ball, because he was still finishing his Clemson degree. He had the best scrimmage, however, hitting 6-of-9 for 151 yards and a 53-yard touchdown to Eli Pancol.
Who will win the job? The returning backup, the rehabbed prospect or the high-profile transfer. We’ll hear each one make his case.
Get caught up on the four-part series here:
Part 2: The early leader—Chris Katrenick
Part 3: Back from injury—Gunnar Holmberg
Part 4: The big name--Chase Brice